We had an early start, but the good thing about travelling at this time in the morning is the absence of other road users. All went smoothly with our Easyjet flight, and we arrived in Cagliari at approx. 10.30 am local time (Sardinia is 1 hour ahead of us). Hire cars were collected and we agreed to meet at Calamosca to do a few routes. The guide book I had didn’t have all the crags in it and we ended up climbing at a different area from the rest of the group. Having been used to temperatures in the low teens in the UK it was quite a shock to the system to be climbing in the low 30’s.
We left the crag at around 16.30, and after a refreshing cold drink and an ice cream in a cafe overlooking the bay, we set off for La Caletta, our base for the week. We arrived shortly after 20.30 and were soon installed in our room with a view over the harbour.
Another very hot day. As we’d done quite a lot of driving yesterday the group opted for a local crag – Siniscola – and Julie and Lesley came to spectate. The limestone here, as with most of the crags we climbed, had excellent friction and everyone was happy with their day’s achievements.
Sunday 19 October
Once again everyone went to the same area – Cala Fuili area near Cala Gonone. I did a few routes overlooking the sea, but quite which ones I did I can’t be sure. My approach to the climbing was to choose a line which I liked the look of and go for it. It usually worked! In the evening we went into Cala Gonone for dinner.
After breakfast most of the group headed North to Cala Spinosa. After a ‘bit of a search’ we found the crag which has some very unusual rock formations. It’s not a very extensive crag and I think I climbed all the routes available to me. Afterwards we all had a dip in the sea.
Tuesday 21 October
Most of the group went to Dorgali, but Jason and I had other ideas. Gole di Gorroppu was our destination and in particular a new route called “Lughe ‘e vida mia”. After an exciting approach along the gorge we eventually got to the bottom of the climb just before 14.00. It took us 4 hours to do the ten pitches and by the time we got back to our rucksacks it was getting dark. Fortunately I had brought my head torch – without it we would have been in deep trouble! We got back just after midnight. A great route and a great day – very tiring.
No car keys! With our climbing gear locked in the car Jason and I were grounded for the day. While the rest of the group went back to Dorgali we walked along the sandy beach to Santa Lucia.
Thursday 23 October
With the help of the hotelier who acted as my interpreter, I phoned the break down company – and they collected the car. At my request the hotelier tried to book us a taxi so that we could get to our local crag at Siniscola, but there were none available; so he took us in his car. He also arranged for his friend to collect us at 18.30. Although it was a ‘trying’ day we got some good routes done and I was particularly pleased to get up “Tempos Fugit” 6b.
Buchi Arta was our destination, and the others managed to squeeze us into their cars. The single track road leading to the crag hugged the mountain side above Cala Gonone, and road signs made it clear there was to be no overtaking! The climbing at Buchi Arta was excellent, but the guide book was next to useless so there was a lot of guess work when it came to identifying the climbs we did.
Saturday 25 October
Our last day. We packed, and once again the others found space in their cars for us on our return journey to Cagliari. We had time to do a few routes and have a swim in the sea before heading to the airport. It was wonderful to see the flamingos in the salt lakes on our return to the airport.
The weather was perfect, and Sardinian rock hasn’t suffered from the polish that so many other areas have succumbed to. If you haven’t visited Sardinia then it’s definitely an area that should be on your hit list. If you’re planning on going let me know.
The players: Bob (organiser), Sophie, Iain, Julie, Wayne, Lesley, Alan, Abu, Alex, Cheryl, Gavin, James, Jason, Lydia.