canyon exploring with Michele Angileri

Badde Pentumas

Badde Pentumas ("Valley of Ravines and Cliffs") brings its waters (on the rare occasions it flows) in Lanaitto Valley, one of the most emblematic places of Supramonte. Lanaitto Valley is truly a karst plain surrounded by rugged mountains of bare limestone rock covered with sparse vegetation, which becomes thick in places where is a bit of soil. Dry stone walls and rows of trees divide the plain into fields for agriculture, while the surrounding hills are used for herds and flocks grazing, under the eye of shepherds who still sleep in the ancient stone and juniper huts called pinnettos, mostly located in places reachable only on foot.

It is the limestone rock to dominate the wide Supramonte, with its pavements, its enormous and still largely unknown karst cave systems, the ravines, the walls, ...
At Badde Pentumas this domain, or rather this dynamic balance between rock and vegetation creates, in my opinion, an absolutely unique and unrepeatable charm.

Name Badde Pentumas
Area Sardegna
Nearest village Oliena
Elevation loss 430 m
Length 2 km
Highest cascade 32 m
Rock Limestone
Shuttle Little useful
Explored by Gruppo Speleologico Faentino; first seventies.


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I remember ...

People often talks about the Supramonte as a place of primitive charm, but I must say that in all parts of Supramonte I visited, both easy or difficult to reach, I never had the feeling of being in face of a very remote antiquity. Yes, there are many nuraghi here, and even more pinnettos (which quite resemble the nuraghi) ... There are signs of 4000 years of man's presence in those inhospitable places, but they belong to that environment, to that landscape that has been since millenniums exactly like today, like we can see.

But when I looked out from that kind of french door with which Pentumas canyon begins ("Su Boccaportu") I had the feeling of being in front of something that had experienced a history so old and complex to be almost unimaginable. The forms of the huge walls in front of me were indubitably made by the erosion of rivers (maybe 10 different ones) that in that landscape simply cannot exist. They had engraved the walls at different ages, and each time the rocks were raised to be eroded again.
Yes, I know the numbers of geology, I know such things require million years ... but a number gives no feeling. That view, instead, lets your eyes see the hugeness of time, in a glance. And you, little canyoneer-man, stay open-mouthed in front a thing not only huge and powerful but also extraordinarily ancient.

Copyright © 2002- Michele Angileri. All rights reserved.