Nobody mentioned just how mountainous Sicily is. Very beautiful but not the easiest of cycling country. On one particularly steep climb, Alan suddenly stopped. On the roadside was something which resembled a small snake - his chain! He pushed to the summit, a space and a little shade and Mr. Fixit appeared and did just that.
As it was Sunday, the ferry ran a reduced service and so it was almost lunch time before we dropped anchor in Sicily. Surprisingly, Messina was not difficult to traverse but it did mean that by the time we began our hunt for the night’s accommodation, it was quite late and, as ever, the hotels which had been so prolific, disappeared. A little desperate, we spotted a large gate with Agriturismo on sign and a bed diagram, so I pushed the bell. A voice answered the call, said something in Italian and the gates slowly swung open. In for a penny, we pushed the bikes over very rocky (lava stone) and were met by a gentleman who spoke a lot, but none of it in English. After a little confusion we managed to convey our requirements. Referring to a little book, he informed us that there was a room available. Great. It was. An old property with many interesting features and a cracking view of Etna. Our arrival coincided with a French registered car being driven along the drive and a voice shouted, “Have you cycled all the way from Wales?” “No, Nordkapp.” “I’ll catch you later,” was the response. So much later, we enjoyed the company of two very good English speaking Parisians.
You would suppose that with all this exercise, we would sleep soundly but my night was disturbed by a bout of cramp. Needing to stretch my legs, I thought to view Etna at night. What a sight! It was really a fire in the sky. Magnificent!