So, rest assured, my DB and I had a good dose of désaccord. Nothing unusual there either. The last time we went on holiday he threatened to put me on the train home. I was already planning my weekend's partying (haha) when we rode on past the train station and our war of nerves abated.
Anyway, we spent the day riding around the Sardinian countryside. We left St Teresa in the rain and headed for one of the most beautiful parts of the island, the Costa Smeralda. The rain did not do it justice, frankly.
|Costa Smeralda in the rain|
|A Costa Smeralda posh hotel in distance|
|Poltu Quatu marina|
|Poltu Quatu in the sun|
From the east coast, we drove across island to the west coast. It was raining so all I noticed was that it was hilly and green. I also noticed my left boot had split at the seam and hoped it wouldn't rain too hard or too much! Luckily the sun came out after lunch so my boots dried out as we rode along. I hadn't taken along spare shoes for lack of space that I needed for my Kindle and my netbook (priorities!) so that was a relief!
On the west coast, we went to visit Costa Paradisio - who could resist with such a name? It's a private holiday village but out of season they weren't checking who went in so we rode down to the sea and found a lovely little rocky inlet of vibrant orange granite where someone was diving for sea urchins.
|Costa Paradisio, click to see sea urchin diver|
|Bucket of sea urchins to be sold to restaurants probably.|
|Costa Paradisio red rocks|
It was time to head to our next lodging which we had chosen off the internet. There weren't many hotels around so I had found a place in the guide book Petit Futé which recommended staying on a farm, called 'Agriturismo', basically a rural chambre d'hotes. La Cerra provided bed and breakfast and dinner as they were miles from anywhere, all for €110 for two.
When we arrived, my DB was not sure he was going to like it, especially when he heard there was no wifi except in the evenings when the daughter had finished 'working' with it and relinquished the 'cube' to her father. What we should have done at that point was leave and find a hotel in the nearest town, but, unaware of our impending doom, I said brightly that it might be a bit basic, but it looked fine. The views were lovely from the outbuilding which had been converted into a row of 5 rooms.
|View from the terrace in front of the rooms|
I was expecting a good dinner as they had said there would be many courses. Dinner was served in a building a hundred metres or so from the bedrooms. My DB had a torch, luckily, or we would never have found our way back in the pitch black. There was no choice about what to eat (cue muttering from my DB who asked me if it would be vegetarian... haha some hope!). First we had a ham and mixed veg in cream cheese on a sort of dryish brioche. Not a good start. Then came a dish with that long wide pasta which was served with a courgette and mint sauce which was nice enough. Then we had the main course of home-reared veal chunks in a gravy with broad beans. It was very tasty actually, the meat was delicious. For dessert we were offered either an orange or an apple or a slice of ricotta cheese with a dark boiled honey sauce. Wanting something more exotic than a piece of fruit, I had the ricotta which was also nice enough; the honey was very rich and contrasted well with the cheese. We drank the only wine provided which was a red plonkino, drinkable but nothing more, and we were offered a glass of grappa or myrtille liqueur. My DB was generally not impressed and reckoned it was not worth the money.
Worse was to come because there were not enough blankets on the bed and the night was very cold. The bathroom had neither soap nor hair dryer so it was pretty basic too. Breakfast was taken at the long matey table (with chairs) - breakfast rolls, home-made jam, and very waxy honey. I was surrounded by the Germans who talked about football apparently. The final aggravating factor was that the guy didn't take credit cards but accepted cash or a bank transfer. One doesn't necessarily travel with one's internet banking information, and my DB was extremely annoyed at having to battle with the crappy internet connection to try and make the transfer. Even the coffee was bad as it wasn't made with an espresso machine, but one of those Turkish coffee boilers. He was all for doing a bunk in fact!
It took a few hours of riding in beautiful scenery until nearly lunch time for us to shake off the grumpy feelings. He felt that we'd been ripped off and that the place really wasn't worth the money which it probably wasn't. I suggested that it was, however, good to experience the variety on offer in a place, and that now he'd seen agriturismo (and developed a strong aversion to it) we didn't need to try it again, and he'd be grateful for whatever came next.
Always look on the bright side, I say (cue muttering and heavy shrugging).