Beach Rating Criteria

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August 3rd 2019
Published: August 4th 2019
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The rock concert that was still vibrating the walls of our room at 1am must have eventually stopped, and we awake to the pleasant surprise that the owners of our accommodation, the Starry Sky Charming House, haven’t broken into our room overnight and thrown all our belongings over the balcony into the street. They clearly haven’t discovered our blog posts from the last two days yet, but we mustn’t get complacent; we’ve still got four more nights here to endure.

Today’s destination is La Pelosa Beach near Stintino in the north west corner of the island about 30 kms from Alghero. Unlike yesterday‘s mountainous coastal drive, today’s route takes us through fertile looking agricultural land with more than the odd vineyard.

We were warned that La Pelosa can get very crowded, and it does indeed feel like most of Sardinia has decided to come here today. We eventually find a half empty car park a long way from the beach. There‘s a man sitting under an umbrella next to a makeshift desk in one corner of the car park, and as we pass him he tells us that we have to pay to use it. The car park is just a large unfenced open area of bitumen that looks like part of the road, so the man could well just be some random person who decided to spend his day here sitting in the shade collecting cash from naive tourists. We decide that we don’t particularly want to come back to find that all our panels have been caved in, so we fork out and head off on our hike to the beach.

The views as we reach the top of the hill are beyond stunning. The beach is pure white sand and the water is a whole range of different blue hues. There’s an ancient looking tower on a small island just offshore, and another much larger mountainous island across the strait beyond that. The beach is packed, and the view’s natural colours are enhanced by the endless variety of colours of the beach umbrellas. We grab a snack and pull up a couple of sunlounges under an umbrella on a grassy area just above a section of the beach. The water is crystal clear, and the sand is powder fine.

We discuss where this stunning place might sit in the rankings of the best beaches we’ve ever been to, because we both agree that it’s got to be right up there. As always happens when we try to rank things, it gets complicated, and we get into discussions about things like criteria and what constitutes a beach. I feel like I’m back at work doing a multi-criteria assessment for some massive engineering project. We manage to agree that a beach is a place on the coast where you can lie down, and swim in the water. That wasn’t too hard. Assessment criteria are a bit more of a challenge. Criteria discussed include water clarity, water temperature, swimability (how rough the water is, and how comfortable it is underfoot), quality of space to lie down on (quality of sand, sand versus pebbles, etc), ambience, availability and quality of facilities, desertedness (this conflicts with the criterion about facilities because if a beach gets a good desertedness rating it will almost automatically get a bad facilities rating because it won’t have any facilities; I can feel a sleepless night coming on trying to work out how we’re going to resolve this), and exoticness (Issy says that Aussie beaches can’t compete with overseas beaches because they’re not exotic enough - I argue that including this criterion would be unfair to Australian beaches). We decide that this could be a very long and time consuming discussion, requiring a computer and spreadsheets, so we agree to shelve it for now. We do however manage to concur that this is the best beach we’ve been to so far on this trip, just narrowly edging out Elafonissi Beach in Crete.

We arrive back at Starry Sky Charming House, relieved again to find that our room has been made up and our possessions haven’t been thrown into the street.

We dine at a seafood restaurant in a small square in the back streets of Alghero old town. A Sardinian waiter we spoke to at a restaurant back in Melbourne told us that we needed to go to Stintino, so we can tick that one off. He also said we needed to try “seadas” which we spot on the dessert menu. These are apparently a traditional Sardinian dish of cheese in pastry with a honey type sauce drizzled on them. They are very tasty.

The theme I’ve selected for today in the on-going series on our accommodation, Starry Sky Charming House, is garbage. No, the theme isn’t a bad one, it’s about the management of waste products if you stay here. Readers of previous posts will know that Mr Google thinks that this is a four star hotel, yet it’s not actually hotel at all, despite its four star hotel prices, and if we needed any more convincing we now find that there are no rubbish bins in the room. There is however a sign on the wall that says that guests must “pay the maximum attention to the conferment (sic) of waste in the appropriate containers of the common area (video surveillance)“. Five waste categories are then listed. Woe betide any guests who don’t obey as “in case of non-compliance with the conferment of waste, the management will be forced, unwillingly use (sic), to charge the sum of 100.00 Euro for further management costs”. Sure enough the tiny narrow corridor outside our room (“the common area”), has four rubbish bins in it (we’re not quite sure what they want us to do with rubbish in the fifth waste category), and we are expected to separate all our rubbish and put it in these bins, on pain of death. And they will be checking up on us, because the video camera in the narrow corridor is pointed straight at the rubbish bins. That said the corridor is so narrow that it couldn’t really be pointed at anything else. Now we like most people are more than happy to do our bit for the environment and separate our garbage when we’re at home, or even when we’re out walking the streets, but if we’re paying somewhere north of 250 Australian dollars a night to stay somewhere that Mr Google tells us is a four star hotel, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to assume that garbage management would be included in the price. Hmmmmm.

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6th August 2019
Alghero Harbour

Nice blog
Stunning sunset

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