Still in Sicily

Felt great to be back on my bike! Have to admit, was a little nervous as I have been 2up with Bindi for last few weeks and these Sicilian’s are crazy drivers! 

However all was well, back on the horse again! We headed south via Enna, known from the Middle Ages until 1926 as Castrogiovanni, it is located roughly at the centre of Sicily, (it is also called the ‘belly button of Sicilly), then on towards the coast stopping in Porto Empedocle.  I found a nice B&B and ended up in a local restaurant where we hung out with a tourist bus load of Chinese and James – the retired Bostonian policeman.  Very fun night – thanks James, see you again in 2031 for the RWC.

Next morning on to Scala dei Turchi (the Turkish Steps), it is a rocky cliff on the coast of Realmonte, very cool.  The rain and wind have eroded the hillside to a point where the white rock looks like steps. 

We begin to get an idea of the importance of tourism for these areas, and how difficult the covid thing has been.  In the main tourist attractions we see large carparks and capacity for hordes of visitors – however we are in the start of the ‘off season’ so it’s perfect – the weather is golden and the locals are attentive to the last of travellers. 

We got a quick history lesson about the Sicilian ‘tricolour’, it’s this strange three legged beast that appears on their local flags.  Wikipedia explains things better than our basic Italian understanding, but the three ‘knees’ are the key ports  (Messina, Palermo, Catania), the ankles were the inland towns.

Following the South West coastline we headed north up to San Vito Lo Capo via Trapani.  We had been recommended to visit this place, it is a sheltered beach at the base of Mount Monaco.  Well, it was so worth it!  For this first time this whole trip I paid for a beach chair and umbrella and parked myself front row on the beach!  As it is off season not too many people and stunning views.

It was Bindi’s birthday, so we decided to treat ourselves and choose a nice spot for dinner, that was harder than we thought as so much to choose from. The B&B we stayed at had the loveliest family who have owned it for last 8 years, they were so helpful and very friendly.  We didn’t even have to “poozle” anything for the day as they packed us up a little lunch bag after every breakfast for us to take on our day (Poozle – scavenge for collectable or useful items).  Something Bindi’s Mum and Dad taught us and we have passed this on to the next generation as well😊

We visited the Zingaro Nature reserve and went on a small hike, very dry and very hot.  Once again swimming was next level. This reserve was to be the location of a road that would have completed the coastal roading circuit, the last 20 km of Sicilian coastline without roading – but (and thankfully) 2000+ locals marched on the local government and the road was canned.  Now is is a relatively unspoilt piece of coastline that has the loveliest small coves and beaches.  Stunning stuff.

Was a long ride back as we needed to do it in one day as I had been invited to the neighbours to make traditional Sicilian pasta.  We took the autobahn until we couldn’t handle it anymore and decided to head on a less travelled road. I know I have mentioned the Sicilian drivers before but had to laugh when on a clearly marked 80km road I passed a cop doing 123km 😊 I was reluctant, but others were doing it and he definitely was doing more than 80km too heheh.  I think the speed signs here are just for show.

My Mother always said I would end up here 😇

We had an interesting interlude with some farm dogs that got worked up when we stopped to take some photo’s of the road sign in Purgatorio.  What the photo’s don’t show is me on my motorbike kicking my leg out like a kung fu exponent at the barking dog, while Bindi is yelling at me to ‘use the bloody throttle’  – anyway three dogs chasing my bike out of the town of Purgatorio was a fun sight, he reckons!!

Pasta making was a real treat, quite funny really between 5 Italian women, me and google translate we had a lot of fun.  They taught me to make home made ‘maccheroni’, it took me awhile to get the hang of it but was fun.  As usual the guys turned up when “mangiare pronto” (food is ready)

Pressure cleaning, pruning, sweeping, burning, painting continues as we have to pay for our keep somehow!!  Loving it though, always manage to take a we afternoon off and go exploring.  Took the bikes to Catania, another crazy city.  I am getting the hang of riding my motorbike “Italian style”

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