I have to pinch myself sometimes, well often in fact as my life seems pretty good! I turned my back on the material things in life and have managed to replace them with experiences. And I think experiences and memories have far more worth than material wealth!
This is the brief story of one such experience in my life, with my wonderful lady Melissa :)
Aptly named for the start of our trip :)
Our convenient start location, literally the bottom of the hill from where we live!
On our way and passing the sheltered harbour of Portisco.
Entering Carla di Volpe, (Wolf Bay).
New ground for us as we pass the million pound homes of the super rich!
But luckily the Costa Smerelda also has areas of stunning beauty that are untouched by man.
The camping options were limited on our first day as we pass the super rich and super touristy, so we paddle late to reach the isolation of Isola di Bisce.
And finally reach it shores about 20 minutes after sunset.
Our fab camp on super springy grass was just what we needed after the long day before! It was an interesting night with many rodent visits. At one point I looked through the fly mesh of my tent to be face to face with a lovely rat who was stood on his hind legs leaning his front paws on the mesh :)
We were in no rush so had a lazy morning with swimming, eating and drinking tea before packing up to leave,
Just needed a few more images first!
From Isola di Bisce we did a short open crossing to Isola di Caprera and wow was it a beautiful place!
We found this perfect idyllic and sheltered bay at about 2pm and seriously considered stopping for the day!
Sadly we thought it was just far too early for setting camp so we pushed on around the north of the island.
Playing in and around the many beautiful rock formations;
that this place is known for.
And even spotting some of its wild inhabitants :)
By early evening we were getting a bit tired when I spotted this lovely bay hidden behind a narrow entrance. Perfect location and timing! The tent was coming out!
The following day we chose to paddle south between Isola di Caprera and La Maddalena. In fact we decided to do a figure of eight around these lovely islands.
The rock formations got weirder and more mysterious!
And the water got even blue'er.
We passed meadows of sea grass, a very important habitat for sealife but also a very fascinating plant too! The sea leaves huge quantities of this grass on the beaches that can be several feet thick! These deposits are left there as they are an ecosystem in their own right and wonderful for the small Earthlings that call this place home! The grass also gets tossed by the sea creating what the locals call Neptunes Balls, these can vary in size a lot with the largest being the size of a large fist. The roots are often seen floating on the sea or stranded on shore too but most interestingly is the fact that the grass fruits and you can see these floating on the surface around April time.
As we reach the south of La Maddlena the town of the same name comes into view and with it the boat traffic and ferrys making their way in and out!
We were soon past the hustle and bustle of the town as we didn't need any supplies, so we just kept paddling!
Very quickly the scenery returned to tranquility once more and the rock formations became a stunning playground to be explored.
The scene of the crime! Italians I find are rather rude when it comes to the concept of personal space! We were looking for a suitable lunch spot when we saw this rocky beach to rest on. We parked the kayaks as best we could on the tricky terrain and spread out our lunch and bits and bobs ready for a peaceful lunch when an Italian lady turned up and plonked here towel down within a metre of our lunch just so she could steal the shadey spot that we landed for! Its not the first time this has happened to us either! Maybe us brits are just too polite as we just moved a little?
Not far after the lunch incident we found ourselves the perfect camp again and I busied myself with the usual camp duties and collecting of firewood so that we can have the perfect evening :)
Day four and we were paddling around the North of La Maddalena. I had a booking enquiry very last minute so we were aiming to get back home within two days! This became a goal and fun challenge!
We were sticking toi our figure of eight route around the islands so we were soon back on the shores of Caparera and very beautiful it was too!
As is our habit we found yet another perfect lunch location and there was no chance of being disturbed unless invaded from the sea :)
From our lunch spot it all got very exciting indeed! We were paddling open seas in choppy conditions to reach our island camp for the night. If the conditions weren't enough to excite us then almost getting run over by a super yatch being pursued by a police helicopter certainly got our attention!
The yatch was travelling very fast and straight for us whilst we were far offshore! A police helicopter was circling it, often very low and hovering in front of it to try and stop it. We decided to paddle as fast as we could for the shore!!!
Luckily for us the yatch did alter coarse a little to pass behind us. We made it to shore and watch the action as the helicopter peeled off and was replaced with two police jet ski's and a rib that eventually got the super yatch to turn around. I was just glad we made it safely to the beach!
And what a beach! We were back on Isola di Bisce and set camp on a beach that we spotted on our first night. It was almost dark then when we had landed so we missed this beach, but this time we knew it was there!
Camplife. Feeling totally at peace and chilled out :)
Salty sea dog!
Wild onion me'thinks?
Fifth and final day and a long one at that as we prepare for the paddle back home. But we leave pretty early so we don't arrive in the dark like the first day when we did the route backwards!
Of course you need a helicopter for a boat this size! In fact there was another helicopter in the garage as well!
We may be heading back but the landscape is still captivating and continues to make the paddling very special!
Almost there. Familiar landmarks come into view and we can see that we're making good time too get home and prepare for work the following day! Oh, and that work is another five day camping trip, this time with clients. Guess that will be another wonderful experience to add to the tally :)
This really is a very special place to paddle so if you have some experience of sea kayaking why don't you get in touch and book a trip out to Tavolara. If your not experienced don't worry, we have many trips for novice kayakers too and you could use these trips as a stepping stone to building the experience you need to paddle to Tavolara with us!
Its easy to book and only €80 for a full day trip and flights are very cheap at the moment too, so get in touch at www.goseakayak.com
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