Nora / Out of Gas
Written by Pieter Jan on Oct 31, 2019 — 3 min read
At: Nora, Sardinia, Italy
A nice surprise this morning: apparently we anchored smack in the middle of the ancient ruins of Nora. The lighthouse at the bay entrance is built on top of ruins. The whole shoreline around us: ruins. Under our boat: ruins. We decided to visit, as we were already in the archeological site. I hope our anchor didn’t crush a classical statue.
But first things first. Fladdertje’s funeral was long overdue. The kids found a lovely place on the beach, below the ruins, with a view over the bay. They dug a little hole together. Helder shed some tears. Then they made a beautiful little tombstone, decorated with shells and twigs.
I read up on the ruins. Nora was a Phoenician, then Carthaginian, then Roman city. Very rich and powerful in its day. Today it’s the most important archeological site in Sardinia. I also read that tourists are hurriedly herded around by ignorant guides, possibly with cattle prods.
Lucky for us, that’s only the case in high season. We were left to our own devices after we payed the entrance fee. We could explore the place at our leisure.
The site is still a work in progress. Only 10 buildings are explained by signs. The other 30 or so signs are not installed yet. A big part of the city has disappeared under the sea because the south of Sardinia is slowly sinking. Or it hasn’t been excavated because it’s under a military domain.
In the 8th century, the place was sacked by pirates and abandoned. They did have some nice mosaic floors that the pirates didn’t take.
Culturally satisfied, we went in search of our gastronomic fill. We didn’t want to enter the first restaurant we saw, so we kept walking. And walking. And walking. The nearest village turned out to be half an hour away. When we arrived, everything was closed. Siesta. We walked past a store that sold gas in bottles, which was a stroke of good luck, because we had run out in the morning.
We found one bistro that was still open and by chance it was probably the best bistro in Pulo: tiny portions and expensive. The fries came in little frying baskets. The food was on slates instead of plates. You now the type. But the food was very tasty.
We waited out a shower, then I went in search for gas. Running out of gas immediately creates an emergency situation on a boat. Imagine having no coffee in the morning. Or having to eat cold canned beans for days on end.
“Home delivery”, the storefront boasted. I took them up on it and asked if they could deliver to the beach where we were anchored. They could! In the evening I called them back, took the dingy to the beach with the empty gas bottle and stood there hoping and waiting in the dark and the rain. I must’ve looked like a serial killer, standing beneath a street light in my foul weather gear — murder weapon: gas bottle.
Several cars passed by, slowed down a bit, then sped off again. At last the gas bottle van stopped. The gas guy opened the side door and revealed a choice of gas bottles. I chose one: 11 kilos of gas, 20 euros. We swapped bottles. It must’ve looked very shady to passers-by, but I was happy with my full bottle.
I dinghied back to Vite & Rêves and we cooked water for doing the dishes to celebrate.