208 – 211: Picnics on the Coast and in the Hills

208 – Saturday 14th November:  Meal at ‘Home’ … How many units?

K shopped in Cefalu for the remaining food items and we drove to the Aged P’s apartment via (a half hour detour each way!) a motorway services that had motorhome services.  We are not sure that they wanted us to use the services as they had ‘no entry’ poles up, but we asked, smiled a lot, and they let us use them.  We could see why they were shut off.  Some people are just foul (literally!) …. excrement and wet wipes had been poured down the grey waste, when there was a perfectly good chemical toilet point.

Arriving at the apartment, K showered in luxury and K and J sorted the hand laundry (3 batches) that were still slowly drying on the balcony.  K cooked … all Sicilian recipes. We even had two different types of Marsala and two versions of Grillo white wine.  K blames her father for the toxic poisoned feeling she had the next day.  Thank you J for driving.

Chef at large ... in a pukka kitchen ... work space envy!

Chef at large … in a pukka kitchen … work space envy!

Dinner on the balcony.

Starters on the balcony.

View across to Cefalu

View across to Cefalu

209 – Sunday 15th November:

K started the day with two paracetamol 😦 .  How does Dad do it?!?  As we have a fridge and the picnic gear on board for a picnic, we picked up the Aged Ps and drove along the coast to two towns.

Santo Stefano di Camastra is known for its ceramics.  A locals’ town and busy with people out for a wander, coffee and greeting each other.  We liked it.

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Ceramics everywhere, even on the park fence under some winter jasmine

Ceramics everywhere, even on the park fence under some winter jasmine

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We caught then end of the band and the majorettes.

We caught then end of the band and the majorettes.

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We picnicked along side the sea …. and stayed for a couple of hours … peaceful, sun and sea… what’s to hurry for?

Castel di Tusa was less interesting … pretty fishing boats and rocks with the late afternoon glow.  It is known mostly for being the start of a contemporary (odd!) art trail.  And there was no gelateria open – a major failing!

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J's arms aren't long enough to give some support!

J’s arms aren’t long enough to give some support!

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210 – Monday 16th November:

Up to the hills today.  Caccamo: lies under a Norman castle, overlooking a lake, with lots of pretty church squares on different levels.  It was only supposed to be 10km from the motorway, but Brad (nice but dim Sat Nav) took us the scenic route up when K was driving (hairpins and a felled tree blockage) and a direct and quick route back when J was driving …. sexist?

It took a matter of minutes for these chaps to clear the road .... they moved fast. And hurled massive heavy trunk segments into the verge to allow traffic through.

It took a matter of minutes for these chaps to clear the road …. they moved fast. And strong as they hurled massive heavy trunk segments into the verge to allow traffic through.

When we approached the castle, an elderly gent scurried out of his museum / tasting shop and explained that despite all the guide books stating the castle was open on Monday it was not …. to be honest, we had completely forgotten that all the museums shut on Mondays …. duh!  He was so charmingly earnest that we took him up on his free tasting.  Why are these things never free … you feel beholden to buy something.  The Aged Ps left with a pistachio pesto for pasta and a prickly pear (cactus fruit) grappa for Grumps … K with jam for M and the pistachio pesto.  We LOVED the sweet tastings of lemon and pistachio …  but what would we do with them … none of us bake cakes etc.  Tempting as it is to buy and just eat from the jar on a spoon!

The elderly gent explaining the closed castle and offering the free tastings.

The elderly gent explaining the closed castle and offering the free tastings.

An ancient pasta press in the elderly gent's museum

An ancient pasta press in the elderly gent’s museum

Charmingly proud of his town

Charmingly proud of his town

We had a quick wander of the town and then had another long picnic – in the sun admiring the view.

Buildings clinging to the hill side

Buildings clinging to the hill side

Seriously clinging to the rocks

Seriously clinging to the rocks

An Englishman Abroad hat!!!

An Englishman Abroad hat!!!  For those that don’t know us … James is Irish.

Madonna and skull!!!

Madonna and skull!!!

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Lunch View :)

Lunch View 🙂

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Back to the Aged P’s apartment for supper … strange looking fish: spatola – silver scabbard fish … pretty tasteless, but we were just relieved it was not eel – none of us care for the oiliness.

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211 – Tuesday 17th November:  Moving East: Just North of Catania

The Aged P’s second apartment is just north of Catania, near Aci Trezzo.  K and J re-vistied the motorway services as there seem to be a lack of OPEN motorhome services.

Free motorway across the centre of Sicily:  rolling hills.  If it were not for the vegetation, it could have been the UK Dales.  We plan to spend a bit of time visiting the central mountains.

Lots of motorway sections are propped up on stilts. Italy must me a major concrete consumer. Hilltop Enna on the horizon.

Lots of motorway sections are propped up on stilts. Italy must be a major concrete consumer. Hilltop Enna on the horizon.

Etna and orange groves

Etna is visible from a long way off, wisps of smoke atop.  Approaching Catania, it is flatter with orange groves.

K and J ‘negotiated’ part of Catania and then a few too many near miss / awkward reversing / tight turns of Aci Castello.  Fortunately for K, J was driving, so she alighted several times and spotted for him.  Onto Aci Trezzo, which is quite close to the Aged P’s apartment and down a few more narrow roads … Oh Joy … a harbour with a free car park.  It is always reassuring to be near another motorhome … Belgian Knaus next door.  we communicated in French.  The first thing our neighbour said was how horrendous the narrow roads were! Yep, I said …. we were going to celebrate arriving with a glass of wine!  We duly found a bar and people watched.

A water canoe polo practice - entertainment right on our front porch!

A water canoe polo practice – entertainment right on our front porch!

Stop press:  J just called me outside… fish jumping.  Right outside our front porch, again.  Fat cat lurked and nabbed one as they landed on the lava rocks.

 

 

 

One thought on “208 – 211: Picnics on the Coast and in the Hills

  1. I copied some lovely photos of you all! Beautiful place! We had a storm here last night that lifted the garden furniture and large re-cycling bin and threw it to the end of our garden! The debris in and around is awful! The 2 roads out of here to the village are blocked.P is away on his monthly “walking holiday” wish I could do what you’re doing ! Xxxxx love you and miss you.

    Sent from my iPad

    >

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