The Crown Jewel of the Tyrrhenian Sea
We're looking for a few good men and women, adventurous paddlers who would like to join us on an exploratory journey to one of the Mediterranean's island treasures, Sardegna. Also known as the island of Sardinia, it is located just west of the Italian coastline midway to Majorca and the Bealeric Islands, and has served as a stopping off point for invaders, travelers, and explorers over the centuries. Our roles will be more of the latter, as we focus our exploration on the Maddelena island archipelago at the northern tip of the island. This will be a paddler's trip, not so much for the cafe and cappuccino crowd, although that opportunity will most likely present itself while we are there. Conditions could be rough with wind and waves, but the rewards will be great as we lose ourselves in the adventure, finding some real gems off the beaten path. Expect to establish some long-lasting friendships with the people we meet as we share exceptional food and sustenance at the table.
Although part of Italy, Sardinia is in-and-of itself, a world apart. The native dialect, Sardo, has been identified as the closest living language to the Latin spoken by the ancient Romans. The island was once controlled by Rome's greatest enemy in the Mediterranean, Carthage, whose armies threatened Rome itself under the leadership of their famous general Hannibal Barca. The Bronze Age Nuraghic civilization left their mark on the island as well; these ancient builders constructed countless stone towers scattered through the countryside, an archaeological mystery waiting to be solved by those of us with the Indiana Jones-gene! Even the rock formations have an other worldly appearance, shaped by the Mistral, that harsh west wind that accelerates down the Rhone Valley, across Provence, and then out to sea sculpting the island's coast line into organic shapes. The result reminiscent of the smooth, flowing, carvings of sculptor Jean Arp if one uses some imagination. This is a place not to be missed!!
The clear azure sea that offers us breathtaking ocean-bottom-views 60 or more feet below our kayaks will be the stage upon which we become the actors in this dynamic drama of ebb and flow. Lots of paddling to be found, secret places to explore, hidden sea caves, secluded beaches and the opportunity for some lively surf will be part of the action too. For land lubbers there will be opportunities to hike or bike instead, and of course time can be taken to find a cliff-side perch and simply watch the ever-changing sea.
Don't forget, as an exploratory trip we'll be checking out inns and restaurants, and with your input, selecting the choice locations that we will offer in the future to H2O clients. So overall we'll have some fun, some thoughtful work, some serious paddling, and an unequaled sampling of food and wine prepared in a traditional manner. Could be just the ticket for a great getaway!
But that's not all, before we depart for our ocean voyage to Sardinia, experience a traditional Italian luncheon where you'll have the chance to participate in the preparation of the meal from the selection and picking of fresh vegetables in the garden, to the hands-on rolling of the dough as you make delicious gnocchi, which will be shared by all. How about running down to the cellar to fill a carafe with fresh olive oil out of the cask, the incredibly fruity green-gold liquid produced by the same family just a short drive away in their 800 year-old workshop, now serving as an artisanal production facility. We will experience the essence of slow cooking, selecting local ingredients that are in season, and be part for a hands-on slow food workshop where we can enjoy the "fruits" of our labors.
May 19* - 29*, 2016
* Travel days
$5500 per person based on double occupancy; singles add $500
The Price includes 9 night accommodations in Inns or hotels, meals as noted on itinerary, in-country transportation once you have arrived at our first night's Inn as outlined on the itinerary, ferry to Sardinia, kayaking gear and safety equipment, Slow Food workshop, and highly qualified & trained guides
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