First day in Sicilia
We are really excited to be getting this boat! It costs us 300 Euros, but it cuts out over 1000km of driving. The boat leaves at 21.00 – I’m already fast asleep then, but Frank watches it leave, a huge colossus manouvering itself out of a tight harbour.
A ferry always feels like the end of one chapter and the beginning of another. The next morning we are on deck in brilliant sunshine and a stiff breeze, taking some selfies and marvelling at the Sicilian landscape rising out of the sea in front of us.
Every time we talk to anyone, they warn us about robberies. Take care of your vehicle, take care of your purse. We hear this again and again. We are advised that this counts for little villages in the interior just as much as for the more touristic sites. Every time I hear this, it makes me feel quite uncomfortable. What more can we do beyond locking up properly? Emma is our house, and the thought of a break-in is unsettling. We are also advised to arrange for any repairs via a local friend, so that we are not charged tourist prices.
Our bumper needs urgent repair though, beyond our duct tape job, if we don’t want to lose a headlight. So as we drive out of Termini Imerese, we stop off at a mechanic’s place just on the outskirts of town. Lots of trucks are waiting for repair, but the boss waves us in. We ask how much a temporary repair would cost, but he just waves his hand and tells us to chill out. He puts a young guy onto the job and leaves. We discuss the repair options and settle on riveting two metal plates across the break, meanwhile worrying that after the fact, they will charge us an arm and a leg for a little repair.
As we come to pay though, the young man sends us to his boss, who just waves off any offer of payment and says it was done ‘di cuore’ – from the heart.
What a lesson. All this mistrust building up from other people’s stories, and this man sweeps them off the table with one simple gesture. I feel ashamed for having given room to Mistrust in my heart, before even setting foot on the island! Of course we should be mindful of our things and of where we leave the van, but I vow not to inherently mistrust people before even meeting them. I normally trust people until they prove me otherwise, so why change now.
We take the motorway up into the mountains. The landscape is STUNNING. We stop off for a few photos and later we have lunch outside the van in the sun, overlooking the valley. After that, a bumpy road winds it way up to Petralia Sottana, where we park up for the night. While Frank guards Emma, I take a walk into this very old town, full of ancient buildings, stairways and cobblestone roads.
Later on, we go into town together. In a bar, we get drawn into a circle of local and very jovial guys, who insist on buying us drinks and toasting to our honeymoon journey (of course Emma and the ‘just married sign in the window’ had already been spotted), and we get recommended a local restaurant for our dinner.
When we return to Emma, we light a fire before snuggling into bed. We are over 1000mtrs high here, and the night is cold and starstudded.
For more photos of this day, go to flikr
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