La Caletta to Arbatax
18 July 2017 | Arbatax
Geoff/hot and sunny
18th July: La Caletta to Arbatax
The coast between La Caletta and Arbatax is largely steep cliffs that plunge straight into the sea or are fringed by a narrow rocky foreshore, offering no anchorage or shelter. There is only one shallow harbour catering for local fishing boats. The distance of 45 miles with no refuge leaves little room for error and we chose a calm day for the journey. We left La Caletta just before 7.30 am and arrived at Arbatax some 8 hours later. As forecast the wind picked up late morning, enabling us to make better progress. This is a coast of passage and we saw a few fishing boats and a small number of yachts heading north on the reciprocal journey but traffic was very light. In compensation, the high steep cliffs are a spectacular sight, dwarfing the boats plying the coast.
Arbatax is a small commercial harbour with a marina included. Our first impression is of the commercial side eclipsed by locally-owned pleasure craft and day-tripper boats. The town is fringed on three sides by mountains which give an impressive backdrop and beautiful sunsets.
To call Arbatax a town is something of an exaggeration and even village would be an overstatement. We found one street with a small understocked supermarket, a pharmacy and a couple of shops. It does have a railway station which is the end of the line and we actually saw a train consisting of an engine and one carriage. We suspect it was the only one that week!
On the 'main' street a significant number of old bicycles, painted pink were displayed arrayed with bunting. Initially I thought of the 'ghost' bicycles in London marking the tragic deaths of cyclists. The number of bikes were too many and the pink and white festive bunting told a different story. We had some fun speculating on the reason behind the display, but in truth the real reason was more prosaic than our speculations. It was to celebrate the 'Giro Italia' bicycle race although where they cycled to and from is a mystery as Arbatax really is a dead end.