Rare quality time with family
I originally went to Sardinia to meet my little sister Kaisu and her husband, who were traveling there in their truck home. They’ve also built an absolutely insane traditional wooden sauna in their travel home! I was in Spain and it was a 13-hour ferry trip from Barcelona to Sardinia, so off we sailed! Sardinia had been on my bucket list for a long time, because I had heard that it was more peaceful than other parts of Italy, where I haven’t enjoyed myself, struggling to find bush parks quiet enough for my hermit needs. Perhaps the most memorable experience of this trip was going to sauna by the sea in Kaisu and Tomi’s mobile home, and driving on top of the mountain on a silent electric motorbike.
There are lot of pictures, you can navigate them also by swiping and using the arrow keys on the keyboard.
Sardinia had a really strong ancient and peaceful energy
The island is absolutely full of thousands of years old dwellings and temples built of stones. I was really surprised and positively shocked how peaceful it was on the island. Why had I never been told about this paradise island?! The mountains were perhaps not quite as majestic as in Spain, but a mountain is a mountain! It was also wonderfully green and more foresty. There were waterfalls, caves, dunes and crystal clear sea beaches with white sands. Taking sand from the beaches is illegal and you can get a fine of thousands of euros for packing sand as a souvenir.
The only downside I found in Sardinia was that it was really hard to get rid of your trash, as there were hardly any public trash collection points. I mostly had to burn my trash! But Finland has actually had the same problem, I’m just used to the fact that in Spain there are huge mixed waste bins everywhere and it’s not a crime to throw your rubbish into them..
Most of the time I was wondering where are all the people?
I haven’t found such peace anywhere so easily, not even in Finland. Most of the tourists head to the sunny beaches, and it was more the rule than exception that inland in the mountains you were totally alone. I didn’t see ANY camper vans inland. Wild camping wasn’t a problem either, the landowners gave a warm welcome and some even brought gifts, such as homemade wine and adviced where to find spring water.
Meetings in middle of nowhere
Almost the only sign of life was the easy-going shepherd dudes who came maybe once a day to check on their animals – free grazing goats, cows, sheep and horses too. I also received a gift from one of the goat herders, nice deer antlers that he had found on the mountain. I went to the seaside a couple of times too, but it’s just not my thing to be around people, especially with this pack. Why be among crowds when there’s such luxurious peace just behind the corner, all to yourself?
An ex parachutist gone cow herder
One 70-year-old shepherd told how his family had moved to the city and he didn’t settle there and now lived alone in the countryside. And how he’d been a pilot in the army as a young man and jumped with a parachute. And how his daughter was a police officer, who also traveled in a camper van, but always stayed overnight in supervised campsites, and was horrified that I wasn’t afraid to be alone in the middle of nowhere. And that I should find a husband. To which I replied “donna independente.”
He also wanted to exchange phone numbers, I honestly think to just come save me if in trouble as a single woman. And he also immediately called his daughter and told her that he had met me and told me my whole life story as well. No one spoke a word of English in the countryside, so we communicated with the help of Google Translator. Sardinian’s are really genuine and friendly people, never once did I feel uncomfortable, which sometimes happens when meeting lonely men in the middle of nowhere. (Mostly they didn’t come to bother me unless I approached them myself.)
A dog found in a ditch joined our pack
Fortunately, I didn’t see any stray dogs but one, and of course it joined our pack.. I spotted a dog hiding in a ditch next to the road and after a while of coaxing I was able to catch it with the help of a noose I made from a leash. Accompanied by a little panic, I got Lila from the road to the safety of my van. The locals didn’t know whose dog it was, probably just one more unnecessary hunting dog that had been abandoned.
The life of hunting dogs in southern European countries is usually so awful. Most of the time they live in absolutely shocking conditions in concrete bunkers and small pens and only get to go outside during the hunting season once or twice a year. My van was already full, so for a month Lila traveled with us until I found a good home for her on the other side of the island. Lila also had a bad case of motion sickness which was very unpractical living in a van.
Sudden escape from the paradise island
I ended up spending 4 months on the island, most of the time I was alone as usual while Kaisu traveled back to Finland. In the end the terrible heat of over 40C forced us to flee to the familiar cool mountains of Northern Spain. For a week I was sweating in agony and could barely work, as both my brain and laptop were overheating.
Fortunately I found private lagoons where I could cool off. I wouldn’t have left otherwise, because a large part of the island remained unseen. I drove only about 10-30 minutes at a time and was already in an even more wonderful place. So if you enjoy the mountains, the sea, being alone, and friendly people, I recommend Sardinia! (Just not in summer).