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canyon exploring with Michele Angileri

Angurtidorgiu Mannu

Geologically speaking, the Quirra plateau consists of a Hercynian basement (paleozoic meta-sandstones, schists, gneiss) and a Eocene sedimentary cover made of marl-limestone and sandstone in horizontal layers. In the rainy seasons some streams flow on the horizontal layers of sedimentary rocks, before reaching the edge of plateau.

But limestone is easily carved by water ... so it's easy to realize that some caverns must open in Quirra plateau. What you are not figuring is that northeastern part of Quirra plateau hosts one of the widest karst systems in Sardinia, dug by two streams both going underground to join in the middle of a tunnels labyrinth more than 12 km long.
Its name is: Is Angurtidorgius

In Angurtidorgius most tunnels are horizontal and have water flowing. Following Angurtidorgius underground stream dressed in wetsuit is a great adventure through a unique wonderful environment.
In the detailed description you find a trail through the most interesting parts of Angurtidorgius karst system, beginning at the portal of Angurtidorgiu Mannu, in the middle of Quirra plateau, and ending on the opposite side, at plateau's edge.

Name Angurtidorgiu Mannu
Area Sardegna, Salto di Quirra
Nearest village Perdasdefogu
Entrance altitude (above sea level) 470 m
Exit altitude (above sea level) 450 m
Length 3 km
Longest rappel 0 m
Rock Marl-limestone, sandstone
Shuttle No
Explored by Giovanni Barrocu, Floriano Calvino: 1960-1963
Franco Serra, Speleo Club Cagliari: 1973


Detailed description: type your passcode  
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What you find in the detailed description

I remember ...

The "good" and "evil" are two important categories helping us in understanding reality. However, it often happens in life to find things not fitting in one category.

One of it is the military firing ground of Salto di Quirra. The plateau hosts "wargames", it's hit by bombs, used to test new rockets and weapons, ...
People say Quirra's soil is poisoned, say that animals and men have started to develop mysterious diseases. But nothing wrong results from studies and analyses in Quirra's soil.

The rational man always keeps in himself a little flame of doubt, to light up the truth as it shows unexpected. I came to Angurtidorgius with the eyes wide open. The karst system entirely develops into the military firing ground, so water flowing inside comes from bombed soil. Outside the cave Nature seems not to care about bullets and tests, and inside ...
... a lot of newts swimming fast through the emerald pools! It is the rare Euproctus Platycephalus, endemic of Sardinia, a species threatened with extinction. I had never seen it before, though I had gone through the cleanest and most isolated streams in Sardinia. Moreover I never expected to see it in an underground stream (see photo 17). Should this be a poisoned environment?

Moreover, Euproctus isn't the only wildlife treasure in Angurtidorgius. System hosts a lot of rare and unique underground species, living in its beautiful tunnels, its very long pools, labyrinths, tubs ... The wonderful forms of Angurtidorgius system are not easy to photograph unless you are experienced in underground photography. I am not, so I apologize for the poor quality of photographs in this page: maybe next time will be better.

Out in open air again I looked all around. Dense bush surrounded me as far as I could see. A few cows were quietly grazing in the bush. No houses, buildings, roads ... Nothing. It is reserved for military purposes, no one can build anything here.

The good and evil.

Photographs in this website show ultralight ropes (6 mm ropes made of high tenacity fibers). Read multimedia book Ultralight ropes canyoning technique to learn how to use them.

Copyright © 2002- Michele Angileri. All rights reserved.