During the Inntravel holidays that we have taken, it has often been a particular moment that has captured our attention, something transitory, but exclusive, a moment that we alone could experience. Such a thing is by its nature unexpected and has occasionally been experienced by us during walks in remote territory.
So it was, during the longest walk of our excellent holiday in Sardinia in early September: ‘Golden Dunes of the Costa Verde’, which carries the subtitle: ‘Silver mountains and golden dunes’.
The walk in question started in the hills, was 20 kilometres long and ended in the golden dunes promised in the title. Mainly it was a gentle descent and we set off from the third of our four delightful agriturismi just after breakfast, loaded with sufficient water and food, descending through the Sardinian National Forest. The initial trail was well-waymarked, but we saw no-one and indeed we heard no-one either. In this noisy world, conditions of absolute silence are themselves a thing of wonder.
By lunchtime we were about halfway along the walk, repeatedly crossing a dry river bed (I would hate to do this walk in wet weather!) and as always we took care in finding a spot in which to eat our simple meal.
We ate near the riverbank, largely in silence, enjoying the peaceful setting, when a female deer walked up almost to us, looked startled, but instead of bolting, just passed by and into the centre of the stony river bed.
As we watched this wild, lovely creature, she looked over her shoulder and we saw that a stag was slowly following her. Strangely, they had half-turned and could see us, but they took no evasive action.
It was the mating season and perhaps they remembered why they were there, because they walked slowly and gently across the river bed and away into the pines on the other side. Total silence prevailed throughout the encounter, graceful and beautiful as it was.
We live in Scotland, so deer are not new to us, but this was something special, something you can experience on this type of holiday, a moment that mattered and that we shall always remember – a moment of inner peace. This exemplifies why we go on these holidays: they give you the chance to see Nature not from a car, or a bike or on a tour, but for yourself, on foot, living each moment as it comes.