Playing Under the Sea at Palau by Jennifer Avventura

Last year, I was given a super-duper under water camera, and I’ve had a ton of fun playing under the sea at Palau, Sardinia, Italy. Sometimes there’s nothing to capture but turquoise water, waves and wet luscious sand, but that doesn’t deter me from enjoying the many faucets of this new camera.

Other times, the sea is teeming with colourful fish, sometimes dolphins albeit in the distance and hairy-legged tourists, and it’s generally on those colourful days that I forget my camera at home and walk away only with the memories.

But not today.

After walking away from screaming children and arguing parents, I found my own little private oasis and set up beach shop: umbrella, towel, sweaty bottle of water and my study book on how to drive in Italy. It was finally time to jump in the refreshing sea to cool off from the 40c heat we’ve had when I noticed the medusa – jellyfish. My heart skipped a beat, okay maybe two, and my legs turned to jello as I was seconds from belly flopping on this pinkish slimy medusa that would no doubt cause severe pain. I jumped back and quickly grabbed my camera, I mean, who in their right mind grabs a camera to photograph one of the worlds most poisonous species? I do.

Luckily, as a passerby came around, I mentioned the jellyfish to him and he told me it was already dead and is not poisonous at that point. Whether that’s true or not, I’m still not taking any chances and didn’t even take a refreshing swim.

Have you ever been stung by a jellyfish?

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Snapshots: Hidden Treasures at the Prickly Pear Cactus

Sometimes in life you just need to stop and smell the prickly pears. It’s the right time in Sardinia to do just that, because you never know what hidden treasures you might find.

Photobombed by a busy bee on the left, as I concentrated on the one sucking pollen from this lovely yellow prickly pear flower.

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A place like no other – Palau, Sardinia, Italy

Palau, Sardinia is truly a place like no other. It sits at the northern tip of the island and hosts 25km of contrasting coastlines and 21 turquoise beaches to dip your toes into. There are even several Blue Flag beaches which Palau is extremely proud of:

  • La Sciumara, Palau
  • Foce Fiume Liscia, Palau
  • Palau Vecchio, Palau

It’s a stunning windswept area full of natural rock formations, a marina, and unbelievable delicious local restaurants.

I’ve simply fallen in love, all over again. Sardinia’s unspoilt raw natural beauty keeps me in awe and wanting more.

I’m working in the area for the summer, so if you’re thinking of making it up this way, drop me an email and maybe we could venture to one of the many amazing beaches near by.

Summer greetings.

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Sardinia’s Blue Flag Beaches 2016

Just a reminder that Sardinia has some epic beaches and coastlines. Happiness is Sardinia.

My Sardinian Life

Sardinia has done it again with an impressive 28 Blue Flags flying effortlessly around her turquoise coast. That is 21 more blue flags since 2013, so there is plenty of beach to play for those seeking a little vitamin sea in the heart of the Mediterranean.

What is a Blue Flag?

2000px-Blue_Flag_Logo.svgThe Blue Flag is a world-renowned eco-certification awarded to beaches and marinas in countless countries across Europe, South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia, New Zealand, Brazil, Canada and the Caribbean.

When you see a Blue Flag flying, you know a beach or marina is clean and accessible; has great water quality; meets high safety standards; and is working hard to protect local shorelines and ecosystems. Blue Flags are flying at 25 beaches and six marinas in Canada.

Beaches are awarded the blue flag based on several criteria which the beach must meet; should the beach fail to comply with these…

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Top 14 Sporting Adventures that Defy Gravity at Sardinia, Italy

Sardinia, Italy is an enchanting island and sanctuary for adventure and nature explorers and it’s the ideal place to test boundaries and defy gravity in a multitude of exciting ways. The island is blessed with an 1800km jagged coastline, pristine white sandy beaches and a commanding rugged interior that begs the visitor to climb, play, trek and push limits. There are diverse gravity defying adventures that will suit any type of thrill seeker from sunset paragliding in spiritual and ancient places, to free diving at one of Sardinia’s most magical and controversial islands. For those that want to slowly re-connect with nature and find balance within movement, there’s a variety of diverse yoga activities to rejuvenate awareness, physique and consciousness. Come and play with gravity to discover a hidden Sardinia witnessed by few.

Top 14 Sporting Adventures that Defy Gravity Sardinia, Italy

AIR

  1. Rock Climbing – climb up, down or across natural rock formations with two goals in mind: the summit and defying gravity. Sardinia is a climber’s paradise with its wild and spectacular craggy peaks and dramatic cliffs, to the tall limestone precipices on the coast, there is plenty of space to climb. There are multi-pitch climbs at Gennargentu, to single pitch climbs at Cala Gonone, Isili and Domusnovas. There are also fantastic bouldering opportunities all over the island. Sardinia is and has been a hotspot for climbers for many years, don’t miss the thrill of reaching the summit and finding freedom.
  2. Paragliding – this lightweight, free-flying adventure requires a harness and a foot-launched glider that can carry the pilot high above Sardinia’s granite peaks for an astonishing journey of heart-pounding exhilaration. Defy gravity as you soar through Sardinia’s blue sky at several unforgettable spots like Alghero, Bosa and Cala Gonone for tandem flights or Littigheddu near the stunning Castlesardo for singular flights.
  3. Via Ferrata – a climbing route equipped with steel cables, ladders and other fixed anchors. Experience a high adrenalin adventure on the rim of a mountain, and then slowly walk around its circumference while attached to a cable. Via Ferrata is about reaching new heights, balance and a deep connection to the natural surroundings. There are several via Ferrata’s on the island, the most popular and fascinating being Cabirol at Capo Caccia near Alghero, on the island’s west coast. This gravity-defying trail traverses along a series of narrow and exposed ledges and every once in a while the ledge gives way to short stepped ascents. Another exhilarating trail is at the island of Tavolara, off the northwest coast. The highest point of Tavolara sits at 565 meters above sea level, and the trail that circumnavigates the small island is a stunning excursion that pushes boundaries, limits and inner balance.
  4. Antigravity Yoga – combines traditional yoga and Pilates with the use of a hammock that is suspended from the ceiling. This type of yoga is about seamless, fluid movement that will take the user to new heights in the exercise game. 

EARTH

  1. Mountain bike – strap on a helmet and feel the rush of Sardinia’s mountainous terrain with off-road trails and light to difficult downhills with the purpose to defy gravity and move the soul. Turn corners as fields of pale yellow wheat billows in the salty air, climb slight mountains and arrive in quaint small towns and relish in the quietness and serenity.
  2. Adventure Training – combine diverse exercise programs such as CrossFit, MovNat and Martial arts for an intense full-body workout. Prepare for the days adventure with movement, breath and a deep connection to the soul and environment.
  3. Trekking/Hiking/Walking –encounter untamed natural beauty and rugged scenery as limestone massifs and lush greenery like juniper, cork and myrtle pass by. Discover intense coastlines with deep and rich colours on coastal hikes and windswept plains and sun-scorched plateaus, dense forests and waterfalls on interior hikes. There are a plethora of incredible, eccentric and unbelievable hikes within Sardinia:
  4. Interior treks: Parco Nazionale del Golfo di Orosei e del Gennargentu (Gennargentu is the tallest mountain in Sardinia at 1834m), discover prehistoric sites at Valle di Lanaittu, uncover the most challenging trek/climb on the island at Selvaggio Blu, between Baunei and Cala Gonone. Easier treks are found in the northwest near Tempio Pausania at Monte Limbara, Li Canneddi and Costa Paradiso.
  5. Coastal treks can be found all around the island: some favourites are at Capo Testa in the north where odd granite formations take over the land or around one of Sardinia’s islands at Isola Capera.
  6. Hatha Yoga – this “old style” system of yoga includes the practise of posture and breath that brings peace to the mind, body and soul. A beautiful and calming indoor and outdoor sport that awakens the mind. Arouse the soul with fluid early morning movements on white sandy beaches that will leave the body rejuvenated and the mind revitalized.
  7. Acro Yoga – a physical practise that combines yoga, acrobatics and a partner. It requires careful balance, core and breathe work, coupled with trust. An excellent indoor or outdoor activity that takes partners to new levels of exercise, trust and awareness. Begin the day with a partner and open minds to the natural free-flowing transfer of motion.
  8. Outdoor Yoga – practise yoga beneath an old cork tree or on a white sandy beach, be one with nature and natural movement. Raise the consciousness to new levels as the focus becomes the need to control the mind and spirit. Reawaken the body, mind and soul with early morning routines that will leave the body refreshed and ready for the day’s adventures. 

WATER

  1. Free Diving – is a form of underwater diving that relies on the divers’ ability to hold their breath until resurfacing. Drift effortlessly down and around Sardinia’s azure Mediterranean at Isola Asinara (Donkey Island) in the Northwest and discover an island, off an island, full of secrets that have been kept hidden centuries. Test boundaries as the dive releases freedom and a new-found glory within.
  2. Snorkelling – Relax the day away snorkelling Sardinia’s blue waters in the northwest at Asinara Island and be amazed at colourful aquatic life as breath becomes circular and effortless. Be still with the world and reconnect with nature in this simple but rewarding sport.
  3. Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP) – Balance carefully on a paddle board and use a paddle to propel through the calm waters of Fiume Temo on the northwest coast at Bosa, or cross the island to the east at Golfo di Orosei and SUP the day away discovering hidden coves, beaches, inlets and grottos as movement takes over and the flow of breath becomes united with each stoke of the paddle.
  4. SUP Yoga – Practise yoga while balancing delicately on a paddleboard and floating through the tranquil waters of the Mediterranean at Cala Luna, one of Sardinia’s most beautiful spots; a place where the extraordinary mountains of the Gennargentu meet the crystalline sea. Core balance and concentration are keys to defying gravity in this rejuvenating and tranquil sport. Find deep serenity within as the blue waters lap endlessly around the paddle board while the landscape begs to be seen.

I bet you’re wondering where you can do all these magnificent adventures, and I have the answer for you.

The dynamic duo from NüAdventure will be ecstatic to design the right adventure for you. They are adventure seekers and players in the game of life that take you soaring through Sardinia’s blue skies and free diving Sardinia’s deep azure Mediterranean waters.

NüAdventure
Sardinia, Italy
+39 (347) 934-8615
Website: http://www.nuadventure.nu
Email: info@nuadventure.nu

Do you have the courage? Tell me about it in the comment section below.

 

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Hunting Wild Asparagus at Sardinia, Italy

During my recent stay back in Canada, I found myself reminiscing about the long walks, deep within the folds of Sardinia’s glorious green mountains where I learned to hunt wild asparagus. It’s a prickly, skinny, long and utterly wild plant, and more often than not I was left with razor-sharp cuts on my arms and hands. There was even this time I fell into the base of the asparagus plant, and well, that didn’t go to good. Cuts, scrapes and blood up and down both legs, on the palm of my hands and even my right elbow got into the fight, but that didn’t stop me from my yearning to sample the earth’s wild delights.

Where the wild asparagus grows.

It took me years to pick out the lengthy green stalks from the entangled mess of the plant and once I did, I was delirious with excitement. I now have the expert eye, or so I should like to think as I can spot growing, fresh asparagus from a moving car. All I need to do is yell out “Asparagau!” and hubby stops the car, I hop out and add a stalk or four to the already growing mass of stalks.

Two stalks of asparagus growing with ease.

Generally, the good long stalks are growing within that mass of branches in the background of the above photos. There’s where all the cuts and scrapes come from, it’s worth every blood drop lost.

A few of my favourite recipes with Sardinia’s wild asparagus:

  • Asparagus and onion fritatta
  • Pasta with sautéed pancetta, onion, garlic and asparagus
  • Sautéed asparagus and potatoes with raw garlic
  • Pickled Asparagus

The list could go on! I can’t wait to get back out there for another asparagus hunt where the sun kisses my face and the earth provides delicious wild treats.

A bunch of wild asparagus

Thank you, Sardinia for providing essential nutrients that I can gather with my own two hands. I am eternally grateful.

Is there anything wild and delicious in your area?

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Snapshots: Reflections of Summer in Sardinia

It seems that winter has eluded us, at least for the last four days it has, where we’ve had temperatures upwards of 19 degrees celsius and we’re still in the month of February. After a harsh, wet, grey and snowy winter it is invigorating to see the bright blue skies and the warm, luminous sun that casts its brilliant rays on my pale Canadian skin. These are my reflections of summer in Sardinia and it’s times like these that I dream of our endless summer, dream of the warm waters of the Mediterranean and dream of a place where time ceases to exist.

my-sardinian-life-by-jennifer-avventura

When the weather clears, all I care about is putting my feet in the warm sand on the coast of Sardinia, walking the beach or reading a novel as the soft wind blows. I’m a Canadian that escaped the cold harsh winters of the north for a more subtle, relaxing and always brilliant atmosphere where I can find peace with myself and with the world around me.

jennifer-avventura-sardinia

The only place I’ve found that deep serenity is here … in Sardinia.

Where do you find your peace of mind?

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Snapshots: The Bell Tower at Castelsardo, Sardinia

The bell tower at Castelsardo in Sardinia’s northwest is one of the most photographed monuments from this pre-Nuragic, quaint town by the sea. From every angle, far and wide, the cathedral’s bell tower looms in the background of every photo.

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Grand and spectacular from every point; the bell tower at Castelsardo should be on everyone’s “to see” list. There’s a lot to do and see in my favourite Sardinian town, from ancient castles to cathedrals, sea-side sights and some of the best restaurants around where Cannonau is poured freely and the seadas comes just right.

by-jennifer-avventura-2017

Will you put Castelsardo on your bucket list?

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Inside Sardinia: A Traditional Cooking Method

The first time I saw this method of cooking was some years ago in a small town, in the folds of a mountain in Sardinia, Italy. A  friend who lives a few mountains over had invited me for lunch, and when I arrived the first thing I noticed was the ancient red brick fireplace and clock. It had just snowed in Sardinia and it was cold, so I a found a spot right beside the fireplace to warm up. Upon closer inspection of the red-hot flames I saw slices of pancetta and pork chops sizzling away above the hot embers. The aroma, better than a barbecue and the taste impeccable. I’d never tasted meat so fresh and exquisite.

my-sardinian-life-by-jennifer-avventura-2017-2

Roasting meat in the middle of a living-room was a first for me, and I can’t wait to delve into this tradition yet again.

What is the strangest place you’ve seen meat being cooked?

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Cats of Sardinia: Ciao Bello

Meet, Ciao Bello.

ciao-bello-by-my-sardinian-life-jennifer-avventura-2017

He befriended me this past summer with his lazy gaze and soft meows for attention. I’d pass him every morning on my way to get our daily bread. He’d walk a few steps toward me then sink his head low, stretch his left paw out in respectful greeting and slight flirtation. I look forward to my daily walks, even to just get a glimpse of him. He stole my heart and he stole it fast. He’s just purr-fect. 😉

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