So here we are back again in Supramonte in the middle of the breathtaking mountain ranges of the east coast regional area called Ogliastra. This time though the five of us have come with a very specific plan: completing the spectacular trek called Selvaggio Blu. The name might sound familiar from my previous post when I had the chance to put my feet on the very first part of the path.
There are as many ways to do this trek as there are types of hikers: the whole trip lasts one week but you can choose to face the entire walk carrying almost everything you need (which means a heavy – about 17/18 kilos – rucksack, including water and food) or you may opt for a lighter version including a couple of days walk and a definitely lighter backpack as daily supplies are at your disposal whenever you reach a meeting point.
Our friends Angelo, Jacopo and Pietro chose to set off from Pedra Longa and arrive at Cala Sisine whereas me and my friend Tore joined them after a couple of days to share this experience which won’t be easily forgotten. Cancel easily… we won’t ever forget it! This is how it went down!
Day 1 (afternoon) Su porteddu (Cala Goloritzè) – Bacu Boladina
First of all let me give you a piece of advice: if you choose to start walking from Cala Goloritzè but you don’t know where to leave your car Su Porteddu is and ideal starting point not only because it is a very cosy gastropub in the middle of the mountains but it also has a huge parking lot and a camping place too (and let me tell you that their sandwiches and pints have saved my life a couple of times!)
What I find extraordinary about walking in this magnificent range of mountains is that it takes me only a few hours to get used to being there. I mean – let’s be honest – having a damn heavy rucksack on your shoulders and balancing yourself on a juniper trunk just to be able to start climbing a rock is not something that is a part of your daily routine. Nevertheless once I’m there it really has a hold on me right from the beginning.
As for the backpack: I think that a 60l is the best choice if you decide – like we did – to carry all your stuff with you including helmets and the gear for abseiling. As we decided not to take tents to this trip having a tarp (to have a clear area to lie on) an inflatable mattress for trekking and obviously a sleeping bag (min 15 degrees) are absolutely necessary.
Day 2 Serra e Lattone – Sentiero di Pentrosu – Bacu Mudaloru – Bruncu e Urele – Grotta 5 stelle
Day 2 brought us to the highlands above the coastline. Selvaggio Blu has this magic fusion between mountains and sea. Thanks to their constant presence you never get bored and walking is not only about overcoming the miles ahead and proving yourself that you are capable of doing it but most importantly a genuine feeling of amazement as you walk by countless canyons and the bluest sea at your feet (well probably a few hundred meters below your feet actually)
Bacu Mudaloru is a traditional stop on Selvaggio Blu but our friend Pietro decided to take a little detour showing us one of the most picturesque abseiling site of our trip. It is called Su Feilau and it is the star of many hikers in the area as it descends right on the rocks above the sea.
I will leave it to your imagination what it means to have a bath in the crystal clear (and slightly freezing) water of this little bay after a couple of days walk. Probably what makes this trek truly unique is the possibility to reach the sea for a bath almost every day – and let me tell you it is more than refreshing to jump into the sea and swim for a while under the imposing cliffs of the coastline. What is more there is even a huge cave where you can enjoy your meal in the shade.
Now a few words about food and supplies in general. There are some crazy people (and respectable at the same time) who decide to make the whole journey without being assisted which means they carry all the food and water they can for one week. But normally people prefer to have a daily ‘refill’ of water and food. That means water (at least 4 litres a day) and mostly dehydrated food and following local traditions, sausage and cheese (apart from dried fruit and occasionally vitamin supplements, coffee and spianate – traditional Sardinian bread – and nutella).
These goods are delivered on daily basis usually by suppliers via rubber dinghies or off-road vehicles. I can personally recommend Explorando Supramonte as they brought us our supplies every day exactly the way we asked them to. And believe me when you are out there knowing that you can count on them is a reassuring feeling.
Day 3 – Grotta 5 stelle – Ololbissi (Baunei/Guardia Medica) – Piddi
After a killing ascent from the lovely Cala Mudaloru we spent the night in the famous caves called 5 stelle (five stars) indicating the size of this grotto. You can even find some water in the caves which is a huge gift from the sky as you don’t have to use your own water supply to wash your face or your mess tin.
I remember that night I was really hot as I completely underestimated night temperatures. Fact is that I had a sleeping bag for 0 – 5 degrees while nights were actually quite mild with 14 – 15 degrees at dawn!!!
Do you remember my problem with my sleeping bag? Well, as a consequence I decided to take off a tiny bit of it as I was sweating all the time at night. That’s when I got stung by those annoying insects called pappatacci (sandflies) and unfortunately by scratching my skin inadvertently I got some infection. But I got lucky on the other hand as it was the day of our supplies so I was given a ride to the village of Baunei where I was cured with some cortisone and antibiotics. Man, I was a bit afraid to be told that I couldn’t go on with our trip for some reason but it went well as a couple of hours later I was back again with the others. So next time I definitely won’t leave without any cortisone (Bentelan) and proper insect repellent. Why was I worried? This is what I would have missed on our last day:
Day 4 Piddi – Bosco di Birila e Sisine – Punta Plummare – Sos santisceddos – Cala Sisine
Piddi is a magnificent spot along the path of Selvaggio Blu. The view at dusk is truly breathtaking as the whole coastline is in front of your eyes while the sun rises slowly from the sea. No words needed. The five of us were just silently gazing at the sun as a new day shone upon us in the middle of this wonderland.
One last thing: this is my personal sort of photo diary with some (hopefully) useful advice about Selvaggio Blu. Let’s not forget the fact that we had our expert friend and guide all along the way and a very reliable assistance for our supplies. This article would like to show you how amazing and unique this trek is but you can certainly find more accurate descriptions if you are planning to do it yourself. I would recommend you to contact a local guide for your trip (at least for the first time) however I found very interesting and useful reading these books prior to Selvaggio Blu as they contain a proper description of the path and GPS coordinates too (unfortunately some of them only in Italian):
- Mario Verin: Il libro di Selvaggio Blu (plus map)
- Corrado Conca: Il sentiero Selvaggio Blu
- Aldo Nieddu: Andalas e caminus (paths in the mountain range of Supramonte)
There is so much more to see and to say about this amazing trip but you are going to have to see it for yourselves as nothing would make it more enjoyable than actually looking at it with your own eyes and touching it with your own hands. It’s up to you whether you prefer a couple of days or an entire week as you probably can’t get enough of it…