|We decided, after the long drive of the day before, to stay relatively local, and headed towards the town of Tempio, to continue from where we'd left off at the end of our first day out - Pascaredda.
On the SS127 about 5km east of Tempio, and directly opposite a sign "Nuchis 1", is the signposted turn to Pascaredda. Follow the track over the unmaned railway crossing and keep to the left fork as signposted. About 800m from the main road, there's a large parking area, but we took the sharp right turn before it, and parked 250m or so further on, just before the riverlet mentioned in TME (OK for small cars, and there's space to turn round just past the stream).
Free and open access.
We strolled up the path, with buzzing of thousands of insects filling our ears and butterflies and dragonflies flitting around, over the bridge and to the rear of the tomb.
A stunning spot! The trees are cork oaks and had had their bark stripped for the autumn harvest. Of the stele, only the bottom half is left; the 10 slabs on either side mark out the esedra, and a missing capstone lets you climb into the funeral corridor itself, and the sides of the corridor are buried with the earth bank rather than being exposed stone as we'd seen at other sites.
Again the granite had a pink tinge as we'd seen at Coddu Vecchiu
and at the back of the funeral corridor, there's a shelf, as we'd seen at Li Lolghi
The rickety bridge on the way has been replaced ...
Our notes mentioned the nearby Nuraghe Agnu
and Fonte Nuragica Li Paladini,
but with dodgy directions and no images at the time to help us locate them, we didn't reckon much to our chances, so continued on.
Next, we went east, through Tempio - with a brief stop to be checked by the police at the roadside, and reminded to use lights in urban areas at any time of day (fortunately by this point we knew where the light controls were and could oblige) - and to the north out of town following signposts for Nuraghe Majori and its stunning views over the area.
On the SS133 about 2km north of Tempio.
There's a large car park on the main road by the signpost, though it is possible to drive up the track and park at the site itself.
There's a cafe and toilets (50 cent coin required, with proper disabled facilites), and slides and a roundabout for kids. The walk from the ticket hut (tickets 2½ euros each including an information leaflet and loan of a big torch!) has been thoughtfully laid out as a nature trail with the plants labelled, and wide steps or a gentle slope to reach the nuraghe itself.
It's set on a granite outcrop, and shows both styles of nuraghe building - the corridor and tholos.
Through the ESE orientated entrance into the corridor, there are tholos rooms on either side. Both are dark, but we'd been loaned a powerful torch, and there was another one left just inside the entrance (which has an impressive lintel); the room to the left has a niche, and we found a colony of bats resting there.
Along the corridor and up some stairs takes you to a semi circular room open to the sky, with further stairs to the left leading up to the terrace level, where there's the remains of another room, with storage silo, and fantastic views where you can spot if you know where to look many other nuraghe in the locality.
We shared some jokes, a drink and some cigarettes with a charming older German speaking couple visiting at the same time and then taking a break in the basic cafe, and then set off northwards towards Santa Teresa di Gallura, and a lunchtime snack overlooking the most glorious beach, the Rena Bianca.
On the way into town, I'd spotted a "tomba di gigante" sign and we headed that way, to the west of town in the direction of Capo Testa.
This site is signposted off the SP90 from Santa Teresa to Capo Testa, with a left turn taking you away from the cape into the Santa Reparata area. Down the winding road, and then at the cross roads you are directed to the left - then a T head with no signpost. We went right initially, and rather than wander aimlessly, I pulled up and used one of my stock phrases I know I need to learn any language.
"Scusi, io non parlo Italiano. Dove è la tomba di gigante, per favore?"
Hand gestures and the phrase "non-asphalto" informed us that we need to turn round as we should have gone left, and up the hill, and then taken the track to the site.
We did this, and 180 metres or so from the main road, we looked at the left fork we should take, and decided to park and walk - of course seeing a few cars stopped further down the bumpy and sandy track. Just over 400 metres later, we spotted the concrete roof of some strange building on the left, and took a track to the right towards the tomba.
Free and open access to the area - no facilities.
The tomba reminded me, mainly due to its state of preservation, of Moru
, the first one we'd visited. There's no stele, and no capstones; the tallest stone, at the entrance to the funeral corridor, is probably no more than 60cm high. But it does give a really good idea of the foundations and structure of a tomba.
There's a post and rail fence around it, but gates are provided.
Recalling my research notes - which were minimal for this site as I'd only come across it when trying to find an image of a different tomba a few days before we set off, and stumbled into an online gallery
and realised it was not far from our base - I headed away from the rear of the tomba to a path up towards the peak, shown with an arrow in one of the photos, and coming across an info board about excavations, I knew I was on the right track, and shouted to Beardy, who was still mooching about at the tomba, to follow.
The path from the tomba leads you into a wooded area - and then all of a sudden, there's the village.
A collection of recently excavated huts, with some impressive sizeable chunks of stone being used in their construction, are on the lower part of the slope, and climbing further up, we found a tower - now know to be the southerly one of two.
Climbing higher up the outcrop, to the left of it if looking from the tomba below, I spotted some construction hidden behind bushes just as you climb up a solid piece of rock to the peak - and the stunning view
and sure enough we squeezed through yet more mirtle bushes to find a nuraghe.
It's well hidden in the greenery at the top of the outcrop overlooking the village and tomba. So well hidden, you can barely make it out. But peering through the bushes, you can see bits of its walls, and right on the top of the peak, climbing through the undergrowth, we found a way into the short-due-to-landslides corridor of the nuraghe.
A fantastic site - I'd seen the book (link to Italian version supplied) at a couple of the sites we'd visited earlier in the week, but never in English.
With the afternoon drawing on, we decided to head towards home, but with just one more planned stop on the way.
On the SS133 from Palau, about 3km west of the town and about 1.5km from the junction of the SS133 and SP123, there's a turn down the side of the Vecchia Gallura restaurant signposted "zona archeologica".
TME mentions a sign to "Tomba di Gigante S'Aiacciu" which later turns into a sign for "Li Mizzani" - these are in fact two separate tombas. See http://www.palau.it/tombe.html.
To get to Li Mizzani, it's about 4km from the main road - take the left fork as signposted, and go uphill, then downhill, then uphill again - carefully! It's narrow and winding, and precipitous in places, and you'll be needing first gear!
Eventually we found the sign to the right to the tomba, and parked there to walk down the slope and through the gate, to the left away from the church, and through another gate - where we found quite a few parked cars. It's about 350 metres in total from the signpost to the tomba.
Through a small gate, then to the left a few paces .... well, we obviously weren't going to get the place to ourselves, as we'd had at many of our other stops, but we weren't expecting it to be quite so busy!
Maybe a Saturday thing, maybe an equinox thing, maybe just local custom ...
There were a couple of people laid out on one side of the funeral corridor, one laid in the corridor itself with his head through the portal in the stele, and people sat either side of the stele; as more people arrived, they formed a queue sat on the bench seat around the esedra.
Someone asked if I wanted to join the queue - but I just wanted to take photos and wasn't entirely sure what was going on. Beardy meanwhile sat quietly right at the far side of the esedra. Every so often, the person under the portal would move on, and the next in the queue would take their place - all had come prepared with roll mats or doss bags to lie on.
Beardy was convinced the lady sat waiting was giving him the evil eye and, being unable to check out the tomb properly, we didn't stay over long. A strange experience - still, interesting to see the site being used for something
Back downhill, uphill and downhill, we took the other fork to look for the other tomba, but unsure how far we had to go on a rough road, we decided to leave it, with plans to return another day, and hopefully see Li Mizzani again too.
So, back along the coast road home, with a Sunday of relaxation to look forward to, and to work out where else we could visit during the holiday.
Posted by sals
6th October 2007ce
Edited 6th October 2007ce
sals's TMA Blog
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