265-267: Trapartytime in Trapani – but not for us !

265 – Sunday 10th January 2016:  Trapani and Wine

The Italian Squeejy vans game continued through the evening, become a Squeejy cars party.  Despite a huge expanse of tarmac we had two cars of courting and flirting LOUDLY youngsters on one side.  They were soon joined on the other side by quite a number of cars coming and going with loud boombox ‘music’ (I use the word with caution and I am NOT against modern music … I have 5 Seconds of Summer album!) with people popping sweets (!) and leaving little plastic bags all over the ground!  20-30 youngsters in loud party mode. We should have moved over the other side, but bed was too warm and you think they’ll be gone soon!  They weren’t!  J reliably informs me they departed at about 3.00 am…. I slept the sleep of the innocent! IMG 4553

I did a 4km run though the docks and town and spotted a small veg market and the fish market.  There are serious fishing smacks here, so it is no surprise there was a fairly large fish market.  I purchased 1.4 kilo of cod at EUR10/kilo.  He even filleted it for me, leaving the livers too …. only had cod liver in tablet form, but sure I’ll find something to do with them!

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IMG 4582Huge cauli for EUR1 …. become 4 lunches of soup for us … thank goodness for the freezer!

We walked around the town and it is very attractive … some fairly smart shops.  And being Sunday, the locals were out in force.

IMG 4560No political correctness here … it is actually the National Institute for war wounded persons.

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As well as the time, this showed the days of the week, and adjacent ….

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the astrological clocks

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And another fun Christmas tree … still think the empty booze bottles wins though!

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Would that be a Marsala? … small portions, so in the next bar, we switched to …

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white wine … followed by another  ….

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Again, non PC … the bar invites people to flirt and smoke!

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Hoping dates will start to appear soon in the markets.

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We are camped up near the castle on the far right.

 

266 – Monday 11th January 2016:  Seeing Erice and NOT Seeing It!

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All the nuisances of Saturday night had not returned so we had a good night, once J nobly got up and disposed of couple of tin cans that were acoustically rattling around us, as the wind had got up.  We planned to stay in Trapani again tonight, but we thought that 3 nights in the same spot is pushing our luck.  We had identified a large car park on our walk yesterday, but it was packed, so we ended up back at the port.

By now, time was pressing … we had to fair route march the 2km to the bus station to catch the bus to Erice.  The busses only run a couple of times a day and since Erice is a hill town, we did not fancy driving up.  We had checked the weather forecast … Erice should be 17c, only 1 degree cooler than Trapani, with just a few clouds.  Obviously Erice does not subscribe to Accuweather!  The sun made an appearance a couple of times during our visit and decided to come out permanently when we left on the 3.15 bus!  The rest of the time it was a cold, damp pea souper. We attempted to see the sights … got lost (K had a sense of humour failure at the lack of road names in the guide book) …. we decamped to a bar.  But they did not do food, so we had to decamp to what seemed to be the only open restaurant for a speed starter, before heading back for the bus.

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The Christmas market shutting up … no idea what the square was … too foggy to see road names!

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The very pink bar we decamped to.  Erice is known for its almond pastries (K can vouch for these 🙂 and marzipan.

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One of K’s Dad’s favourite sayings is ‘to tear the arse out of it” …. had it not been EUR20, we’d have brought some back.

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Erice makes some good red!

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Not sure how sea worthy this is?  On Saturday the bilge pumps were going and constant jets of water were being ejected.  On Sunday there was no pump and it was already a foot lower in the water.

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Fish night:  Starter was the cod livers:  marinated in orange juice and pan fried with sultanas soaked in Marsala …. don’t bother:  tasteless.  Cod to followed, which we did eat!

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Check this for a sunset!  No digital enhancements!

 

267 – Tuesday 12th January 2016:  Onto Capo San Vito

We shopped on the way and headed for a campsite that a Belgian couple had told us about …. only EUR12 incl. electric – El Bahira Camping Village … would be completely hideous in high season, but we are one of only three vans.  Soup for lunch whilst we chatted to a German lad next door … he gave us some good tips for the area, so we may well stay here for a few days.  A washing machine load and a little hand washing done.  J slaughtered K at tennis … we were on a full sized court which took some getting used to after the one at Punta Braccetto.  However, we were close to the sea … crashing waves against volcanic rock with amazing views of the mountains … I am blaming this distraction for my lack of tennis skill or performance!

263-264: And a Couple of M’s – Marsala and Mozia

263 – Friday 8th January 2016:  Marsala Wine

I still struggle with typing 2016!  

A peaceful night; little wind and just the noise of the sea.  K motivated (J encouraged!!!) to run 4km along the lungomare and J did a brisk walk at almost the same pace to test his calf muscle!  

After breakfast we drove to Marsala – the home of marsala wine.  We visited the town for lunch with the Aged P’s some weeks ago and planned to come back.  The motorhome services at the free car park had evidently not been in use for some time … full of rubbish.  There had been some gypsy children here on our last visit and J spotted a load down a alley way nearby and later we saw them washing clothes … we decided we would not overnight here.  So our tasting plans became a single tasting!  It was however, much enjoyed and came with the biscotti for dunking 🙂

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A little Fascist construction on the way out of Marsala – not in keeping with fine wines!

 

We are parked up at the free carpark for the ferry to the Island of Mozia.  The boat seems to only run in the mornings, so we enjoyed the views and the afternoon sun.

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The drive to the Mozia ferry was littered with fishing boats and large enclosed squares of salt pans.  Really pretty.

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Piles of salt drying

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J captured the sun set … it was stunning across the water

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The free car park at the ferry to Mozia, where we planned to stay.

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James becomes the author …

Unfortunately, by 6:00 pm-ish, we had become somewhat uneasy about some youths we had noticed earlier – lurking – and one had cycled past our car park many times…. as we were the only occupants, we decided to leave. Our rule is simple – if either one of us feels uneasy about the overnight location – we move. It has only happened 3 times in 9 months – not a bad average. We drove back to Marsala to a previous car park – but there were lots of gypsies camped and hanging around – all possibly very innocent – but motorhomers driving very expensive rigs do get nervous – apart from the possibility of personal safety, these vans are our homes…  now South along the SS115 (one of our favourite roads) towards Mazara del Vallo – and a blog advertised parking. On arrival, it was fine – very large in the port area – we parked next to another van – some gypsy caravans away on the far side of the car parking area. Relief at being settled for the night – glass of wine – and thanks to K for all the driving.

A quiet night – some fishing trawler noise, not much – but the bin lorries started at 4-5:00 am !!! I thought briefly of rushing outside – to tell them – “this is Sicily – you don’t empty bins !”  Sorry, Sicily – but sadly, it is true – mostly. It doesn’t detract from a wonderful country with amazing people. 

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The port overnight parking at Mazara del Vallo


264 – Saturday 9th January 2016:  The Young Man of Mozia 

No running in the am, but brekkie, etc relatively early on the quayside – and MV Chardonnay set sail north – back to Mozia….we motored (again) through various ribbon towns including “Casabianca” – yes Humphrey Bogart and ingrid Bergman should have been there in Rick’s Bar….. It does contain “The Good Fish” fish shop though – maybe we will visit sometime…meanwhile, on to the Mozia island…

Boat tickets bought – no discounts for us mature gentlemen – 5 minutes at sea in the good ship “Jessica” – and landed at the erstwhile (1900s) country residence of Joseph Whittaker – the English anthropological gentleman who started the archaeological digs. That was way too many “…logical” spellings for my brain !  He was inspired – and the result is a exposed Phoenician city which lay on the great trade routes to Italy, Africa and further afield. All this – a civilisation 2,800 years ago when western Europe was how developed ?  The museum is very good – but the truly stunning centrepiece is “The Young Man of Mozia” – see photos.  Maybe the pics don’t do justice to this sculpture – which has toured the world – the detail is phenomenal – a real gem. One mile circuit of the island – many impressive remains of the city…..well worth a visit.

Coffee at the “Caffee Delia” – K snaffled my Mars bar (don’t tell Maddy !) – only 2,600 calories – I was treated to a KitKat – fair deal ?  Back to the van… 

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The windmills are prevalent and drained the salt pans.  A few are still working.

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The channel to Mozia

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The chiffon draped over the youth’s muscular form was amazing. Worth the island visit just for this.

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A terracotta Punic head … something or other big time BC 

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A now submerged causeway joins the island with the mainland.  The dots on the horizon are a shite of Kite Surfers (sorry could not think of another word to describe a group of kite surfers!).

Trapani beckoned – the first potential overnight area just didn’t seem to exist (it happens !) – where to ? – the port – always a good location. It was/is and we settled…. to jobs including my imitation of a vacuum cleaner – no, I don’t lie on the carpet nasally ingesting dust – that would save energy though – I use our Black and Decker – thanks again Diane and Grahame.  We had left a gap of some feet between us and the next door neighbours van – a reasonable space, we thought…  Two other sizeable motorhomes arrived and managed to compress themselves into the gap !!!  It’s called ‘Squeejy vans” – we may invent a new game….