Kayaking into the Cedrino River

by Joelle

 

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If you feel your skin has had its last share of the scorching sun, sea and salt water, then your best bet is to escape to the heart of Sardinia in the region of Barbagia. There, book a suite at the Su Gologone hotel and while your room gets fixed, wear your most comfortable shorts, tee, cap and sneakers and walk to a refreshing  natural masterpiece experience called Su Gologone.

The name itself evokes fresh water, lush greenery and peace of mind.  Nestled in the Supramonte area,  in the foothills of Mount Udde, in a pine-shaded park sculpted with water,  lays an extraordinary Sardinian spring and a natural monument dating back to 1998, as well as the main source for the vast Karst system of Supramonte .

Over the millennia, the water has carved out meandering underground channels before reappearing above ground as a small lake, set between the high walls of Dolomitic rock. The tones vary from emerald green to turquoise and intense blue, according to the reflection of the sun.  The clear, deep water is an irresistible challenge for underwater cavers, who arrive here from all over the world: in 2010, Alberto Cavedon explored up to 135 meters of it. The spring is the starting point for a short mountain river that flows into the Cedrino, constantly feeding the islands fifth longest river.

We have no equipment, and that is apparently no problem. At the Eucalyptus filled forest entrance we notice a woman hand embroidering  a small rug support for a few souvenirs and while we pay our entrance tickets in a bar made entirely of natural wood trunks we order two Caffe shakkerato Gianduias.   We are introduced by a local guide, Matteo who nonchalantly but with a sense of humor shows us our way to the kayaks. This is my first experience I must say but the environment is so peaceful that I am feel no sign of apprehension.  We cross a small man bridge  bridge listening to the ceaseless crashing of the impressive quantity of pure mineral water – an average of 500 litres per second, says Matteo – gushing out of a constantly full crack in the rock.

My husband and I exchange a few selfies for Instagram with a French couple and are at last installed  into the kayak. We  follow the source all the way through from the canyon to the lake, in a particularly suggestive river itinerary.

We do not coordinate our paddling like pros and quarrel like kids about it but the scenery -still untouched by men- is truly stunning .  The smell and the intense green waters provide a contrast with  the cliff’s grandeur and the engulfing silence only interrupted by the continuous flow of water through our paddles makes us feel grateful because no matter the technique, we  still on the path.

After one hour of paddling,  we are recommended to visit  through two short pathways accessible only by boat two small rural churches of the XVII century, Saint Pantaleo and Our Lady of Angels. We do, with some unbalanced parking logistic but totally worth as they showcase the  most unique panoramic view over the lake.

An opening on the limestone cliff known as the Guano Caveis formed in layers of different heights, visible only to experts equipped with specialized tools. When looking towards the basaltic side, one can see the Domus de Jana, or the fairy house, an ancient and magical place of burial of pre-Nuragic Sardinia. And if you love bird watching, wild uncontaminated nature and fresh  spring water to take back to your room , this  my friends is the place to be.

For booking your kayak, trekking or boat excursion:

Le Sorgenti su Gologone

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