Capo Caccia is situated a few kilometres from Alghero, on the southern point of a huge limestone triangle that wedges out into the sea. There are characteristic, impressive cliffs (nearly 300 m high) on its west side. It is renowned for the underground labyrinth of mysterious caves discovered in 1700. The most famous one is Grotta di Nettuno (2500 m long) that can be reached by sea or on ground climbing the 656 steps of Escala del Cabirol that lead to the cave. Although we did not venture to these caves or the grotto because of Lia, the view itself was enough for us. And I guess for others too.
“The Basilica della Santissima Trinità di Saccargia (English: “Basilica of the Holy Trinity of Saccargia”) is a church constructed entirely in local stone (black basalt and white limestone), with a typical appearance of Tuscan Romanesque style.”
It may seem absurd, but yes, we tropical people only know rain and sun…. and typhoons, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tidal waves, among other things, of course. So here we were, in Jafferau, with the remnants of winter…
So off to France we went, even if it was just Briançon, because it is an hour’s drive from Bardonecchia. We passed by skiing resorts and towns with die-hard skiers still racing after the very last remnants of winter snow. Briançon a commune in the Hautes-Alpes department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region in southeastern France. It is the highest city in France with an altitude of 1,326 metres (4,350 feet).
The family arrived in Italy on April 6th and spent some days in Torino before going for a 1-hour drive to Bardonecchia – one of Italy’s original alpine skiing resorts. Bardonecchia is located in the upper part of Val di Susa in the Alps, with the Piedmont region of northwest Italy. The resort is situated on the French border, due west of Torino (Turin).
I said I would come back and take more photos of Cala Brandinchi – and this it. This was that day. Cala Brandinchi is about 10-15 minutes walk for Lia and me from our home in Villaggio Porto Coda Cavallo. It is where we go when we don’t want to be in Salina Bamba or when I wanted to have a nice cup of frozen coffee at the bar.
We take the dirt path from the village. This is the view of our village.
And this is Tavolara Island, at the back of our village.
Sometimes Isola Tavolara looks so white!
With the village behind us, we trudge on the path to Brandinchi, and the first view is the parking lot right in front, and the beach on the left.
Lia almost always does not want her photos taken – unless it is of her making bubbles – then she is all up for it! Here are some photos I took of her blowing home made bubbles in the garden using a Nikkor 50mm lens.
“The numerous beaches in San Teodoro, which are all just a few minutes away from the centre of town, are among the most beautiful in Sardinia and are famous all over the world for their white sands and the incomparable transparency of the sea. The nearest beaches to the centre of town are slightly more than 1 km away; while the remaining beaches – all between 8 to 15km from the centre of town – can be reached using the 125 highway towards Olbia. Along the road, on the right, are three main junctions. The first, in the town of Lu Fraili, allows you to reach the beaches of Punta di L’Aldia (9.8 km) and Lu Impostu (8.7 km). The second junction, in Lutturai, leads towards the resort of Coda Cavallo.”
“… the tourist village of Puntaldia which has a marina and a golf course with 9 holes, as well as hotel accommodations and residences of high quality. The name means the tip of the guard, from its obvious strategic and military significance. The coastline of the Punta Aldia, interspersed with a brilliant Mediterranean, is contiguous with the beach to the north and south with the Lu Impostu, La Cinta beach, from which it is separated from the small mouth of the great lagoon of San Teodoro, called “the seal”. Just along the south side, through the beaten track between the rock formations, you can move from one cove to another.” – San Teodoro Tourism Office
Frankly, our excursions to Punta di L’Aldia is limited to refueling the speed boat. 🙂 We leave Salina Bamba with the boat and head on to Punta di L’Aldia.
CAPO CODA CAVALLO
“Get there by driving north up highway 125 towards San Teodoro – Olbia, then turn right at the fork in the road at Lutturai. Skillfully carved by the Ostro and the Scirocco, this extreme offshoot of land stretches towards the Tyrrhenian Sea and overlooks the islands of Proratora, Molara and Tavolara. The beach of Capo Coda Cavallo as well as the beautiful scenery offered by the profile of the islands, boasts clear water and fine sand immersed in Mediterranean bushes. A few minutes’ walk leads to the vantage point overlooking the whole expanse of water bordered by the Protected Marine Area of Tavolara – Punta Coda Cavallo. That same vantage point is home to well-preserved military structures dating back to World War II, strategically important for the sighting of the Allied air forces using equipment such as the famous aerophone (a rudimentary radar-based amplification of the sounds produced by aircraft engines).” – San Teodoro Tourism Office
These are some photos I took from inside the car as we were driving from Olbia.
“The numerous beaches in San Teodoro, which are all just a few minutes away from the centre of town, are among the most beautiful in Sardinia and are famous all over the world for their white sands and incomparable transparency of the sea. The nearest beaches to the centre of town (slightly more than 1 km away) are La Cinta and Cala d’Ambra. The remaining beaches can be reached using the 125 highway towards Olbia. Along the road, on the right, are three main junctions. The first, in the town of Lu Fraili, allows you to reach the beaches of Punta di L’Aldia (9.8 km) and Lu Impostu (8.7 km). The second junction, in Lutturai, leads towards the resort of Coda Cavallo. Along this road are the beaches of Cala Brandinchi (9.8 km), Salina Bamba (11.5 km) and Baia Salinedda (12.2 km).” – San Teodoro map of the beaches and the area, distributed by the San Teodoro Tourism Office
“A true jewel of our coast, Brandinchi can be compared with the paradises of Polynesia by the intensity and brilliance of its nuances and it is also known to tourists as Little Tahiti. It boasts shallow water, fine sand next to a pine forest and a large patch of juniper, thistle and rushes. Definitely meant for families with children, behind the beach adjacent to the beautiful pine forest there’s a parking lot organized in a perfect corner of nature. The beach of Brandinchi has as a spectacular skyline view that is the unmistakable silhouette of the island of Tavolara to the north, an islet called Ruja Island to the east and the Capicciolu Point to the south. At its back, and this is true for many other nearby beaches, there is a lagoon area that during the summer season is dry.” – Source
“In the middle of the Mediterranean sea, Sardinina is still wild and mostly rocky with plains, coasts, mountains and hills. Along its 1731 kilometers of shoreline there are some of the most beautiful marine habitats. Its coasts are generally high and rocky, stretching for miles with headlands and deep inlets fringed by islands and islets, extremely long beaches with powdery sand, from dazzling white to pink to granite red. The crystal-clear sea has many different hues: turquoise, cobalt blue, azure, emerald green. Sardinia also has numerous islands: Asinara, La Maddalena and Caprera; Tavolara and Molara in the northeast: San Pietro and Sant’Antioco in the southwest. Five protected marine environments have also been established to safeguard the sea, the coast and the flora and fauna.” p. 76, Authentic Sardinia, The Touring Club of Italy.
Our very first boat trip came two days after we arrived in Sardegna, on the dive boat of Blu Infinto Diving Center. It turned out to be a very windy day and me with my motion sickness, which I have had since I was a kid but is exacerbated when I travel too much, which I actually do too, boo (hu hu), was not very happy. Lia was, though, as she always is, with practically anything and everything.
These photos were taken on different days in the past weeks. It is not always sunny and hot. Most times, because I am so skinny and gets cold easily, I walk around with a sweater even if the sun is out. The wind can be strong sometimes and nights are generally chilly. In the first few days, sunsets were as late as nine in the evening.
It was cold and raining when we arrived in Milano a week ago. Taking the EasyJet plane from Milano to Olbia, filled with kids of all ages, wide-eyed smiling mothers and understanding fathers, and seated next to two blonde girls in their late teens or early twenties dressed in tank tops and low-hanging jeans who were all smiles to my daughter and helping her out with her seat belt and sandals, it was such a drastic change from the Filipino-filled Etihad plane from Manila to Abu Dhabi, and the mixture of Italians dressed in casual and business attires from Abu Dhabi to Milano. I watched my daughter stay up the first three hours enjoying the television and movies on the Etihad plane to just sleeping through all the connecting flights.
From El Nido to Manila to Abu Dhabi to Milan and to Olbia, we took a total of four planes, and in the van from the Olbia airport to our home in Villagio Porto Coda Cavallo, rolling through the sunny, bush-filled hills and plains of Sardegna, I was thinking to my little girl self, “In this big, big world, how did I manage to get found? I have come sooo…. far.”
The first week was spent getting to know the immediate areas and the people in them – the bar in the piazzetta where Lia and I take my daily dose of macchiato and her gelatto, the beaches of Salina Bamba, just in front of our home, and Giardanchini, a mere fifteen minutes walk from our village through grazing fields and hills; the dive shop, market, pharmacy, and boutique. I spend the mornings saying “Boungiorno” to the garden keepers who water the lawn and trim the flowering plants, while watching the various birds hop about from bush to bush and tree to tree, and gazing at the sea. We have been to San Teodoro and Olbia more times than I cared to count because I craved for sweets and we needed supplies – groceries, medicines, supplies for Lia’s home schooling, slippers, beach and sand toys, and a new smartphone because apparently, my roaming bill is now approximately Php25,000.