I only got 2 hours sleep cos I ended up trying to get a heap of blogs live.
I did it, which is a bonus, but it also meant that my eyes were shutting involuntarily, and I knew they were shut but I just kinda sat there, with my eyes shut, knowing they were shut, not wanting them to be shut, but they were shut, and I was struggling to change that fact.
We get up, I shower cos I feel like a slippery hoe with only a couple hours under my belt, and tick into brekky. We tuck into some more eggs, which are utterly delicious. Brew ourselves a silky batch of coffee and take in everything that the Sicilian landscape has to offer. Its so good. Doug & Anne’s dogs are casually fight and doing their thing in the middle of the living room.
They’ve got this white fluff ball of excitement and energy, named Bertie and then another smaller, quieter dog names Bessie. She’s kinda funny cos she can hold her own against Bertie, but she also has this broken leg.
When I say broken, I mean broken.
This leg has got to be on a good 70 degree angle or something hey. Its just kinda stuck there. I found out that she broke it when she was playing with a cat.
I have no idea how that is possible.
Either the cat was like the feline hulk and had a guts full of a little puppy existing, or it was a lion. Either way, not so great. The whole broken leg fiasco doesn’t really stop he at all. She wrestles with Bertie and shows him his place every now and then.
The plan of attack for today is pretty much to just go check out the neighbouring Sicilian cities. We start by heading into Caccamo, where we are introduced to our first ever Italian breakfast. It pretty much just consists of tasty pastries and coffee. Italian legend has it, that the god, Jupiter embodied a mere mortal, and rose him up to create the greatest treat for Neptune and Minerva, which was the pastry.** Naturally, we wanna eat like the gods, so we tuck right into a delicious Italian breakfast. This one bloke comes out of the shop, and Anne looks all delighted to see him.
Its kinda cool that the guys have so easily gelled into the Sicilian culture. They seem to know a lot of people for being here for such a short period of time. The guy is a little bit weird though, just kinda keeps going us this really awkward smile, while rubbing Anne’s shoulder. Turns out that the guy is actually part of the mafia.
Who woulda thunk it?
That means that we have already rubbed shoulders with the mafia twice. Once at the jazz shin digg, and once here, while having breakfast. Turns out that the mafia in Sicily are a bigger presence than you suspect them to be.
We tucked into breakfast and made our way down to the Termini Imorese, the closest beach to Anne & Doug’s place. We brought the dog cos the guys knew that the dogs would love the water. They loved the water so much that Bertie, the little cloud with legs end dup tripping Anne over in his relentless pursuit of beach-filled fun. The scene is as spectacular as you would expect it to be for Sicily. The mountains loom in the back ground, while the aqua coloured waves break on the shore where the fishermen are casting out.
Its friggin gorgeous.
I begin my ritual of practicing my stone skipping while at the beach. I’ve been getting better, but timing it against the waves is proving to be more of a headache than anything else. It will look as though it will be beautifully flat, then as the stone skims the surface the first time, the wave begins to collect and sends the stone shooting into the air, only to plonk in the water seconds late like I had just lobbed it in the air.
Both the dogs come to join us by the shore line. I don’t know how many times they have actually been near the water, because they don’t quite understand how it all works yet. The wave had just crashed, and the dogs had followed the water which drew back out to the sea, not knowing that the water was mere moments from collecting and chasing them back up the pebbled shore line.
We all lost it laughing, as both the dogs went from a moment of ecstasy to tucking their tails in between their legs, pinning their ears back and tucking their asses in as tightly as they could in a desperate attempt to escape the crash of the water just behind them. They weren’t so eager to chance their fate with the water again.
We let the dogs run for a while until we decide to make our way to Cefalu.
Cefalu is probably the most touristy town around the Caccamo/Termini area. Its got that stereotypical sea front earthy-coloured townhouses look, with the signature Italian narrow cobblestone roads. It is everything you would see on an Italian postcard.
We get out and decide to go for a bit of a wander through the streets. Its just like being in another world. I kinda can’t explain it. You know that it exists, but because you have never seen it in person, it really just feels like you’re yet to wake up. Its really odd. The whole culture of all these people sitting in the middle of the square having lunch. The guy delivering the vegetables on the back of his piaggio. The nonnas who keep watch of the neighbourhood from her balcony. You’ve heard the whole package described to you before, but to actually be walking around in it and seeing it for yourself is something different.
We are wandering around and to our left appear a few steps. Doug tells us to go down and have a look. Pre the whole “washing machine” thing, people would use the water from the mountain, directed into these square pools where the people of Cefalu would come down and clean their clothes. Not too bad at all. The ingenuity of people centuries before us really does blow me away. The water just casually passes through the washing ponds, and then out to the beach on the other side of the wall.
When people need to come up with a solution, it is amazing to see how creative human beings can get.
We continue our wander through the streets and we are walking up this one little bit of cobble stone road, when Doug turns to us and says, “just though there”, pointing to his left. I look though, and there is this arch, and on the other side of this arch is the beach. Just like that. You can go from walking through the town’s streets to sitting on the beach in less than 5m.
Families are playing with their kids, people resting on the bench seats, dogs running free. Everything is happening in this one little seaside town in Sicily, and again, its the culture of the place that I really have come to love so quickly.
We head down to the beach. Getting bathed in the warmth of the sun, we make our way up to the concrete wharf-like platform where the locals have an unobstructed view of the bay in front of them. It would be the perfect way to wrap up a big week, or any week for that matter. Its just food for the soul.
Continue to work out way back into the heart of Cefalu, and find a little square to have lunch in. The restaurant services the square, so instead of having to eat just outside the doors of the restaurant, you can enjoy the openness of the square and the unlimited sunshine and fresh air that goes with it. This is literally all over Italy. Squares in cities and towns are a dime a dozen, and most of them have places to either eat or drink in them.
We order food and beer and chat over life and what really brought Anne & Doug to Sicily in the first place. The first time Doug came to Sicily, it was to visit Cefalu, actually. Not bad, I reckon. The place is gorgeous. They tell us about the mountain that looms over the settlement, and if my memory serves me correctly, how back in the day, there was a war, and so the monks rescued the inhabitants of the city and took them up to the mountain, where they ended up building a small wall around the cliff edge.
They were able to hold off the invaders till the war subsided, and saved a whole load of people in the process.
We wrap up lunch and make our way back to Anne & Doug’s place. Anne & Doug were telling us how the view from the mountain behind their house is brilliant. Being that we have still got some time free, we decide that we are going to check it out. It looks like it would only be a 10 minute drive or something, but this ends up taking us a good 20 mins or more to get up. I mean, it is that high, that they have a wind farm at the top of the ridge.
Its high enough, and windy enough, and you zig zag all over the place to get there. We pass these utterly luscious and green hillsides on our way up, and the thing that impresses me the most is that you can tell that there has been tractors come through and tend to the crops. There are clear paths that the tractors have driven, which are a little more than just a slight incline. These guys would want to know their equipment pretty damn well.
The hillside just looks like soft velvet, like the famous windows XP background. I take a photo, and Bec straight away asks me “Is that photo for me?”
“Well it is now”
Dunno what I am and going to do now that it is hers, but sure, she can have it if she wants.
We leave Anne in the car to keep an eye on the dogs and climb up, under the windmills. The sound of the windmills cutting the air is deep and powerful. They don’t look like they are moving that quick from down below, but once you are standing under them, you wouldn’t wanna get in the way of one of those blades.
We reach the cliff edge, and there is a good 20m or more drop off the edge. Something that you don’t really wanna have to pretend to enjoy. Doug tasks us with the finding of his place. Fortunately, earlier in the day, he pointed it out from the other side of the valley, so it didn’t take me long to spot it and point it out to him. Unfortunately for Becka, she missed the previous challenge, and had to start from scratch.
She won, though.
The view from up there was something to behold. You’ve got the whole turquoise lake in front of you, the sea in the distance, the green rolling hills of the farmlands in the foreground, the patches of farmer’s properties in the distance, and the rugged mountain looming over it all. It is an epic sight to see.
We head back down home, and tuck in with some wine and get ready to watch Tropic Thunder. We tell Anne & Doug how amazing it is, and tell them about the star studded line-up. There is no way that they wont like it.
They didn’t like it.
That was the last straw. In conversations we had with them, they’d listed all these movies that we loved too, so we thought that we would be able to take a little more liberty with the suggestions of movies.
The first suggestion I’d made a few nights ago was a bit of a gamble since I hadn’t seen it for myself, and this time, I thought I was safe… Win some, lose some. Post-movie, we head to bed. The weekend has been a load of fun, and we’re looking forward to see what the rest of the week holds.
Come back for the next story,
**there is literally no legend about this because I made it up on the spot