Off The Road: Guests Rave About Latest Sardinia Tour
“All the days, the nights, were soul satisfying.”
Recently, Colorado-based Ciclismo Classico alumni Lynea and and her husband Dan Schultz-Ela participated in a custom version of our Swept Away in Sardinia tour this Summer.
Three-time alumni travelers with Ciclismo Classico Lynea Schultz-Ela and her husband Dan travelled on our 2012 Bike Across Italy and 2014 Bike Across Southern Italy. Lynea, our 65-year old forever young alum, wrote in to glow about her recent bike tour in Sardinia with stellar guides Frank Yantorno and Dana Geraghty. Describing in great detail the thrills of riding through magical landscapes–all seeped in history and loads of local love–Lynea recounts a trip she raves is an absolute “experience of a lifetime.” As she so keenly puts it:
“Locals tell their stories and show us how they adhere to their heritage and enliven it with the diversity that is Sardinia; it is a cultural anthropology lesson in real time.” -Lynea Schultz-Ela
Here is Lynea’s story:
I wanted to write you a personal note to thank you and Frank and Dana for our Sardinia trip. It was exactly what we’d hoped for and was our best Ciclismo bicycle vacation ever. So, what did I love? So many things…. but there was the initial concern about my weird bike fit and wow, oh wow, I got a perfect bike fit even though we nicknamed my bike Frank’in’bike. That makes all the difference on the long days. Once I got over that hurdle and was confident in the bike—the rest of the trip just went by too fast (my only complaint). Every day presented new vistas, new unique micro climates and micro cultures. The hills were nothing to sneeze at, and were joyous in their rewards. The two days I was concerned about—6 and 8, with lots and lots of climbing were very manageable. Day 8 was indeed the most beautiful highway I’ve ever bicycled, just as promised. Of course, first was our unplanned detour caused by road construction that became the highlight for so many of our group——finding a private detour down a broken old road to an amazing in tack Roman bridge was pretty darn fun, unforgettable, and mesmerizing.
Then we set off through beautiful farmlands and then up the 19 mile climb on the ….was it the 125? I know you know the road I’m referring to.— challenging with rewarding vistas and of course well supplied frequent rest stops—my legs just kept churning. The top was glorious and of course, in the European way, there was a cafe/bar for sandwiches and beer and for a few of our crew a mirto. Then back on the bikes, around the bend, and the sea is on our sights. A 20 mile decent that was the most amazing gorgeous free as a bird decent I’ve every experienced. Did I say 20 miles?—it was really 20 miles—when do you ever get a 20 mile descent???
I’m so glad we made that next day our rest day, as Frank and Dana had ordered up a boat trip and we took off for a visit to 3 hidden beaches. Oh my….the sea was so cold, and the water so crystalline beautiful—you know, that blue turquoise reflection of the sky in clear water. White pebble beaches with cliffs to jump off and and colorful fish swimming about….and naps under umbrellas resting our weary bicycle legs. I did get in that cold crystalline water—how could I not—well, it was cold. But I LOVED it as every cell in my body felt like it was 5 years old, not 65. That is an experience I won’t forget!
The town of murals telling us the political trials of that area of the world, the old artist colony where we stayed and enjoyed yoga, and reading the stories of the artists who used to live there, the rain and mist that never deterred us on our first two days of bicycling, the amazing seafood presented every day with different inflections on flavors and spice, the two Sardinia grapes producing such regional unique flavors both red and white, and of course the Mirto which will never be forgotten—it’s a delicacy of Sardinia.
And finally the rich historical culture—I had read a lot before we traveled Sardinia so I had the basics, but to experience the Basque culture in Italy and to see and hear from the locals, the restaurants, and the bars (we are not afraid to ask and listen and to get translation from Frank and Dana when needed) tell their stories and show us how they adhere to their heritage and enliven it with the diversity that is Sardinia—it is a cultural anthropology lesson in real time.
Favorite places: Alghero, Fonni, Sante Maria Navarese, but really every single place we went to did not disappoint but only spurred our love of Italy.
One night we had a men’s “acappella” group sing for us the ancient hymns of the region. Such deep harmony and ancient rhythms and tones. And then the front desk manager came out and did some regional dance steps, along with Dana her prize student….I couldn’t resist getting a lesson myself the next morning—just fun, silly, happiness making, ALL. All the days, the nights, were soul satisfying.
Thank you Lauren, and the whole crew at Ciclismo, especially Frank and Dana. A trip of a lifetime!
Thank you Lynea for sharing your rich, delightful experiences with us! You surely are an inspiration to our future Sardinia guests!