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The patriarch of Seu

A nobleman from Oristano, Don Efisio Carta, used the Seu territory as a hunting reserve till the 70s, when he was kidnapped and although the ransom had been paid, he was never returned to his family.

Seu today is a naturalistic oasis, which extends behind the high cliffs of Funtana Meiga, with a dense Mediterranean scrub which covers the whole territory.

I decide to go there and face the deep holes of the dirt road that leads to the beginning of the path.


A beautiful hut with a scallop reminds me of the story of an elderly man from Cabras, who in turn learned about it from his great-grandmother. Once upon a time, there was a long line of these fishermen's houses along the coast. The walls and roof were built by intertwining reeds of the swamp, “the falasco”, the support posts were willow logs. All the fishermen families live there, and the fire, "sa forredda", lit on the ground and smoke came out through the bundles.

Today there are very few huts still standing and this one, at the beginning of the path to Seu, is very well preserved.

A few days ago, in the delicious "Localino" of Maura, in Oristano, between a chickpea soup, a precious grandmother's recipe and a fragrant bread made with ancient flours and mother yeast, I discovered a beautiful book, Suantu Giuanni e Turri e 'Seu.

I also met the author, Bruno Brovelli, a poet overflowing with life and a precious witness of the history of this area.

I pass the hut with the image of the ancient world that his poetics has outlined with the beauty of simplicity. From here, the edges of the cliffs seem to crumble on to the coves, where the algae heaps are so high that they look like rocks.

I carefully follow the path, which is dangerously close to these friable edges, hoping that they will not collapse under my weight.

Then the path becomes very narrow and almost disappears in the middle of the bushes. I distract myself looking at the purple patches of flowery and fragrant rosemary, but the low shrubs get caught in my pants, and sting my ankles. The landscape becomes more and more wild. The only sounds, the sea and the birds.

I do not give up and go on until the path passes through two walls of lentisks and junipers, taller than me. They skirt the two sides of a very narrow path.

I go on, now it is my shoulders and backpack that suffer the tears of what seem to be the protective walls of an unattainable world.

Finally the labyrinth opens up to a crossroads of paths, I decide to go left and leave a trace to find the way where I came from. Years ago I got lost in a wood and it was not pleasant at all.

The prize of my adventure is a few steps from here: in the center of a small clearing, a centuries-old Aleppo pine dominates the scene.

I am excited as I approach the resin-scented giant, a living work of art of Mother Nature.

A strong presence, not only for its size, the bark is thick and the gnarled branches, some verging on the ground. I lie on it, watching its foliage swaying in the wind, I breathe with him.

I almost fall asleep, then I realize that I can also climb his trunk, it's not difficult, I just have to overcome the dizziness. From up there the gaze has an unusual detachment from things.

I am in a sort of relaxed bliss when I see a very small weasel sneak out of a pile of branches on the ground, I focus on it, yes, it's a weasel, the first I’ve ever seen.

She stops for a moment next to my backpack, sniffs an unusual presence in her territory, than proceeds fast, wary, light as if walking on tiptoe; around her the fascinating halo of the wild world.

I climb down from the tree smiling and take to the path again.

The magic of the soft light of the forest envelops me, I understand the ancient beliefs that the woods were inhabited by divinities and the spirits of the ancestors and therefore considered occult and mysterious places.

When you walk alone in a wild territory, the mind gives place to the senses.

You are completely open to life and for this reason, perhaps, more vulnerable to any human interference. In fact, when on the narrow path a man with a stick appears from afar, walking quickly towards me, I startle.

We both stop for a moment, looking silently at each other, probably with the same question in our heads, but a synchronous giggle breaks the ice > Yes, that path continues up to the coastal tower < >No, the monumental trees are only in that part of the forest you have just passed < > Yes I am alone <

Essential words, we both want to return to our privileged status as solitary travelers.

Through the scrubs I arrive at the Spanish watchtower, Turr'e Seu, the view from here sweeps up to the lighthouse of Punta San Marco, but the tower is in a poor state and seems unsafe, the cliff on which it rests is corroded by the sea and the wind, neighboring buildings are in ruins.

As I walk the path back I think this wonderful island would deserve more care and attention from the world; the unspoiled heritage of Seu is a precious asset of the Sinis coast, we must protect and preserve it to pass it on to our children intact.

I go back almost to the beginning of the path, but the path ends in front of a barrier of thorny bushes, around an impassable green wall. I’m lost. I remind of the words of an old friend and teacher > If you make the wrong choice, retrace your steps, understand where you have gone wrong and straighten your direction <

In Seu, as in life, I go back until I find the point where I took the wrong path and arrive unharmed at my car.

The sun is going down, the day is coming to an end, but I am too happy to go home.

I stop to watch the sunset on the Sinis peninsula, where everything shines like life on this day.


All Images and Original Text © Solo Moles - All Rights Reserved

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