Day 5 – 4th July 2020 – Barcelona, Spain to Sardinia, Italy
I try a few times to find a wi-fi network but unable to find one. It is also very dark and cold in the cheap seats.. I think this used to be called steerage!! It’s actually bloody freezing, probably punishing us for not stumping up for a cabin.
After a time I go to the information desk to ask about the wifi… it’s broken, mmmm. I also ask if I can go to my bike, I want to pick up my jacket liner, but he says no. I tell him I am freezing and he immediately gives me a blanket, which makes a big difference I can tell you.
I do manage to draft yesterdays blog, but can’t do anything more with it until I get a wifi connection later today once I get to Sardinia.
I also do get a few hours sleep, on and off, as the sea is a bit choppy so there is a large door clanging somewhere, that and the cold means sleep is a bit hit and miss.
When dawn breaks I start to think about trying to get a coffee, but nothing is open yet, I try to go back to sleep with some success and reawaken at 7.30, there must be something open now.
Feeling somewhat refreshed I take a snap, it’s a lot gloomier than the photo shows
Other than that it’s a pretty uneventful crossing. Around 11am they start making announcements to get people out of their cabins, it’s quite difficult to understand the english version, I have to listen very carefully and it’s only after the third or fourth time I realise she is repeating the same message each time at 20 minute intervals.
I go out to the back of the ship for some fresh air and it is a really lovely day, not that you would know that from steerage.
We dock into Porto Torres at around 12.45 and am back with the bike on terra firma by 1.30. I did book a place to stay for the 4 days I am here, but for some reason it fell through. I think this was a blessing in disguise as I had not really appreciated how big Sardinia is to cover in 4 days so I am probably going to book on a daily basis. Having said that I have just managed to secure tonights bed in a village called Luras and it is only when I am well on my way I realise how mountainous Sardinia is and my accommodation is right up there…. enough with the mountains already!
My first experience of riding in Sardinia is wtf with the pot holes… I mean this is worse than Belgium and Memphis, I almost have to stand up it is so bad. I had also forgotten about Italian drivers, after the third car almost side swiped me I start to keep an eye out for cars coming up behind me and move over slightly as none of them really makes any effort to overtake they just move over slightly so they don’t actually hit me, not that I assume they care anyway. As for speed limits, forget about it… now I’m happy to hold my handsup,,, I mean I have just collected 3 points for speeding a month ago, but I do slow down for roadworks, especially when workers are around; not these guys.. I’m doing 85 in a 60kmh zone just to try and keep from getting swiped by the cars and still they are overtaking!!
I arrive at my guest house in Luras… a very pretty little village, with tiny paved streets and small piazzas. Impress the doorbell, no answer, there is a note in italian on the door with what looks like a phone number. I give it a ring, the woman who answers doesn’t speak much english and of course my italian is pretty much non-existant but we seem to manage… she is coming over now.
A few minutes later Nicoletta arrives, with young daughter in tow who looks about 8 or 9 and her eyes are pretty much on stalks as she watches me unpacking the bike.
The guesthouse is very beautiful and I seem to have the whole place to myself. Nicoletta shows me around and asks what time I want breakfast? 9 is good for me, I need to catch up some sleep anyway.
When she has gone I get ready for a shower… I realise I have an app on my iphone so am able to text Nicoletta in italian and translate her answers, this seems to work well when I text her to ask where is a launderette and a good place to eat. She immediately comes back with the answers. I really like it here so text to ask for another night, she is fine with that, I can stay as long as I like. The shower is cold so another text wings its way. She answers she is coming over.. and she is back within 10 minutes, she obviously switches something on as it is now running hot. She then offers to take my laundry for me, which is very kind, but I prefer to do my own.
After a shower and quick change I get my few bits and pieces together and make my way to Calangianus a rather unfortunate name methinks. I spot the sign for the launderette down a side street, but I can’t see the place so go round again. Nope still can’t spot it. There are two older chaps talking over a garden wall so I pluck up some courage to attempt to ask. I have instantly forgotten the italian for lauderette and make up some word between spanglish and italish, which doesn’t help matters and one guy leaves the other one to it. He tries his best, bless him, as I am reduced to some desperate gesturing, plucking at my tee shirt and mimicing putting it into a washing machine, closing the door and doing a kind of washing machine motion with my hand. This results in him telling me something about fish, peche, and making fishing gestures, we try again but the same result until he says try the Piazza someone there might speak english. Ok, off I go. On the way round the corner is a shop with Lavanderia above the door… ahhh thats it. But it is closed down 🙁 so I ask a passerby, another elderly man, who waves me in the general direction of the first place I tried. Right so now I know the word I go back to the garden wall man… he is still there. Lavanderia I shout triumphantly and he laughs out loud and points behind me, it was there on the corner the whole time… grazie mille x
I park up and go in. It is self service but luckily they have instructions in english, its pretty standard anyway. €6 for a wash, a bit expensive but got to be done. I put my clothes in, close the door, choose a programme and put in the €6… nothing happens… it has swallowed my money… stop it! FFS, ok there is a change machine so I get more euro coins and try the next machine… same result… WTF, ok I’m not going to waste any more money, I can see some notices in italian and there is a phone number.. right out with my trusty new best friend, i-translate, and a quick text in italian results in a I’ll be right over.
And he is, and he speaks great english so I explain the problem. He goes around the back of the machines and gets my money. I then put my washing back in the first machine and the guy goes through the sequence and when he shuts the door he slams it until it clicks… ahhhh it doesn’t say to do that so I didn’t shut the door properly.. oh well at least he has got it going. I make my way to the piazza as I spotted a couple of pizzerias there… yes am having pizza again, and very nice it is too, I take half away for later.
Back at the Lavanderia my washing is spinning so won’t be long now, then into the drier and back to the guesthouse.
Been quite a busy day all in all… will be touristing tomorrow.