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Armungia > Cuile is arrantas

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The last stage in the region of Gerrei is of good length, all on good paths, but largely without shade.

We cross the large plateau of Sa Mola, in a landscape like the Wild West, and admire imaginatively shaped sedimentary rocks. The icing on the cake is the rocky balcony of Sa Trona, which concludes an impressive stage.

Special Notes

Sometimes there are no signposts at crossroads: it is good to follow the GPS track.

If there are no water points, take a good supply with you.

when to go
March - November
Suitable for
how to get there
description of the route

We leave the centre of Armungia in the direction of the cemetery and from there take the wide path that leads down to the valley floor without difficulty (about 300 drop). Once at the bottom, we briefly take an asphalt road and cross the course of the Flumendosa river under the bridge of the state road; then we take the dirt road to the left and ride along the river for a while. After a few kilometres, we take the wide mule track to the right and begin the climb (about 400 m height difference), which is steady and easy until we reach the top of the plateau near Sa Mola, from where we enjoy a beautiful view (we find the first imaginatively shaped rocks).

We turn north, still going up and down a dirt road, crossing the entire plateau, passing some sheep pens and often seeing herds of grazing oxen; the landscape is gentle and offers beautiful views. In the distance we see the pointed monolith of Perda Liana.

Eventually we descend (about 100 m drop) until we cross the paved (and tending dry) bottom of Riu Cuili 'e Ierru, and then climb again (about 100 m height difference) to the village of Cuile is Arrantas, where we see an old sheep pen no longer in use. About 1 km away is the rocky balcony of Sa Trona, with its characteristic sedimentary rocks shaped by weathering: the right place to enjoy the sunset (and perhaps pitch your tent).

What to know

The municipality of Escalaplano hosts the cultural association “Boi Fui Janna Morti”, founded by a group of enthusiasts who decided to continue the tradition of Su Boi, Su omadori - the typical local masks.

The carnevale escalaplanese (Escalaplan Carnival) is part of the typical representations that involve the entire region. Thanks to a thorough anthropological study carried out in collaboration with the village elders, it was possible to reconstruct the ritual, which has since disappeared. The three masks represent an ancient belief according to which some men turn into oxen (Su Boi) at night and wander through the village to announce death - the cry of the ox resembling the howling of the wolf. The men who transform into Sui Boi wear large ox horns, their skin is dyed black with wet soot, their shoulders are covered with the ox hide, on their chest they carry a large cow bell tied tightly with a wide leather strap, and in their hands they hold a horn into which they blow, imitating the cry of the ox. Su Omadori (the tamer), also with black coloured skin, wears a kind of coarse cowl with a bonnet and his face is covered by a striking mask made from the ox's pelvis - an object used in the archaic world to communicate with the afterlife. On one side, Su Omadori holds the rope to which Su Boi is tied, and on the other a stick with a leather cord at the end, with which he tames the wild animal.

During the performance, the couples Su Boi and Su Omadori (always made up of the same people) engage in a fight that is not without clashes and in which the violence is depicted in a liberating ritual - witnessing the transformation of the protagonists is something really cool. The ritual ends with the ox being forced to roll on the ground to return to the human stage and surrender its animal part to the earth - a kind of exorcism performed by Su Ommadori.

The last figure of the Escalapian tradition, Su Fui Janna Morti, is a kind of ghost who appears on the evening of 31 July dressed as a ghost with a white sheet and brings a pile of earth to invoke a good harvest.

What to see

In the municipality of Ballao, not far from the village of Escalaplano, is the sacred well of Funtana Coberta.

It dates back to 1200 BC and was discovered in the early 20th century when numerous artefacts were found, including swords used for religious oaths and votive statuettes. It is about ten metres long and almost two metres wide and was dug into the rock at the point where a water spring rises. The well, with its tholos chamber (i.e. with uncovered lid), has the peculiarity of being practically identical to the sacred well of Garlo, which was found a few kilometres from Sofia in Bulgaria.

In the territory of Escalaplano, on the other hand, the well of Is Clamoris is located near the river.

In the area of Cuile near Arrantas is the boulder of Sa Trona, “the throne” in Sardinian.

It is a huge flat stone that points into the void like a giant trampoline.

what to eat

The typical cheese of Escalaplano is Axridda, a sheep's cheese that matures under a thin layer of clay (Axridda in Sardinian).

After maturing for two to three months, the cheese is massaged with mastic oil and covered with clay powder: this keeps it at room temperature - an ancient method of preserving pecorino during the hottest time of the year.

This exceptional product, protected by the Slow Food Praesidium, can mature for up to three years, developing a complexity of flavours reminiscent of the pastures of the Mediterranean maquis.

A typical dish of the region is the Culurgiones, called Cullixionis in Escalaplano.

This is a stuffed pasta with a filling of potatoes, feta cheese and mint. It is typical of Ogliastra (Escalaplano extends over the sub-regions of Gerrei and Ogliastra) and has become one of the symbols of Sardinian cuisine. The dough, made from durum wheat semolina, is formed into a Spighidda (small ear of corn) with the fingers, then cooked and served simply with oil or with tomatoes and feta cheese. There are also fried or grilled versions. Of course, there are other versions as well: in Ballao, for example, saffron is added.

Culurgiones were and still are the meal for important events such as the wheat harvest, and the typical closure is still a symbol of a good omen for the coming year.

where to sleep

​​There are no accommodation facilities in Cuile is Arrantas. It is therefore necessary to have a tent or to continue the next stage to Perdasdefogu.

How to Reach

The starting point is accessible by car.

The starting point can be reached by bus, starting from the city of Cagliari.

Here is the LINK to check the timetable.

The starting point is NOT accessible by train.

“After overcoming our fear of heights, we treat ourselves to a few unforgettable shots on the unique Sa Trona Board”

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