The path to Cala Goloritzè

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Continuing along the dirt road that runs alongside “As Piscinas” leads to a place called “Su Porteddu”, where there is a path that leads to Cala Goloritzè, one of the most famous bays of the east coast of Sardinia. Cala Goloritzè, famous for its rock arch which juts out into the sea a few metres from the beach and its tapered peak, called “Punta Caroddi” (148 m above sea level), is one of four “Natural Monuments” in the territory of Baunei (the others are “Su Sterru”, the wild olive trees of Santa Maria Navarrese and “Pedra Longa”). Getting to the small beach of Goloritzè from “Su Porteddu” is a captivating experience. The route begins with an uphill path (reaching 490 metres above sea level), but after a few minutes’ walk it turns into a steep descent, that is an hour from a fabulous beach, where the transparency of the water and the majestic limestone spires are breathtaking. Due to the significant difference in height, the climb back up to “Su Porteddu” is not as pleasant as the descent, but thanks to the refreshing shade afforded by a number of majestic holm oaks on the steepest part of the route, the return (which takes about two hours) can also turn into a pleasant and healthy walk. Along the route there are clear traces of cart tracks built by the coalmen to transport coal to the sea, where it was loaded onto merchant ships. At one point on the path, it is possible to get a clear view of the final part of the track that goes from “Baccu 'e Linnalbu” (“linnalbu” means “Ash”, in Sardinian) and becomes part of the “Baccu Goloritzè”. A place name in the “Baccu Goloritzè” indirectly reveals that at the time of the Saracen raids, the gully was one of the routes used by pirates to penetrate inland. Indeed, about half an hour’s walk from the beach, at a point that is now easy to cross thanks to the remains of a trail built by the coalmen, once stood one of those passages stocked with juniper branches (“scalones”) by herdsmen, called “Su scalone ’e su turcu”. It literally means “the turkish staircase”, because according to tradition a herdsman killed a Saracen (“unu Turcu”) on that very spot. Similar names, that evoke tragic episodes of fighting, are not uncommon along the east coast. In the territory of Dorgali, for example, there is a name, “S’elighe ’e su turcu”, above Cala Gonone, that commemorates a majestic holm oak (“elighe”), cut down a few decades ago, to which a Saracen captured by Dorgali herdsmen was tied.