I am very glad to rediscover that I can do things on my own, without fearing some kind of hassle from a guy. The newly found freedom makes me realise just how strongly I have curbed my style while being in Sicily. I probably have done injustice to many guys, but after a few not so nice experiences, I tended to avoid talking to groups of guys when on my own.

One evening, coming home from the local bar where I’d used the internet to do a couple of hours of work, another camper with two guys is parked up near ours. I walk up to it and introduce myself as a neighbour. We have a little chat, which leads to us all sharing their dinner in our van. Frank’s knees have had enough of hiking up and down these mountains for the time being, so I am very happy to find another hiking companion in Mirko, as we arrange to go for a walk early the following morning.


We meet at sunrise and drive up to the town where we leave Mirko’s friend Dimitri behind and we strike out on a 1.5hour energetic walk, first down to the Devil’s Bridge, and then back up to a rock overlooking the town returning through it’s historic centre – all the while talking about our families, about life decisions, about relationships, about mothers and being a mother, about fathers and sons. By the time we get back to the village, it seems we’ve shared a large part of our life stories. The sun is up and we are all ready to move on in our various directions, Frank and I towards Puglia and Mirko and Dimitri towards their home in Liguria. Thank you Mirko, for a great walk in a great place and for allowing me to experience a relaxing time on my own with a male Italian stranger! So nice not to have to be on my guard and to be able to connect from one human being to another.


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