“It should be just up here,” said Stefano, as we bounced along yet another dusty, isolated track at the base of Monte Nieddu.
As before, there was no signage to indicate if indeed, this was the right way to the swimming hole. All we had to go on was the name of the nearest village and some directions from an elderly woman who appeared to be the only resident in town on this particular day.
In the back, the children could barely keep their eyes open while Veronica and her sister, Ila, leaned their heads wearily against the window like two convicts in cross-country transit.
Suddenly, we spotted a red estate parked in a layby. Stefano exchanged words with the driver and it turned out they too, were on the lookout for the elusive river and had information on its whereabouts.
With renewed vigour, we piled out of the car and followed him and his son down a thin track. Before long, the trees petered out and we were surrounded by sun-bleached granite formations that seemed to weave and flow almost like a river. The path began to descend into a blind gorge and then we were presented with that most precious of resources – water.
Despite the midsummer heat, a steady stream made its way between the rock and collected in a pool just right for jumping into. On the far side, the water continued its journey off the lip of a ravine and plummeted into another gorge where a group of climbers were following its course deeper into the landscape.