What if her name was Isabella???!?!?!

Trip Start Jul 15, 2006
Trip End Oct 21, 2006

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Flag of Italy  ,
Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Ants in the bathroom! All over! Disgusting!!! Scuzzy, scummy showers. A dirty place. One of the worst hostels I've been to. I ended up overpaying for the hostel - I paid an on-line deposit of 3.2 euro for 2 nights (1.6 per night). I canceled the 2nd night. Technically, I should get a 1.6 euro credit towards the first night still, but no ... cheap bastards!

Forgot my bag with my lunch in it on the counter when I checked out of the hostel. Damn! I am losing my mind. Going to pay an extra 6 euro to take a tourist bus from Alghero airport to Santa Teresa di Gallura. Because of the local bus schedules, this will get me there faster. I won't get to see Sassari (where I would have changed buses) but it only would have been an hour or so anyway. Can't say that I am overly disappointed.

There is supposed to be a strong Catalan influence here in Alghero. I think I heard some being spoken at the bus stop. Bugs are hovering around like crazy here ... I should make like a whale with plankton - run around with my mouth open, trying to fill up on protein!

Almost fell on the bus to the Alghero airport. The drivers here always brake very gently and then slam on them at the very end. He caught me just as I was taking off my backpack and was off-balance. The bus was quite empty - surprising - I thought that it would be packed with people trying to escape this boring craphole!

Did a little trip planning this morning. I won't be doing Amsterdam after all - it's too much for the train ticket. I think I'll be spending 5-6 days in Switzerland, then Paris, then London.

Got to the airport - nice little place, looks quite new. It's becoming quite popular amongst tourists, though I'm not sure why. Hopped on the bus to Santa Teresa. They have a little espresso machine but it wasn't in use today. Good money maker! I also saw a snack bar a few days ago in Palermo on one of the hop-on hop-off tour buses. Brilliant idea!

I was the only guy on board the bus. Did lots of thinking today and trip reflection. I summed up the highs/lows, the things I'll miss and won't miss, and some other random thoughts. It's amazing how much I have done and seen over the past few months.

Also thought about Sardinia. I had a bad feeling about Sardinia just before arriving. Perhaps this influenced my feelings towards Sardinia? Probably not ... it really has been quite boring, so far.

I just remembered something - I was talking to a travel agent in Alghero yesterday, and I was feeling quite unsettled afterward. Something about her was very unique ... very pretty, but it was something else. I asked her if she spoke English and she replied "only a little". So I attempted to speak in Italian and asked her about ferries to mainland Italy. She was a little surprised and said "Oh, your Italian is very good!". Her voice ... I just realized that it was similar to Isabel's! Damn! Maybe she is named Isabella, and is the Italian equivalent!!! Guess I'll have to trek all the way back to Sardinia next year ....

Got to Santa Teresa - I am beginning to dread showing up in towns without a map and only directions from LG. I followed signs to the hotel and made out OK. Spiaggia Rena Bianca - a beautiful spot with sand!!! Apparently Capo Testa is much nicer, but why bother? I was happy with this beach and more than happy to stretch out for awhile.

I really enjoyed the sun, sand, and surf today. If I don't go to La Maddalena tomorrow, this will be the last beach of my trip. It's great here - finally, I have arrived in Sardinia!!! I saw many gelatinous blobs on the beach - turns out they were jellyfish. Guys were catching them with nets, seemingly only to kill them. They were everywhere in the water. One guy was playing a twisted game of hockey with them, flicking them up the sand with a stick so that they were above the waterline. When he couldn't do it, he just stabbed them with the stick and flung them over. Bizarre.

The water is quite cold here ... I am farther north now and the summer is pretty much over. Nooooooooooooo!!!! The water is quite rough here despite being in a cove framed by rocky cliffs. Lots of people were body-surfing. You can see Corsica off in the distance. I didn't have the time or money for it this year, but maybe next!!!

After the beach, I showered and then walked. Took some nice pics along the way. Used the Internet to purchase my ferry ticket - I think I somehow got a local discount, because you can only book in Italian. The price ended up being quite a bit lower than I expected.

I also booked a hostel for Rome. The form asked for my sex ... "mixed" was a choice. Is this the category for trannies and hermaphrodites? Only in Rome! After, I walked some more. There is a nice (and fairly lively) piazza here. Off to dinner. High-tech order entry system - the waiter was carrying a palm pilot-like device.

Had a mixed salad. The usual veggies topped with olive oil and some really excellent balsamic vinegar. House tagliatelle ... wow!!! Homemade pasta with an excellent texture, mixed with clams (awesome natural flavour), fish eggs, and tomatoes (a perfect acidic complement to balance the richness of the dish). A tad salty (maybe because of the ground fish eggs?), otherwise perfectly seasoned.

Dessert - seadas ... a Sardinian specialty. Fried pastry stuffed with some ricotta cheese, and drenched in honey. Not as sweet as it sounds. The slightly savoury cheese helps in that regard. Very good stuff!

Exchanged a few emails with an old friend today. Long overdue; it was quite nice!
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