Santa Maria di Licodia

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    • Day 19

      Tag 19

      April 16, 2023 in Italy ⋅ ☁️ 15 °C

      Es sollte eigentlich ein kurzer Wandertag werden, war dann aber doch ein etwas längerer und auch echt anstrengend.

      Wir sind erst gegen 10:30 Uhr aus der Unterkunft in Adrano raus und dann durch die engen Gassen bis auf die eine Hauptstraße welche nach Biancavilla führt. An dieser sollte sich nämlich zwischen den beiden Städten ein Lidl befinden. Bei Google noch nicht optisch auszumachen und ein paar Bewertungen gab es hier auch keine.
      Er war aber da und somit haben wir natürlich viel zu viel eingekauft. Ganz besonders aber in Anbetracht der Tatsache, dass in Paterno noch ein Lidl ist und wir durch Paterno müssen. Egal.
      Als ich den wuchtigen Einkauf dann auf dem Parkplatz in den Rucksack wuchtete, grüßte ein Italiener einen anderen mit „Tach Junge“. Meiner Mutter und ich guckten irritiert und schnell klärte uns der Herr auf was Phase war 😄 Natürlich haben beide längere Zeit in Deutschland verbracht.
      Nun mussten wir noch durch Biancavilla durch und da wir immer noch der Annahme waren, viel Zeit zu haben, machten wir erstmal eine ausgiebige Pause im Park.
      Danach ging es raus aus der Stadt und ich konstruierte nach einer pipi-Pause in einer Nebenstraße noch eine kleine abenteuerliche Umweg Route durch ein Flussbett und ein paar Gärten vor der nächsten Stadt. War spannend wie wild die Natur hier schon 300 Meter von der Hauptstraße entfernt sein kann.
      Das nächste Dörfchen, Santa Maria di Licodia, war wie ausgestorben da nachmittags. Nichts hatte auf, keiner auf den Straßen. Also hielt uns nichts im Ort und wir gingen weiter Richtung Paterno. Hinterm Ort dann rechts eine steile Straße hinunter. Meine Mutter fragte mich noch mit welchem Auto man so eine Straße überhaupt fahren könne, als uns ein Ford Ka mit 3 Mann Besatzung entgegen kam. Sie warnten vor etwas. Wir verstanden nicht wirklich, dachten aber an Hunde.
      Als erstes kam ein toter Hund der halb auf der Straße lag. Ein alter Kamerad dessen Zeit wohl einfach reif war. War es das was sie meinten? Einmal links abgebogen und ein paar Meter gegangen, tauchte ein, dann zwei dann drei, ne sechs Hunde auf der Straße auf die bellten weil da ihre Ziegenherde war. Ich war aber mal spontan kacksauer und hab die Meute zusammengeschissen weil ich da lang wollte und ich kein Bock auf sechs Hunde hatte. Hat gewirkt, siehe Video.
      Ok, das meinten die drei im Auto bestimmt. Easy.
      Ungefähr 500 Meter weiter dann ein Zaun der über die Straße ging. Wir guckten ob wir ihn öffnen sollten oder drüberklettern. Klettern war dann leichter. Beide drüben, keinen Meter gegangen und ich entdeckte den schwarzen großen Kampfhund der einfach nur sehr aufmerksam dort 10 Meter von uns entfernt stand und wartete. Hatte ihn vorher nicht gesehen. Auf dem Absatz umgedreht und zurück über den Zaun. Das Kalb ist dann abgehauen aber so eine Art und das Verhalten konnte ich ganz schlecht einordnen und wir sind zurück. An den sechs Hunden und dem einen Kadaver, bergauf vorbei. Locker mal eben 3 sehr anstrengende Kilometer umsonst.
      Ok das wird hier zu lang. Hier nur ein kleines Ranking dieser drei Städte die hier im „Tal“ liegen und von uns durchwandert wurden.


      Unordnung, Verfall, Müll und hundekot.
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    • Day 144

      Sicilian workaway

      March 20, 2019 in Italy ⋅ 🌬 15 °C

      This is my campsite on the ex-farm, now largely overgrown.
      There is a bell tent on a wooden floor that I can use. Large enough to stand upright and organise my clothes which is a welcome change from the limited height of the van. Unfortunately, it leaks and flaps like a loose sail in the wind, so I sleep in the van.
      Past the tent, in the distance, the town of Santa Maria di Licodia sits on it's hill. During the war the British bombed it and landed Parachute troops to capture the local dam / lake. It was rebuilt as a series of apartment blocks and shopping malls which somehow fails to attract tourists.
      The Philips family is Emanuela, Zoe, Jay and little Astrid. They live in Palermo during the week as Manuela, (as she prefers to be called,) could not find a teaching job nearby; something made harder by being a Steiner teacher.
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    • Day 144

      Bob's place

      March 20, 2019 in Italy ⋅ 🌬 15 °C

      As an ex-travelling showman, Bob has had several buses / vans converted to living spaces. On acquiring this property within cooee of Etna, 10 years ago, the vans were converted to accommodation.
      The main block is an old, 10 tonne Saviem that belonged to the french CRS, (riot police.) It serves as the main bedroom, kitchen, dining room and sitting area. Somewhat of a squeeze.
      The bathroom is a Fiat Ducato with a wood-fired stove for hot water: surprisingly effective and you don't have to wait too long for it to heat up.
      The pizza oven is another home built item. One might think from the shape that porcine would be on the menu, built regrettably not.
      The diet here is high carb. Porridge for breakfast, pasta in a tomatoe sauce for lunch, and pizza (cheese and tomato,) for dinner. Of course, there are as many oranges to eat as one needs for the glucose to help breakdown the carbs. Occasionally a green vegetable turns up and one day we even had a lettuce. Luckily, in the food area, I am a gratitudarian so happily eat everything!
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    • Day 144

      Bob's Toys

      March 20, 2019 in Italy ⋅ 🌬 14 °C

      Bob, (short for Frederic,) is better known as 'Danger Fire Bob' and is a self-educated artist with a talent for do-it-yourself projects. All around the site useful pieces of cars, metal, wood, plastic can be found ready to be turned into something artistic or an amazing contraption for his fire shows. [See for example,]
      The Mad Max buggy shoots fire from various places as it drives around, and the helicopters blades rotate in flames. []
      I rather like the bicycle in the shed [] though I'm not sure I would try it even if it was in working order.
      One of the problems of creativity in a rural environment is that many things get started but few finished as there is no pressing need to do so. One can do any little job that one feels like doing at the time. Working on the house has been like that, a little bit here a little there, a day to fix the greenhouse and some time the following week to plant seedlings.
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    • Day 144


      March 20, 2019 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

      I could write about all the quaint mezo-Arabic stone walls carrying water channels. Stone stairs are built in each wall to allow people and dogs to cross between fields. You would be amazed and impressed.
      But I cannot tell a lie: this rocky land was cleared at the beginning of the last century. The fathers of some of the old locals built them with the help and encouragement of Il Duce. So much so that some local, country will not hear a bad word about Mussolini mentioned.
      Unfortunately there is too much land for one person to manage and pretty much everything is overgrown. Very pretty now, but a serious fire hazard in Summer: the council insists owners whipper strip the dead vegetation. Alas the strimmer doesn't work properly so I cannot help.
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    • Day 153


      March 29, 2019 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

      Dogs abound: most of them strays. Bob fell for one, then two and now three. But a couple of others turn up regularly for a feed.
      Italy is renowned for its abandoned dogs and it is easy to be condescending about the people who appear to condone it. But hereabouts people do not have the money to pay a vet to register, inoculate, sterilize or even euthenise animals, particularly those not belonging to them. Most people with dogs claim that the dogs were strays who just turned up on the doorstep, so what could they do? I am told that Italian legislation forbids the killing of dogs which is why there are few if any dog pounds around. Imagine if Battersea Dogs Home was compelled to keep every dog that appeared for as long as it lived: it would soon be compelled to refuse animals, who would then be left to roam around! Some one should do something!
      So, the most senior dog is Big Dog, a rather wasted black and white mongrel with we suspect a physically unpleasant past judging by the way he walks. His claim to fame is to be a flea and tick magnet: his presence alone keeps the other dogs relatively free of them.
      The annual, Summer tick investation is starting and I am not sorry to be leaving. There are two waves of ticks as the little beasts start with four legs, slow done or something, and then grow another 2 later in the year when swarms can be found scurrying around. So far they have not been carrying any diseases, but with Africa so close it is only a matter of time.
      Next is a shaggy, retriever like, mongrel named Hollywood, who moons around like a film star whose time has passed. Most of the time he lies around but gets up to follow when one of us goes to the far side of the plot; then exhausted by the activity, he lies down for a snooze.
      Of course, Lula is my favourite. She gave birth to 6 little pups underneath the wooden floor of the bell tent when I was sleeping in it. I woke during the night hearing plaintive mewings, thinking that a cat was stuck underneath, for nobody realised she was about to whelp.
      Ants also are beginning to appear. They have been farming aphids through the Winter and now expect them to start working. This means collecting as much sap as possible from the almond trees for the sweet delight of their masters. Unfortunately, the trees don't much like being bled dry - who does? - and then refuse to produce many nuts. The local remedy, as there are no commercial, insecticide rich nut farms around, is the miraculous Savon de Marseille. Its quite simple really. A strong mix of this pure soap and water is sprayed all over the tree. It drys on the bugs who can no longer move and drop off. Thats all.
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    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Santa Maria di Licodia, Santa Maria di Licuddia

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