The day started with a freewheel through the streets of Arbus before settling onto the SS-126 as we headed back towards the coast.
The route began to undulate, but the view of Mt Linas 1236m was a good distraction. There was a significant grunt up to Passo Bidderi at 492m before a wonderful long descent.
We then followed a quiet lane to the coast at Portixeddu. The coast from here to Saint Antioco is marvellous. High cliffs alternate with white beaches with that Mediterranean clear blue water.
At Buggeru there is a 3km long beach of golden sand backed by dunes covered with Junipers oaks and domestic pines.
Our next port of call was Cala Domestica. Here is a little bit of Cornwall – without the traffic and the crowds. Like Cornwall, mineral mining has been important here for centuries. Minerals from the local mining industries were exported from here until the 1940’s. The port even had its own electric railway, the only one of its kind in 1905.
From sea level there was another long uphill effort – it even had its own 10% gradient sign! After 400m of elevation gained we enjoyed a lovely swoopy descent to Mansua. The magnificent rock of Pan di Zucchero which at 133m is the highest in Europe.
The limestone cliffs here rise to 140 m
Inevitably another long hill had to be climbed to the mining hamlet of Nebida, (Torrential rain here) before another lovely descent to another wonderful beach at Fontanamare. The view of the long white beach, deserted, with gentle surf rolling in was wonderful. This wide beach has alternating fine and coarse grained sand and is backed by dunes where there are the ruins
of a mining harbour dating back to the 19th century.
All that remained were 10 easy kilometres to Gonessa where we were staying overnight.
Another great days touring SW Sardinia with 65km and 1081m of elevation.