Random bit of (new) SS389 near turn-off for Orani

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tahrey

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One thing I can't understand about this island is how the newer single carriageway roads - e.g. this SS389 that heads south from Nuoro - are typically of a better standard than the actual "main" / motorway-esque dual carriageway SS131 & its spurs (britishers, think A55, or A14) that connects the principal towns, which is actually pretty terrifying as it's poorly surfaced, has narrow lanes and crap junctions/signs and tends to have long straight sections (with sudden crosswinds on the low-standard bridges and shocking windchill in the tunnels.... oh the things you suddenly learn about when foolishly trying to mix it in the deep end on a 2-wheeler) linking pretty sharp, unsigned and occasionally blind turns and fairly steep gradients - none of your anglo-french continual sweeping bends here. Until you get on the 2-laners, that is.

The junctions and signs aren't much better, but then they don't need to be as technically speaking, the speed limits are lower (and as I may have mentioned elsewhere, everyone tends to drive in a fairly laid back manner, probably as a survival mechanism thanks to all the mountains). But the surfaces are good, the lanes are wide with pavement-type bits (in many places I reckon the actual width of roadway is more than the SS131, which is typically hemmed in by concrete walls - not this bit of course, but it's a bad example) or at least semi-hard shoulder run-offs, and most of the curves can be taken flat-out on a 125 bike by an almost complete novice with no worries. And the bridges have wind diffusers on them. Overtaking is a breeze, partly because Sardinia has no real concept of the Traffic Jam (or traffic in general - note how this is the equivalent, say, of the A5... and I can happily stand in the middle to take pictures) outside of the bigger cities - or caravans, or articulated trucks that stray from the DC - but also because there's so much space to do it in and enough straight, flat / constant gradient bits. I could often run down the hard shouldery bit at full throttle and just let the faster cars drift by with no safety concerns, or only wait mere seconds for a suitable gap to get past slower ones.

That's the newer roads of course. They have been evidently embarking on a strategic program of improving certain through-routes that were, if you hunt out the old sections (or accidentally end up on them, as I later did trying to get back on the main road from Lago di Gusana), originally very slow (I probably averaged 20mph if I was lucky), very winding, very hill, very lethal and definitely very terrifying. The money saved on not actually making them (pointless) dual carriageways has gone into trunk-route engineering on a massive scale, ploughing through the landscape with little regard for hill or valley. Impressive deep cuttings and high viaducts (you can see both in this synth) abound like they ain't no thang. It's like a return to 1800s railway building... no, more so than that, because Sardinia's 19th century railways are winding, narrow guage affairs. It's like the Romans came back and realised just what they could acheive with a few JCBs and a bit of dynamite. Even the gradients are shallower than the DC.

Our own road engineers should come here and learn a thing or two about e.g. how to properly link up north & south wales (not to mention the west coasts both of england and wales with the central regions... only cornwall seems to get it even half right). Aberystwyth and environs shouldn't require a 4-hour journey to get to from Birmingham just because of a few poxy, comparitively flat british "mountains" that cause the A44 to be wound around them like some kind of rebellious headphone cabl
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Date Created 9/8/2008
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