Cruise Stories

 

Port Experiences

Real stories from real cruisers about their cruise port experiences.

Our cruiser, Gary, visited the town of Porto Torres on the Italian island of Sardinia during the summer earlier this year. It was the third stop on his Mediterranean cruise. He shares his experiences below on this amazing trip to one of Italy’s finest beaches, La Pelosa. You can also follow Gary on his full cruise across the Mediterranean.

PORTO TORRES, SARDINIA, ITALY

Point of Interest:   La Pelosa Beach

Arrival:   Aug 08, 2019 at 09:00 AM

Departure:   Aug 08, 2019 at 08:00 PM

The island of Sardinia in Italy is well known for its unique beaches, so when we were planning our cruise, as lovers of sun, sea and sand we were extremely excited about this stop. Even more exciting however was that our ship would be docking in Porto Torres, one of the lesser known ports on the north western side of the island, some 33 km from La Pelosa Beach (Spiaggia La Pelosa), acclaimed by many to be the best beach in all of Sardinia. Could this be true? We were anxious to find out or to at least see how special it really was.

On arrival at Porto Torres there was no bus to take us to La Pelosa, so we were forced to call a cab which we knew would be very pricey.  As for getting back to the ship, we were not sure how we would do this, but we remained determined to get to La Pelosa at all costs, and decided that we would worry about how to get back when the time came a little later. Not the smartest way to plan a trip, but we kept our fingers crossed.

We called for a cab and soon enough Luigi showed up in a simple car. He told us that it would be about 70 Euros to get to La Pelosa Beach and we agreed. The drive was about 33 kilometres to the beach, but no sooner had we gotten into the car, did we get our first surprise.

Luigi drove his Italian car like it was a fancy Ferrari at the Grand Prix. He overtook at every turn on narrow two-way streets and when Anna gasped in fear and disbelief, he urged her to relax, claiming erroneously that his imitation Ferrari was a top class and had the required speed. As we continued driving, I inquired about the possibility of cops pulling him over for speeding, but he insisted that with the speed of his “so called” Ferrari they would not be able to even catch him, and he laughed it off.  Very soon, strangely enough, we were also doing the same, laughing it off, as we tried to convince ourselves that this was probably the Italian way. Despite his penchant for speed, Luigi was indeed delightful. 

The Sardinian countryside was also delightful and even in the midst of Luigi’s meandering, it oozed us into a state of relaxation. Soon enough we made it to La Pelosa, and then Luigi pulled out another surprise.  As I opened my wallet to pay him, he seemed offended and instead of accepting payment he asked, “How are you getting back to the ship?” I quickly replied that we were not sure.  He then offered to come back for us in a few hours, and we happily agreed.  The strange part of this however was that Luigi said we should meet him at the very spot where we stood, which to us was just random place in the middle of a long, crowded street bordering a beach with thousands of Italians. But we had somehow started to trust Luigi, so we agreed that if this was good for him, it was good enough for us. I tried to pay him once again for the first leg of the trip, but he insisted that we should pay him later for everything when he got us back to the ship safely and on time, urging me ‘not to spend all our money on the beach and to make sure we kept enough of it for him”. I agreed wholeheartedly, and with that Luigi wished us a nice day and drove off.  He took no telephone number, no credit card, nothing, just our word, two strangers from a totally different part of the world. As he drove away, I thought to myself that this would never happen in New York City where I lived or even on the islands of Trinidad and Tobago where I was born and raised. If we did not show up later at this spot, there would be nothing that Luigi could do. He would probably never get paid for taking us to La Pelosa Beach or for that matter would never even see us again. But it appeared as though Luigi just trusted us, and we were amazed. 

The beach was beautiful with crystal clear water, just as it was in Menorca the previous day. It even felt a little surreal as the whole beach parade on the cruise was beginning to get too good to be true. Unlike Son Bou, however, there were pebbles on the shore as well as mixed up with the sand in the water, but apart from that the scenery was amazing with Italian bodies sprawled out on any available space that could be found. After walking about a mile or so we found a solid rock to sit on in a more secluded area of the beach. We sat with our feet dangling and our toes reaching playfully for the Mediterranean water in a channel between the rock that we were on and a tiny island on the other side.

Later in the day, we joined several little fish swimming around in the water in an area of the sea that felt more like a turquoise pond. It was a refreshing and heartwarming way to spend an afternoon, bathing and swimming peacefully with the little Mediterranean fish in La Pelosa.

With time literally flying we were forced to pack up and race back to the spot where Luigi had dropped us off. As we hurried, I thought once again to myself “what a bizarre arrangement”.  Supposing we did not show up, or maybe he did not show up, or that we simply were unable to find the specific spot where he dropped us off.  This beautiful day could easily end in disaster. What if we were unable to make it back to the ship on time? The captain would have no choice but to leave us behind.  But my wife, who had once lived in Italy for a year or so as an international affairs student, assured me that Luigi would would show up. She said that this was the beauty of the Italian way. Fortunately, and much to my relief, she was right. Just moments after this unsettling bout of anxiety, Luigi pulled up in his “Ferrari”  and exclaimed in the most endearing of Italian tones “Buonasera”.   

On our way back to the ship, I could not help but wonder about life in a world where we could trust each other and be honorable enough to not break that trust. Where the wind and the sails could work hand in hand to lead us to a better place without the need for us to worry about a hurricane or a storm.

We could now confirm it. La Pelosa for us was indeed the best beach that we had ever seen on Italian soil. More incredibly however was that this stop turned out to more than just a beach. It served as a reminder of the importance of one of the fundamental principles of life that could help us all to get a little closer to a state of true human happiness – the principle of trust. As I fell asleep that night in my cabin, I could hear the soothing sounds of the Italian Spiaggia taking  my wife and I into dreamland, and the trusting voice of Luigi saying, in his quintessential Italian tone “Buona notte.”