Day 12: Nature is Always a Good Plan

We found ourselves at breakfast around 9:00 and were in for a homemade treat of a feast.  The owner kept bringing out dish upon dish, including marmalade-filled croissants, giant pastries filled with a lemon-y curd, giant sandwiches with tomato, basil, and olive oil, a platter of fresh fruit from his garden, and a homemade cannoli.  It was all so very delicious, but there was also so much food and we felt a certain obligation to make a dent in the pile.  We ate and ate and ate until we couldn’t fit in another bite, and at that point the owner brought over tin foil and a plastic bag so we could bring the rest with us.  First the puppy, then the cannoli, and now this?  It was now certain, I was moving in.

Turquoise water, facilities, museums, views... this place has it all

Turquoise water, facilities, museums, views… this place has it all

We arranged to stay another night, had to take a brief post-breakfast rest to digest a little, and finally we were off around 11:00.  The first stop was a lovely drive about an hour north, just outside of San Vito Lo Capo, to the seaside nature reserve called Riserva dello Zingaro (€3/each).  We arrived to clear weather, although dark clouds loomed in the distance, and set out on a small hike.  Jim commented that if it were to rain it would do so precisely during our hike just as we were at the furthest point from the car. 

View through pouring rain.  Still beautiful.

View through pouring rain. Still beautiful.

The Riserva is beautiful, with wide, well-marked paths going up and down the cliffside, small museums dedicated to local fishing customs, a variety of indigenous vegetation, small lizards sunning themselves on rocks, and sweeping vistas over the turquoise blue water of the sea.  We could have spent a great deal of time here, but sure enough, after about an hour of hiking the sky turned darker and darker and shortly thereafter the pouring rain commenced.   We were, as Jim predicted, at the absolute farthest point from the car and the rain was not letting up.  The good news was our rain coats we’d thoughtfully brought along were safe and dry, tucked under the hatchback of the car.  It was no matter, we were among beautiful environs, not in Malta, and thoroughly soaked but happy as clams at high tide as we laughed our way back.

Erice dog trying to get into church.  Hmm.. wonder what he has to confess?

Erice dog trying to get into church. Does anyone else wonder what he has to confess?

Back to the car we went to dry off and formulate a route to our next stop, Erice.  Erice is a popular Sicilian walled medieval town that sits atop a rocky hill, and, according to our guidebook, holds mythical status in some circles.  Well, perhaps once upon a time it was mythical, but now the only wonder we conjured was how we, along with hundreds of other fellow guidebook toters, were convinced of visiting this town that is mostly full of storefronts selling Sicilian souvenirs and chotskies to the masses.  We roamed around a bit up and down the steep, narrow streets, made a brief coffee stop to energize, and headed back to the ranch for a respite. 

Around 20:00 we rallied and went to dinner at Nubia’s other restaurant, La Torre di Nubia, where we dined on pizza and discussed our next move.  And by discussed, I mean Jim had to talk me off the ledge I was on about the fact we had no concrete plans for the following day.  The anxiety of it all was getting to me and I needed to learn how to relax and go with the flow, otherwise it was going to be a long, very long, next 10 days, particularly for Jim.  Yes, okay, I get that, but what are we going to do?  Where are we going to go?

More pictures from Riserva dello Zingaro:

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