Friday, July 27, 2018

Adventures at the Lemon House on the East Coast of Sardinia

Scenes in around some of our adventures at the Lemon House on the East Coast of Sardinia.

Driving to the Lemon House, the names jump out at you.
The house is on via Dante.  Lotzorai is a beach town, with names of the Italian masters, Via Michaelangelo, Chellini, Dante.
Swallows fly overhead from the roof at the Lemon House, where we drink a beer and enjoy a light dinner on the room.  Its so lovely.  We’ll eat here every night.
Looking more like a lime, in light green, the Lemmon House is like an old surf hotel, catoring to people wanting to ride, hike, climb, and swim.
As the website puts it:


Ogliastra on the east coast is Sardinia’s wildest and most unspoilt region. The mountains rise to over 1000m within just 20 km of The Lemon House within sight of the beautiful coastline. Our aim in this paradise for active outdoor holidays is to help our guests enjoy all the activities to the full, and enjoy a beach holiday as well! Our mild climate means you can climb, bike, walk and kayak all year round, including in the height of summer.  The beaches in Ogliastra don’t need an introduction. … The beaches of the area are ranked in the top 10 in almost all European lists. Cala Mariolu, Cala Biriala (in the picture) not to mention the more plural Cea and Orrì
are worth a visit. Our beach in Lotzorai might not be so famous, but his clear water and nice pine tree forest are something you can bet on!...
The beaches in Ogliastra are famous throughout Italy for their beauty and cleanliness, and the coastline is perfect for sea kayaking. Of all the activities, kayaking is the one that requires least experience and is suitable for complete beginners. 
Our first morning, we decided to explore the beaches by kayak.
“If you go East to the Sea you will find yourself in Rome, so lets just stay on the coast,” suggested our kayaking leader.
So, we all followed our amiable host for a kayaking adventure down the coast, along the bluest waters.
The teenager immediately lost control, letting her kayak float into the rocks.
Help me, she declared.
“The young ones are always much more adventuresome, much less of a problem than the older ones,” notes our kayaking guide.
Still, we make our way with the little one leads the way, while the little one gets lost in the currents.
“You are the worst group I have ever had,” laughs our instructor.
“We’re not that bad…” we chuckle, stopping along the way for a swim.
Trying to get back into my kayak, it capsizes.
But we keep on kayaking to the beach, swimming away the day on the majestic rocky beaches,
Stopping for a bite at pizzeria at Aregedu and a nap along the rocks.
The Ichnusa beer is deliscious, the water ever more.
We swim away the day, napping on the warm rocks along the shore and eat on the roof later that night.
I’m reading My Brilliant Friend by Ellena Ferante.
The words pour over me.
I think about Matteo and our chance meeting three decades ago.
Some years, we saw a ton of each other.
But for many life passed us by.
But for a while there, we lived together as kids in Dallas, of all places, going to see bands, eating TV dinners every night.
He has not been back.
And we spent more time together this week than at any time in decades.
Life is strange.
Bella Luna is out again.
The next day, we’re planned a hike to the beach…
Just drive through Brunei… And then follow the path till the road ends, notes our amiable host.
We get sandwiches at a cemetery.
And then make our way up through the medieval village,
Hairpin turn after hairpin turn, 180 degrees with cars zooming about.
I wonder if gravity is going to hold the car.
We drive along a cliff.
I imagine the car falling hundreds of feet below.
The breaks stopping.
I’m sweating. There are only seven of these turns.
But we make it.
Cows and donkeys wander the arid landscape as we finish the drive.
And commence our hike from Su Portuddo to Cala Golgo.  I was looking forward to a walk, but the the five k hike down to the beach was anything but.  Limestone, rocks, stones below, the way down was mostly smooth, but the rocks are treacherous.
An hour into it, we’re a little tired.
Eventually, we catch a glimpse of the sea.

And we hike down.
Blue, blue, bluest waters ever, the sea envelops us, pouring onto the rocky shore.
Crazy Italians posing everywhere, lounging on the rocks, swimming, vamping around, posing in their bikinis, mostly naked.
We float out looking into the distance.
Lost for an hour, two hours… floating.
We make our way back.
Lets smash it out, the little one and I made our way back up, followed by mom and the teenager, who had a blister.
Passing people, getting passed, up up up we hiked, fatigue grasping us.
On this walk, I realized the twelve-year-old has surpassed me.
In years past on the Camino, I could walk k after k past her.
Time passes, so does our youth.
And pretty soon our kids are passing us by.
Today, she walked ahead.
Come on Dad, she implored.
Come on Dad.
We sing our songs and talk about the flavors of gelato we’d eat on our way up.
People pass us.
We pass them again.
I stop heaving for air by a tree.
And drink Fanta to celebrate when we finally arrive.
How much later are mom and the teenager going to be.
Perhaps 430, an hour later?
At 430 we get worried.
Don’t worry now.
So we didn’t.
We played crazy eights and for once I won.
They got there a half hour later…
Nothing tastes better than a drink after a walk like that.
They smile.
The train reminds you to appreciate the simple things, a rest, a cold glass of water, being together.
And we make our way back down the mountain, twisting and turning, completing a few more hairpin turns on our way back to the Lemon House for one final night.
The next day, we’ll make our way South to Caligari.

We made it back from the hike. The little one was feeling fine, unlike this writer. 

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