Selvaggio Blu: new map and first Selvaggio Blu-ers of the year

Selvaggio Blu map
one side of the Selvaggio Blu map

In addition to the guide published for the Selvaggio Blu in April 2013 this great 1:15000 scale map of the route is now available. GPS-Track, waypoints and the same description as in the guide in Italian and in English. €10, available from The Lemon House. GPS-file to download. Publisher Enrico Spanu from Cagliari delivered 20 of the first maps printed just in time for the arrival of our first Selvaggio Blu-ers of the year, Markus, Markus, Cyril and Sebastian in the photo below on the left. They are the first of 7 small 2-4 person groups that have booked so far in 2014 to stay with us and make use of our logistic support to tackle the Selvaggio Blu. Thanks to the publication of more maps and guides, this “extreme trekking” mountaineering route on the east coast of Sardinia is getting more popular and easier to tackle.

Today we went to leave water and food at two points along the route. At the end of March all the cyclamens are in flower (photo right).

Day 5 Selvaggio Blu
cyclamen Sardinia
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Best bikes for Sardinia – 120 mm XC hardtails or 150 mm All-Mountain/Enduro full-suspended bikes?

Leonie descends the rocky muletrack below Scaleddas, Baunei
  • “We will be bringing our own bikes. We have a choice of either our Specialized Stumpjumpers 120mm and 140mm or the heavier more all mountain Specialized Pitch’s 150mm. Would we get punished too much on the climbs with the Pitch’s? Would appreciate your thoughts.”
  • “Just one other thing. We both have heavier duty AM/Enduro bikes as well as lighter trail hardtail mountain bikes. Which would you recommend as most suitable for the majority of local bike trails?”

Bikers from the UK and Switzerland recently asked very similar questions. Peter answered: “It all depends what sort of riding you want to do. I am biased since I prefer AM/enduro, but I genuinely believe that what is “unique” here are the rough old mule- and shepherds’ tracks that go down to the sea, so if you like this sort of riding I would go for this (in Ogliastra, which is where you spend most of your time). There are XC rides as well, great ones, but the Alpine-like riding is the best.” Brett and Leonie (see photo right) who asked the first question brought their all mountain Specialized Pitch’s 150 mm and spent the whole of their holiday with us at The Lemon House :).

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The Lemon House October 2013 Newsletter

Anne kayaking Pedra Longa east coast Sardinia

Download our October 2013 Newsletter in English (PDF 400 kb): Peter gets lots of tips from guests to (slowly) cure a radial nerve inflammation and be able to enjoy his climbing again; our bookings are up 11% compared to 2012 and we already have our first bookings for 2014; speedbumps have been installed in via Dante so our road is now much quieter; autumn road cycling and Giro di Sardegna 2014; “Sardinia is a good as the Dolomites or Lago di Garda for mountain biking”; lots of new climbing routes at Ulassai; fully-updated website in English.

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Salve Sisine! – great feedback on Mountain Bike Sardinia guidebook

Christoph at Su Irove Longu on ride 55 to Cala Sisine, Mountain Bike Sardinia guidebook

We received this great feedback from Christoph from Bavaria (Bad Tölz) on the Mountain Bike Sardinia guidebook: “Hi Anne + Peter! A few days (weeks) ago Eva and I visited you at your Limehouse and talked about the mtb-routes in the east of sardinia. You – Peter – signed the route-guide-book we bought. Before we come back to “the island” next year (?) we (I) had only one day left to try one of your suggestions. I decided to ride the 55th Cala-Sisine-Tour by starting in our “basecamp” at Tancau Village and meet the rest of my family at Golgo. I met the route at point 2 Genna Aramene. Without a GPS-gadget I found the “unmade road” with your description – even if there were no more signs for “Trekking Margine” nor “Ovile Rifugio Carta”. The following kilometers were well documented. Only at page 296 (english version) of your book I once doubted to be right: “Continuing on the plateau…” I would put in something like “the road always at the coastside” because there are a few junctions. My instinct showed me th right way, so I happily ended at Cala Sisine. The way back to Golgo were about 5 (not 6) hundred m to climb. Now it’s enough with this kind of picky critic. Your description was so good, that I could find the right way without GPS and without going wrong any meter. Especially the mule track “junction” from the Cala Luna road to the Cala Sisine track was only marked by a tiny stoneman-sign…Great route! Great book! Gratulations! Also the route data bar in the book is very nice and informative!” In the photo on the left, Cristoph at the Su Irove Lungu sheepfold.

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The Book of Selvaggio Blu Sardinia

Book of Selvaggio Blu - cover
Book of Selvaggio Blu - Peters hands

As described in this UKHillwalking/Climbing article, the Selvaggio Blu trek on the east coast of Sardinia is up-to-now relatively little-known among mountaineers from the UK and other English-speaking countries. This is perhaps starting to change, as we receive enquiries about “The Book of Selvaggio Blu” from the UK and Norway, where it isn’t currently on sale but we can send it you :) for £33/€40 including postage with tracking. In the photos the cover and right, on page 171, Peter’s hands as he replaces the bolts at the Piddi abseil anchor. See our walking guidebooks page for enthusiastic comments on this book, a description of the other guidebook for the Selvaggio Blu – both books were translated from Italian into English by Peter – and a description of the logistic support we provide to people undertaking this 4-6 day expedition. Over the years we have helped perhaps 20 parties with the trek – from advice on advance planning and purchasing of maps to logistics support, leaving food, water and gas along the route, SMS/phone contact during the trek and pickup by RHIB/4WD from Cala Sisine/Cala Luna, and for all of them the Selvaggio Blu has been the experience of a lifetime!

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Practising falling and tips for a great climbing holiday on Sardinia

Christiane practises falling, Gola San Giorgio, Ogliastra
Christane leads 6a

Our guests from northern Europe usually climb indoors. This makes going climbing easy, even in large cities and with lousy weather. “Real” outdoor climbing is an exception. So during a climbing holiday on Sardinia people have to get used to hold which are not made of coloured resin and to falling. Nearly everyone is scared of falling outdoors! Otherwise you are very tense, don’t climb smoothly and don’t enjoy your climbing.
For this reason we often support our guests at the Lemon House with falling practise, with the choice of target routes and with placing the clips. Then they can lead their target route. In the photo left, Christiane practises falling at the Gola di San Giorgio and right cruises calmly and focussed through the cruz of the 6a “Willy”. Well done Christiane!
For more information on climbing in Ogliastra, Sardinia, see our climbing page.

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The Lemon House Sardinia: Newsletter June 2013 (English)

Anne kayaking at Cala Goloritzè, east coast, Sardinia

Download our June 2013 Newsletter (PDF 300 kb): after opening in 2007 The Lemon House is now a sustainable business and we realise that, beyond great outdoors sports, what really makes The Lemon House is all the guests getting on well together. Lots of road cyclists, boom of interest in the Selvaggio Blu trek/UKHillwalking article, this spring we really noticed the increased number of mountain bikers around, Anne kayaks to Cala Goloritzè, new routes and repeats on Dinopark’s tufas on the east coast of Sardinia.

See you soon! Peter & Anne

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Frank steigt zum Videostar hoch – Frank climbs to video stardom

We have lots of climbing photos, and several videos, but mostly of routes grade F7 and upwards. But most of our guests enjoy climbing 5b-6b, so it was great to be able to video Frank leading “Koga” 5c at the Port of Santa Maria, in the east coast of Sardinia. This video is much more typical of what our guests do than world pull-up champion Jan climbing a 7c-8a or a very focussed Peter on a 7b. This relaxed climbing spot is right by the sea, this day there were no waves, the sea was completely clear and you could see the seabed and fish perfectly. Anne, Ada and Francesco came to see us in their kayaks – they had already been to kayaking in the morning, but decided that sea conditions were so good that they wanted to go again in the afternoon. Anke described the setting as “traumhaft”, “heavenly”, and the video shows why. This was our first video in German, but needs no subtitles :). We have substantially updated our page in German on climbing in Sardinia and Ogliastra and have used this video to illustrate how the sort of support we give to climbing guests at The Lemon House. Over the next month we will substantially update the climbing pages on our UK and Italian websites as well.

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March 2013 Newsletter The Lemon House Sardinia

Download our March 2013 Newsletter (PDF 540 kb): coming back to sunny warm weather, tasty locally-grown fruit and vegetables and our beautiful countryside and coastline after 2 months in London, an interview in the UP climbing yearbook which underlines how climbing in Italy and Sardinia deserve to be better known, a great new guidebook to the Selvaggio Blu trekking, and loads of new climbing routes on the east coast of Sardinia.

See you soon/Happy holidays at Easter! Peter & Anne

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Sardinia late November: great climbing and kayaking, and yummy wild boar

sardinien klettern climbing sardinia sardegna arrampicata Peter Effetti Personali

We were lucky this year on Sardinia’s east coast that temperatures remained around 20° right up to the end of November. It was too hot to climb in the sun at sea level! On Sunday we drove 45 minutes from The Lemon House to Il Castello, Jerzu, where you had to take off your shirt for a hard RP attempt. Left: Peter on Effetti Personali, 7b.

Sardinien Kultur Sardegna cultura Sardinia culture Ilbono Pane e Olio in Frantoio

We were hungry after climbing, at drove to the sagra (local feast) “Pane e Olio in Frantoio”, “Bread and Oil in the Olive-Press” in Ilbono. Right: Gary, Rob and Martin enjoy the wild boar. But where does the wild boar come from?

Sardinien Kultur Sardegna cultura Sardinia culture Ilbono Pane e Olio in Frantoio

With a beeping of horns the answer arrived: Ilbono’s hunters parading their prey. Driver Daniele was one of the builders who helped renovate The Lemon House 2006-7.

The week before Peter and Anne were kayaking from Santa Maria Navarrese where we keep our kayaks. The coast north and south of here is one of Sardinia’s finest.

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