If we are all used to thinking of Sardinia for its beaches and calm waters, you should know that a horse trekking is a great way to discover the wild side of the island, especially on an off-season weekend where the summer heat is now dampened and temperatures are perfect for enjoying a day in the saddle. We land in Olbia, and with a rental car we reach, after about an hour Dorgali, the inland village near the most famous summer destination Cala Gonone. Here, in the Toloi area, Antonio and his uncle Mario await us, who in the weeks preceding this trek have studied the feasibility and stages. Quick and Nero are not in the skin and at a good trot we leave the town through the old tunnel, at the exit there is an incredible view of the sea. For about two hours we partially skirt the coast, along a slow track, the old via carbonaia, used to undertake commercial exchanges thanks to wagons pulled by strong oxen. We deviate inland, crossing the Ghivine Forest, to reach the place where we will stop for lunch. We arrive at the Su Ta Terra sheepfold, a circular building with a base in stone and a juniper roof: rudimentary but very effective and fascinating constructions. An elderly man still lives here, who welcomes us joyfully to the sound of a pig and cannonau … it doesn't happen every day to receive foreigners in these parts …. We get back on the saddle to go down to the sea: after a fairly demanding rocky descent where we have to lead the horses by hand, we arrive at Cala Luna … the spectacle of the sea at sunset is never taken for granted and we linger in the caves that open imposing in the rocky wall. At the refreshment point we load feed and hay for the horses and water them for a long time … until tomorrow we will find no more water in the rugged mountains. The steep ascent, which passes next to the scenic Lupiru arch, takes us to our night bivouac, the historic sheepfold of Bilia Mereu. We are almost 1000 meters high, we will need a fire and a warm sleeping bag for the night. The fold abandoned for decades, but still in perfect condition, where we spend the night, belonged to a shepherd who lived totally isolated from the world with his goats. The locals pass on the rumors of a man with a gigantic appearance and superhuman strength … perhaps the last of the giants ?. Legends, on the other hand, always have a basis of truthfulness … and Mario delights us with his stories until late at night .. We wake up with the first ray of sunshine that comes overwhelmingly through the door without doors facing east, coffee on the fire … you don't want to give up some comforts … and back on the saddle, continuing to follow the ancient coal road. We are amazed by the cleanliness of the undergrowth, carefully "pruned" by the many animals that we meet free along the way: goats, sheep, horses, pigs, cows .. including the striped one that we discover to be of an indigenous bloodline, very rare. We finally find water for the horses who recover quickly and leave at a brisk pace until they stop for lunch at a small accommodation facility, the Carta sheepfold, the first sign of civilization since we left. We hurry, the road is still long. The landscape changes, the pastures and waterways of the Baunei plateau take the place of the stony ground traveled up to here. We now have to face a few kilometers of paved road, La Orientale Sarda up to Irzulei but our horses behave impeccably, as always. On the way we stop at a bar for an ichnusa and some chat. Last effort until the evening stop, along a scenic road that takes us back to over 1000 meters, where a comfortable fence and abundant food awaits the horses … and for us another "zero impact" night :-p Upon awakening the the sky is gloomy, rain threatens and the wind is freezing but now nothing can intimidate us and with the fresh and well rested horses we head west and we reach the plateau where we admire the remains of the famous "tombs of the giants", nuragic buildings dating back dating back to about 1800 BC, and in the background the beautiful Monte San Giovanni Montenuovo. From here we slowly descend leading the horses by hand along a winding path, once again our fantastic travel companions do not contradict themselves, demonstrating a wisdom that speaks of a great ancestral bond with these lands. We ford the Fiumenedda river, cross the territory of the Forestry Authority, the Olai dam and we are almost at the end of our journey, we have in fact completed our "triangle" arriving near Orgosolo, sadly known in the past for banditry. In the early afternoon we reach the gallop, where we refresh ourselves waiting for the truck to load the horses to bring them back to Dorgali. Instead, we return by car, allowing ourselves a stop for a hot tea right in Orgosolo, now a town visited by tourists for its murals. Tired but happy in the car we fall asleep, so there is not much I can tell you on the road that takes us back to Dorgali but once we arrive Antonio's mother fills us with delicacies to bring a bit of Sardinia to Milan too .. .. Thanks: A special thanks goes to Antonio who made all this possible .. I'll tell you a secret, he seems gruff but in reality he is not, to Mario who is a sort of Rambo able to prepare lemon tea in the middle to nothing and who knows these places inside out .. I have to apologize to him for not having published his photos, but besides the rest he was also a photographer, to Quick who trusted me for 3 days, to Nero, who has endured Fausto and ate my portion of melon, to Moses, our outrider, able to go anywhere and in any case, to Pippinu, the old man of the group, that poor man did a tumble but came out unscathed, to mom and dad of Antonio, to his uncles, cousins and relatives who second them nea did their utmost to ensure that everything was successful. A heartfelt thanks to everyone !!

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If we are all used to thinking of Sardinia for its beaches and calm waters, you should know that a horse trekking is a great way to discover the wild side of the island, especially on an off-season weekend where the summer heat is now dampened and temperatures are perfect for enjoying a day in […]

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