|We stopped for a picnic lunch as we'd arrived a bit early for our first afternoon visit. The sign said 3pm; we waited till 10 past and then climbed over the low wall. 10 mins or so later, a car pulled up at the entrance, and we waved, and walked back.
Clearly signposted from the 389 between Bitti and Budduso; there's a left turn (if heading north) a couple of km north of the junction to/from Nule and Benetutti. Then 3km on single track lane, but actually a reasonable road and signposted all the way.
The site is open 09:00-13:00 and 15:00-19:00 (Sundays 09:30-13:00 and 14:30-19:00) with 3 guided tours run in each half day. Entry is 3.10 euros for adults with various reductions available. The ticket office is the hut on the carpark; we signed the guest book and were lent a plan of and guide to the site. There'd only been one other visitor all day, and unsurprisingly, we had the place to ourselves for the afternoon.
The complex covers 7 hectares, in a beautiful, if rather windy, spot, with cork oaks and clearings with dappled sunlight. About 20 huts are visible, though there are over 100, and there are 3 temple buildings and a sacred well, each listed separately. The grid reference given for the whole site is that of the entrance to it.
Straight in front of you, the first thing you see is the sacred enclosure with a couple of small huts beyond it, and the megaron temples to the right; following the path ahead goes to the main part of the complex, with the rectangular temple and holy well. The other main features here are huts with niches and hearths, and low benches round their interior walls; one hut is unusual in that is has a central dividing wall, and there's also the "great hut" divided into rooms.
The first megaron temple is near the entrance and sacred enclosure. It has a vestibule and then the main room with an L shaped stone bench round 2 walls and a place for offerings. The back walls of the temple are extended, as we saw at Serra Orrios
, and the information boards show the structure originally with a steeply pitched roof.
Temple B is of the same construction as Megaron Temple A, and is a short walk up the path behind it. It's almost surrounded by cork oaks and is right next to a huge rocky outcrop.
The third temple at Romanzesu is different in that it's rectangular (you'd never guess from its name!) with its entrance half way along one of its longer sides. It's in the lower part of the site, in the trees to the right as you head towards the well.
Wow! Until visiting Santa Cristina
I'd not been to any holy wells anywhere, and much as that one had impressed me with its sharp lines, this just, well, words just about fail me to describe how stunning
this place is.
Check out the pictures!
The well itself is a tholos construction with steps up - to a long passage guarded by betili, with steps / seats to the left and a bank to the right with a path along the top - and leading on to the most spectactular amphitheatre with banked seating all the way round and a clearing beyond that.
Was water brought to the waiting "congregation", or was a journey made from the amphitheatre to the well? Which ever way, the passage had an electric sensation about it ....
By far, my favourite place of the trip. I could have spent hours here.
On the way out, we checked with the lady on duty about our next planned stop, and she confirmed that it would be easy enough to find the tombas we were looking for.
Narrowly avoiding a man riding biggest donkey I've ever seen on the lane out, we went back to the main road and headed north once more, on completely deserted roads, for just over 8km. It felt like no one had been through the area in months. We parked under the shade of a copse of trees to check out what would be the last site group of the holiday:
On the 389 from Bitti to Budduso, you can't, and indeed shouldn't, miss this one.
The site has good information boards and the section further from the road has stone tables and benches, ideal for a picnic.
There's the remains of round huts around the nuraghe, the nuraghe itself - stunning! - and two tombas to be found here.
By this point in our trip, we were fairly well "nuraghe'd out" and had ignored many over the previous few days. They are everywhere! But this is a curious construction.
It's built into a rocky outcrop, and there's a side entrance to a cave underneath.
The main entrance leads to stairs winding round to the right, and reaching the first floor level above the doorway. A second flight goes up to the top, and a passage way ahead leads to a room with two niches in the wall, and then a very impressive second flight of stairs back down again - leading currently nowhere, but possibly a way into the now inaccessible main chamber of the nuraghe.
Climbing to the top gives a great view of the rest of the settlement, and the cows grazing in the field.
is at a cross roads; diagonally opposite it, right up against the (minor) road, you'll find the first tomba di gigante associated with the settlement here.
It's a tiny little one! Yet impressive. The esedra consists now of 5 stones, pale at the bottom and grey at the top, with a distinct bench along the front as we'd seen at many of sites.
The corridor leads back towards the road, its inner edges well defined but the outer part of the tomb only really visible on its right hand side.
A car screeched to a halt beside us, the occupants calling out - Beardy shrugged and called "Inglese" to which they responded "want to buy some cheese?" Local farmers touting for business!
From Loelle I
, there's a track into the woods with a series of stones set upright to mark the way. It's 215 paces to the second tomb - the grid reference might by slightly off, but the path takes you there. It's hidden in the trees, and is difficult to photograph!
You approach the rear of the tomb first, but round the front it's possible to make out at least the left hand wing of the esedra. The corridor is clearly defined with an end stone in place.
By this point, we'd passed most of the places I'd earmarked as potential overnight stops and the day was drawing on, so we opted to drive to the north east, past numerous domus de janus signs round bustling Budduso, and returned to the Riva Azzura in Cannigione (where we'd stayed the previous year) to relax for the remainder of the week, sitting in bars and cafes, watching the world go by, and the European Porsche Owners Club parading their gas guzzlers up the coast.
Just over 1000km on the hire car, no dents and fortunately no nasty noises this time .....
I'm already plotting a third visit to this fascinating island - we've hardly seen anything in the north west, and could easily spend a fortnight in the central area around Abbasanta and Macomer - and I haven't even started researching the south yet.