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Wild blue yonder

Words KERRY CHRISTIANI @kerrychristiani

'THIS LAND RESEMBLES NO OTHER PLACE. SARDINIA is something else. Enchanting spaces and distances to travel - nothing finished, nothing definitive. It is like freedom itself.' So wrote DH Lawrence in his 1921 travelogue Sea and Sardinia. Lawrence was bang on, I think, as I inch my way along a limestone cliff that falls abruptly to a sapphire sea. When I dare look over my shoulder, the view is indeed freedom itself: just the Mediterranean, the horizon and the vanishing point between. I feel like a tightrope artist performing a balancing act, placing one foot delicately in front of the other on the narrow ridge. I ponder how clumsy humans are, as two goats hoof it up the rocky ledge, and how ironic it is that life on the edge can feel so liberating.

GUIDING LIGHTS Embarking on the Selvaggio Blu is usually recommended with a guide as they know the terrain, and can provide gear and rework the route. It is as much a climbing expedition as a coastal walk, involving grade IV climbs and some tough inclines. Good companies include Corrado Conca (corradoconca.it). The nearest airports are Olbia and Cagliari, each about a 2½-hour drive away, with regular flights from UK airports from around £60 and £100 respectively.

I'm on the Selvaggio Blu, or Wild Blue, the trek whose name makes even experienced hikers break out in a sweat of fear and anticipation. Billed as Italy's toughest hike - and not, I hasten to add, without reason - this is a four- to five-day tramp into utter coastal wilderness. There are no villages, no roads, no people (bar the occasional fellow hiker) and, most importantly, no signs.

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Lonely Planet
February 2019

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