Hitchhiking in Sunny Sardinia

“The best teacher is experience and not through someone’s distorted point of view”. ~Jack Kerouac
Saturday August 27, 2016

Day 98

Sardinia, Italy 
Sardinia. The Italian Caribbean. Absolutely stunning waters. Glorious shades of Aqua, teal, emerald and all the blues and greens in between. Some of the beaches had the color of a pristine swimming pool. I could imagine I was in one, until I went under and my eyes began to sting from the salty sea water. You could see your toes. You could see the fish flitting about below. Some of the beaches you could wade out nearly 75 meters and the water was still just barely at your waist. It was warm too, in the night I preferred to be in the water than out due to the setting sun taking the warmth with it. 

I will have spent 5 nights here. Every night I ended up sleeping on the beach. Not a bad way to sleep… In the dunes of the sand or in a little rocky cove tucked away… Waling with the rising sun. Spectacular sunrises here too. All across the horizon the colors changed and swirled until the sun burst over the hills beyond. But certainly not the most restful or comfortable. And it gets cold at night. 

Day 2… I wandered up and down Paetto beach. Tried to sleep since I hadn’t the night before but it was much too hot. I wandered up and down the streets of Cagliari. An interesting town. Lots of windy streets and fancy restaurants and souvineers shops. You can walk up and up and get a superb view of the town and surroundings and the sea. But I wasn’t feeling the best vibes from people, though I had heard happy people reside here. I tried to link up with a few CouchsurfErs but from the tone of their messaging they were not necessarily offering their couch, but their bed, next to them. I politely declined, saying I’d rather sleep on the beach. And so I did. I also discovered that the hostel will hold your bags for you for 3 euro a night, which was super helpful since I didn’t want to carry it anymore. 

Day 3-4 I met up with a CouchsurfEr after messaging him and asking if he could tell me a beautiful beach to sleep on. He decided to come along and show me. Perfect!! We spent the morning touring a few of the local beaches. Emerald waters. Pure white sand. Tons of dark, leathery skinned people laying under their umbrellas. 

We went to his house. He lived with his parents and his younger sister. I hear it’s a thing here.. In Sardinia I think… To continue to live with your parents into your 30s. His house was huge and gorgeous. Short four minute walk to a perfect beach. I was in awe. His mom cooked an amazing homemade pasta meal which I tried hard notto stuff my face with. I was hungry and it was delicious. His mom said she had seen it in a cooking show but could never find the recipe… But she was pro that at least she got the colors in the sauce right

After stocking up on wine, bread, cheese and pesto (all of my favorite things 😍) we got on a bus that took us to the end of the line.. 5km down the road. 

The next part was my absolute favorite. We got to hitchhike!! It only took about 20 minutes of sticking out our thumbs to get a ride. A lime green car with just the shell, no real doors or roof. It was perfect. My friend and the driver, a sweet old man in a polo shirt and khakis, chatted the whole way. I stared in awe at the coastline. Every turn resulted in a spectacular view. I wanted to stop and jump in. It just got more and more beautiful. There were cacti and Palm trees all over. It looked like the desert. The coastline reminded me vaguely of the drive from Monterey, CA to Los Angeles, CA.. But instead of waves crashing, there were all the colors of blue and green. You could see all the rocks on the bottom, even when we were way high up on the road. 

Our first stop was my favorite beach ever, Mari Pintau. Wow. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing! It was like all those pictures.. those calendars.. The water was the most amazing color of blue. Like a pool. So crystal clear. I walked out and twirled around and wiggles my toes. You could see everything, even if you were up to your shoulders… And swimming where my toes could reach, you could still see the bottom. The fish below. It was transparent. It was wow. 

After getting my full of swimming there, I grew anxious to keep moving. 

We got another ride with a young couple in an RV. They were on vacation from mainland Italy and decided to take the girl’s parents RV so they didn’t have to pay for a sleeping place. Once again my friend chatted with them while we woke up and down the road, tight s curves surrounded by cacti. With rolling mountainous hills on one side and cliffs beaches with little coves and beaches on the other.

We got dropped off in Villasimius and were told we could reach the beach just 5km walking down the road. No problem. The sun was beating down. I loved it, but craved a beer or gelato or nice cold glass of white wine. The sun, as hot as it was, was beginning to set sowe quickened our pace, finally making it to one of the many beaches in the area, Spiaggia del Riso. It was a beautiful little cove with a row of sailboats separating our cove and the sea. It was getting dark so I couldn’t exactly see the clearness of the water but decided it would be a wonderful surprise for the morning. We opened our wine and dove into our dinner. The sunset was gorgeous. The stars came out. I always forget that sleeping under the stars means the sun is gone which means the warmth is gone and therefore I forget to bring warmer clothes. We ended up crashing at midnight and since the sun rose behind cliff behind us, we got to sleep in a bit longer than usual (8am). Restless, cold I kept waking up to admire the stars above. 

And I was finally able to see the sparkling waters  we slept by. The clear transparent water. How it sparkled in the Sun. I jumped in for a little wake up/polar bear swim (even tho polar bears would die of heat in this water) and we headed on to explore the rest of the beaches in the area. 

Porto Giunco. Timi Ami. Simius. Long stretches of beautiful sandy beaches, clear Aqua waters. Lots of people. Lots of large sun umbrellas. And, as with all the beaches too, the peddlers selling their wares. Walking around with 10 hats on their head to sell or a large cardboard square full of sunglassess. They liked to wander amongst the people lazying around and lean down into their spade and ask if anyone wanted anything. 

After stopping more than a few times for pictures and swims in the sea, we reached the town again. We could wait two hours until the bus came.. Or we could hitchhike. 

And we did. And caught a ride after 30 minutes in the hot sun. He was relaxing in the shadows, melting even there. I was out by the road throwing my thumb up for every car that drove by and flashing a friendly smile. He would occasionally shout ideas and advice and tips on hitchhiking. He was a pro. Tho he had never done it on his own island before, but certainly China and Japan. 

We got all kinds of looks. Some shrugged as they sped past. Some gestured that they were just about to get off just up the road. Some motioned that they were already full. Some waved. And some outright stated. Most avoided our gaze and looked the other way.

A beautiful white car pulled over. Two men got out. An older man and a younger man. The younger man had yellow pants with cherries on them and a bright yellow, orange and green patterned shirt. I remember I was impressed. The older man knew some English and was genuinely curious, asking me questions. They had thought I was alone hitchhiking since my friend was staying cool in the shadows, mostly hidden from view of the road. They gave him a bad time for having me be the one out in the sun trying to get a ride while he relaxed. They ended up taking us nearly all the way to my friends house where I got a much needed shower and scoured the Internet for inspiration on my next move. 

I wanted to go back to Napoli. My friend there was one of my favorites. I missed having a friend. I was lonely. The beaches are beautiful and lovely and all that, but it’s not as much fun when you are alone. And I was just about to leave my friend, since he lived with his parents it was too complicated to have me stay and I didn’t want to intrude on a whole family. Flights out were over 150 euros. The only ferry to Napoli was Monday night. I wanted to go the next day. I looked into ferries. They were overnight ferries. It left Cagliari at 8pm and Put me just outside if Rome at 7am. Perfect. 

Just one more night alone on the beach. I could do it. 

I went back to town for some wine and to catch a bus to Chia, supposedly there were some nice hedges there. Of course, I missed it. Daydreaming. I got a few messages from CouchsurfErs, some being too far away or out of town or doing the creepo talk.   

I went back to Paetto. Discouraged. I wandered until I found a bar that wasn’t so crowded, plugged in my phone and of course the Internet wouldn’t work. 

I was at my breaking point. 

Then I heard it. Outside on the patio there was some guitar music and a mans sweet voice lulling some Bob Marley. I took my beer outside to finish and ended up staying til 1 listening to them. I was the only one on the upper patio with these two guys singing and playing their hearts out. I was in heaven. I could actually sing along to the songs too 🙂 it was a perfect moment of the universe telling me I was where I needed to be.

Sleep came easy. I curled up in the dark and tucked my stuff between me and the wall. I was out like a light. 

Day 5… The next morning I went to check on the ferry. The boat for the night was full. That meant I had to wait one more night. Sunday night. My heart fell.  Once again I tried Couchsurfing but the Ones that responded were 4 hours by bus and the only bus was at 2:15 and I had to be Back to Cagliari the next day. Not worth it. Sadly I passed and told them it wouldn’t work.. 

And so now I’m on my way to Chia. For my last night on this beautiful, strange island. 

Then back to good ol Napoli. With my friend. Maybe this time I’ll find the catacombs. Or at least eat pizza… But drinking bottles of wine in the moonlight church steps and talking if anything and everything isn’t so bad at all. I’ll be happy with just that. Human connection is what I’m looking for. And laying around listening to music, mine then his… Sitting up on his terrace overlooking the kids playing street football…  

But for now I play in the waters and soak up some sun for how could one be sad surrounded by these waters 🙂


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