Up – Canyons and Ridges

When Andrea from hikingsardinia.com  contacted me on twitter saying: “hey, why don’t you come with me on my next hike in Supramonte?” I was more than enthusiastic about it. So was my friend Matteo who is always up to something whether it is surf or offroad. So when we met for the first time at around 9 o’clock in the morning at the feet of Monte Corrasi in the Valle di Lanaittu we had the chance to know each other in the best possible way: by walking together.

First glimpse on the path that leads to the ancient world
First glimpse on the path that leads to the ancient world

But first let me show you where we were.

 

This is the area of Supramonte di Oliena and our meeting point was near a cave called Sa Oche e Su Bentu (The Voice and The Wind). The valley  that separates the mountain ridges is more than seven kilometers long offering a spectacular view as you slowly start climbing towards the top. On the right are the famous canyons of Tiscali and Su Gorropu (not visible form this side) whereas on the left Monte Corrasi reigns over the green fields.

Feeling small
Feeling small
Valle di Lanaittu
Valle di Lanaittu

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Cuile, mandra, cumbulas  – People actually lived here

As much as it seems impossible, people used to live here although the circumstances are extremely challenging. Shepherd had there flocks of goats and swines so they needed a place to keep them safe for the night and have a little hut for themselves too. In fact a cuile is a little hut made of stones and wood (usually juniper) that offers a dry place and some shelter when temperature falls rapidly in winter. Nowadays they do not belong to one person but freely used by local shepherds and hunters. But be extremely cautious as these carefully built structures are highly flammable so do not build a fire inside unless it is absolutely necessary and even in that case make sure the flames aren’t too high as many of these huts have been destroyed by careless tourists. And believe me, you don’t want to piss of the people who use and take care of them …

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Inside a cuile – only the most necessary things
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Local dispute of mantises about the rent
The cuili are different in size but almost all of them have 2 additional structures: one for the swine (cumbulas) and one for the goats (mandra)
The cuili are different in size but almost all of them have 2 additional structures: one for the swine (cumbulas) and one for the goats (mandra)
These trunks prevent any predator from getting inside and the goats from getting out
These trunks prevent any predator from getting inside and the goats from getting out

 

Steep ridges, canyons and the view

Once you get out of the bushy area the path (if you can call it by that name) becomes quite steep. Fortunately there is this longing to reach the top that makes you forget all the road you’ve done so far. And then again: thinking about the people who used to live and work here I’d have felt ridiculous complaining about the “fatigue”, wouldn’t you?

To be honest I could hardly wipe that stupid smile off my face while we were walking, could you???

Attack
Attack

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Once you reach the top you have a breathtaking 360 degree view on the surrounding land. In that moment you realize how lucky you are and how unique this moment is. I guess it is for everyone of us.

Andrea observing our way to the top
Andrea observing our way to the top

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Time to relax and take a good look around
Time to relax and take a good look around
Ask Matteo about it
Ask Matteo about it

 

When we started walking down the hill I was thinking: this was probably the most spectacular part of our day. In fact we’d been walking for about 3 hours to get to the top and the reward was remarkable. Hills, rocks, mountain ridges, canyons, valleys and slopes wherever you look and it seems they you are just on the top of it. I remember wondering whether there’s someone who knows them all. Seems impossible considering the vastness of the place.

Anyway I wasn’t expecting that our way back to the valley could reveal such amazing places. That is the true potential of Supramonte I think: it surprises you so often that once you run out of adjectives to express what see you learn to appreciate its beauty in absolute silence.

So let the pictures talk for a while!

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The canyon called Badde Pentumas
The canyon called Badde Pentumas

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A lightning found its target
A lightning found its target
Skulls with a view
Skulls with a view

 

What else can I say? If hiking or trekking is your thing you shouldn’t miss Supramonte. Be advised though: it might just change how you look at things forever!

PS.: I really do hope that I’ve managed to convince you to visit these stunning mountains, but if I were you I wouldn’t go alone as it’s extremely easy to get lost there. So gather some info before you get there or go with someone who knows the place.

I’ll be happy to answer your questions and your comments are more than welcome!

 

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