CáccamoMarch 12, 2017 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 10 °C
Making our way east along the northern coast, the views were mixed. We wimped out and took the autostrada past Sicily's capital city Palermo. The driving had been described in the guide book as some of the most anarchic in Europe. After the tranquility of Zingaro Nature Reserve we wanted to stay in our relaxed frames of mind, something the chaotic city streets would have tried! As we approached the urban area, we saw more tourist resorts beside the glistening Tyrrhenian sea. High rise flats dominated the view, some of them modern and in good condition, others crumbling. The road became more confused as we drew closer. Motorbikes and mopeds wove in and out of the traffic, the white lines were hardly visible and so we were never quite sure whether there were two lanes or three. The hard shoulder was frequently used as a handy undertaking lane and we found that whilst it was dangerous, it was no use getting stressed, the best thing was just to go with the flow as the locals seemed to be doing.
Leaving the city behind we were able to enjoy the outstanding countryside, overlooked by sharp sided mountains. Climbing inland we zig zagged past an incredibly deep rocky gorge before our eyes were drawn by a light blue lake filling a v shaped valley floor. The town we were to stay in had a view of this lake and from the car park we could hear bells clanking from the necks of cows grazing on its slopes.
Pulling in, we were instructed to back up in a specific spot by a whistle blowing, rather unofficial looking man. His front two teeth were missing and he spoke very fast, making it impossible for Vicky to understand him. He asked us for €2 and we handed it over. We'd heard about unofficial attendents who asked for money and if people refused, they would return to find their cars damaged. Official or not, he at least managed to keep good order in the car park and direct us towards some places we could eat lunch.
Cacciamo had a large, quite modern castle on top of a rocky outcrop. It was in a square with a view of this, that we sat out for a lunch of piadino (thick fajita) and crepe sandwiches with a bottle of red wine. It was probably warmer sitting in this square in mid March than it will be in mid summer when we are up in Sweden. We finished lunch off with a visit to the gelaterria and some cherry, vanilla and Ferrero Rocher ice creams.
The car park had new looking water and electric points installed for vans. Unfortunately, they were so new that they weren't yet connected, so we needed to be a bit conservative with our water usage. The parking attendant returned to duty after his siesta and diligently stayed until 10pm, blowing his whistle to catch drivers' attention. He hung around the van and when Will opened the door to let the cooking steam out, he poked his head in, spied our fruit box and cheekily asked for an orange! The car park filled up as the evening progressed and people flooded in for a meal. We heard plenty of loud arguments over the fee but got the impression that the attendant always got his way!Read more