Tag Archives: San Vito lo Capo

From Erice to Palermo or licking the northern coast by car

That journey was lucky for us. Hitchhiking was lucky for us. The ride and stress-free decision to spend the night in Castellamare del Golfo were the lucky for us, too.
But let’s start from the beginning…

In Erice we met a super kind couple who was spending their holiday in Sicily. Mark and Danusia, two elderly people from Sopot, whose daughter decided to buy them tickets to Palermo as presents for Christmas. Thus, they booked a hotel room in Castellamare del Golfo and for a week they were visiting the north-western Sicily by a rented car.

They like travelling. We enjoyed listening to some stories about their trips to Crete, Provence and China. Sometimes they travel with an organised group, sometimes in such a manner as now. Danusia is a trekking guide. The magazine Knowledge and Life that she was holding in her hand she knew almost by heart. She wanted to see everything and to experience everything. She was coming into her own there, in Sicily.

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Before returning to the hotel in Castellamare they decided to visit San Vito lo Capo, a small town located on the furthest tip of the island. We were going on as long as we could. After passing San Vito the road reaches Zingaro Nature Reserve in the eastern part of the promontory. And there it ends too, forcing the travellers to return by the same, yet extremely picturesque, route.

We stopped in front of the sanctuary. Riserva dello Zingaro (Gypsy Nature Reserve) is located on the area of 1600 hectares of land hailed as the most beautiful natural landscape park of the island. It’s known for its picturesque coves, abandoned fishing huts and lots of wild birds.

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Oh yes, I was really up for it. My head was brainstorming with ideas, such as grabbing our backpacks and trekking to the place where we’d come up on the other side of the park. The plan was ambitious (the march apparently takes around 10 hours) and at that point extremely difficult to carry out.

Firstly, we were hungry. We didn’t have almost anything to eat with us so if we decided to go through the park, we’d have to stay there for the night (illegally). Secondly, it rained (so the desires were a bit weaker than usually). Thirdly, we reached the gate of the park at 4.30, while the park closes at 05.00. Our entrance with large backpacks might seem highly suspicious, and trust me, Zingaro park is nothing like our mountains, where you can easily bypass the payment gateway. Here, on the left we had a cliff falling into the sea, and on the right almost a vertical rocky wall. The five-metre wide entrance was the only available one.

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A little worried by this lost possibility I meekly entered the car. An hour later we got to Castellamare. But more about it you’ll find in the next note.

Hitchhiking tips:
From Erice to Castellamare del Golfo we were going with a Polish couple met in the town. Luckily, they stopped just in Castellamare. We weren’t planning to go there but we had no regrets at all. We approached them on the bench by the castle and asked whether they could give us a ride. This is one of the proven ways of hitchhiking: the Pole will help another Pole (abroad).

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