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It has been said that idleness is the parent of mischief, which is very true; but mischief itself is merely an attempt to escape from the dreary vacuum of idleness.
George Borrow, Lavengro

Tue May 07, 2002

Sardegna

I thought I was supposed to be on a climbing trip. But then someone suggested this thing called the Selvaggio Blu, the wild blue. It is a 5 day long trek along the Sardinian coastline, ah nice thought I, perhaps a bit of swimming, lying on the beach, take in the view. I was convinced.

Andrea and myself arrived late so we met our small party at Cala Goloritzè a small-secluded beach popular for its beauty and fantastic climbing. We took with us a precious cargo of 6 litres of beer for our suffering comrades already on the trail for two days.

Morning arrived and with it the start of the difficulties. We were sucked straight into a steep gorge with a rock pitch of 15 metres that demanded to be climbed. With packs full of camping gear this was no mean feat. The first pitch was short, vertical but not too difficult. The second pitch took a loose scree slope, up which the sacks could not be hauled. Raining rocks down on the party below we climbed with a top rope fixed by Alberto. This unpleasant experience took most of the morning, but it was done.

It was a rude awakening to the realities of the trek, said by some to be the most difficult and isolated trek in all of Italy. Apart from the terrain another great problem is that of carrying adequate water supplies. We had foreseen this and pre-dumped rations at a point half way along the route.

The route is 'marked' with small blue sometimes red spots painted on the rocks. But do not be fooled, these are not at all easy to find and appear mostly when the route is obvious. So the route traverses the coast like this. When not scaling rock faces, or dancing over razor sharp limestone rocks, you wander hopefully through wooded hillside or prickly hardy foliage, towering cliff faces on one side, the sea on the other. At some points dramatic abseils from unsafe looking belay points and tenuous traverses just above the waters edge were needed to stay on the trail.

We camped in some magnificent locations, high up on the cliff tops, and way down by the seas edge in desperately isolated coves. For me the crystalline water was just to cold to swim in. We parted way with the trail at Cala Sisine, a deserted beach under a strangely oppressive sky. Our return to civilization was made along a valley none less impressive than what we had been used to, except this time we were on a real trail, and pizza beckoned.


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