2014 France / Italy Ride Continued
We had, sorta, a challenge finding the hotel last night and after two unsuccessful phone calls (linguistic barriers) we resorted to our fallback plan of the tourist Info office which got us there in minutes. The place was worth locating (another of Ethel’s finds); while the food (dinner) was not even close to the best we’ve had on the road while in Italy, the rest of it was great; room, WiFi, beach, assistance and especially breakfast. First bacon and eggs we’ve had (seen) in over a month; delicious. We rarely have that at home, but it was fantastic this morning. The bread is worth mentioning; on the whole, since leaving France we’ve just not had the great bread that one becomes accustomed to there, but this morning we had fresh baked croissants; still warm actually, lovely. So, with the great breakfast, a walk on the beach and a leisurely check out we didn’t get on the road until after 10 o’clock. The air was clear, the breeze was cool and the traffic light so we really enjoyed the road on into Cagliari where we, for the most part, were successful in negotiating around the worst of the city traffic. Actually, we did all but one of our critical turns correctly as planned, but that one error dumped us out in the midst of the downtown crush where, without the aid of the Garmin, we might still be circulating. Clear of the inner city we wound our way across the bottom of the island until we were again on smaller roads and free of most of the traffic. By midday (actually past midday) we started looking for place to eat and the harder we looked the less we found and the more committed we became until we were searching out every little place we came to looking for a restaurant that was open. Our search led us to some really small coastal villages where, eventually, we found a place that was serving a fixed “Menu Touristica” of seafood only; it turned out to be one of our best finds of the trip. We had a fantastic lunch/dinner and I now have a new “official favorite dish”; spaghetti with clams. I had this dish once before in Alghero and loved it, but now it’s official. I’m sure that one of the secrets to preparing this dish is having access to fresh clams, but we could have a plan for that when we get home. On the way out of the restaurant, we met a German couple who we visited with for a while and at their suggestion we continued on down the very small road winding along the coast for a while just to see the views; it was so nice that we went much further than planned and ended up back on our route going north again; so sad because this meant we had to ride some of the best road of the trip….for the second time today; such a pity. We got some rain an hour or so later, it didn’t last long, but came down heavily for a while then the sun came out and the air was perfectly clear. We passed many artichoke fields…the plants looked wonderful and since we’ve not seen them on the menu, we’re assuming they may be for export. Arriving in Iglesias, another fairly good sized town, we began our search for the B&B that Ethel had picked for the night; a decision to try something different (not a hotel). We were again in heavy traffic with many one-way streets and weren’t having much luck when we decided to try entering the address in the GPS and, voila, it led us right to it; a rather uninspiring part of town as it turned out, but we decided to go for it anyway. We had to wait for the owners to show up and when they did, they were delightful and we saw their place (which turned out to actually be very nice) with different eyes. We got settled, went out for some gelato and came back to crash.