This is part of the fifth section of our around the
Complete Trip Overview & Map
Coming from Malta or read our previous
visit to Italy
2/2/99 In the evening we lucked into St Agata celebrations with fireworks, decorated streets with lights, small band and the carrying and dancing of the large totem structure through the streets. This 5 meter high structure covered with lights, flowers and other decorations was carried by eight men dancing through the streets followed by the band and the crowd.
3/2/99 Catania to Palermo, 200 km through mountains covered with snow from the recent cold snap. Somehow I never pictured Sicily in snow. Our rear tyre after 16000 km was finished and Dunlop had a new one waiting for us at their distributor in Palermo, this time a lovely white wall, with Harley-Davidson written on the side. Quite flash but it won't be white for long in North Africa.
4/2/99 Where the economy is poor there is room for entrepreneurs, not the thousands of Albanian refugees seen begging on the streets, but with no parking meters and overcrowded streets wherever there are a few spaces there is an unofficial parking guardian, directing you to a vacant spot, guarding your vehicle from theft or parking fines, all for a small donation. Strolled the "once grandest and most beautiful city in Europe", its streets now cold with neglect and the snow still covering its surrounding mountains. We are staying in the old section overlooking the fresh produce markets and not far from the small manufacturing businesses where household items are still made the same way as they were generations ago.
5/2/99 A day in the Sicilian countryside fine tuning the alarm on the motorcycle. We installed an extra trigger switch for the top box lid, adjusted the tilt sensor for more sensitivity and created an isolation switch for the vibration sensor. With the small high revving motorcycles and narrow streets the vibrations have been setting off this sensor, so we can now turn it off without turning off the alarm. We also changed the front fork oil. With air front shocks using the handlebars as a reservoir, it is a lengthy process to change the oil, removing the fairing etc. But by squeezing oil into the drain plugs it's much easier, but we always spill some making the process less accurate. By placing a small tube over the air valve and sucking a vacuum the oil can be sucked into the forks without loss. Another technique to make roadside maintenance easier. Back to Palermo for the night.
6/2/99 Sicily has cheap accommodation in old villas or palaces, set off the street around a central courtyard, now subdivided into apartments or pensiones, their past grandeur still apparent in the large foyers, bedrooms and sitting rooms, high ceilings and large wooden doorways. At about $US 30.00 a double, they are comfortable apart from the lumpy beds and ancient plumbing. Rode the freeway to Trapani and wandered another Sicilian city in winter. The friendliness and hospitality of southern Italy is a pleasant change from what we found in the North.
7/2/99 Just hanging around waiting for the Tunisian ferry we headed south to Marsala (yes that wine originated here) past evaporative salt collection areas and savoured the Sunday special pastries local to the area. Puff pastry filled with different creams and toppings. A local traditional pizza to finish the days culinary delights.
8/2/99 The large ferry, filled with Tunisians and their
overloaded motor vehicles carrying goods home, left Trapani at 10.30 am and
despite the rough seas rode smoothly to arrive in Tunisia at 8.30 pm.
Move with us to Tunisia
or go to our next visit to Italy
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