23 August 2005
The ferry to Sicily was uneventful and after disembarking I set off in entirely the wrong direction for the motorway, of course. There’s a (rather dark) view from the ferry on the left.
First stop Modica, near the south coast – the motorway is still under construction for much of the way, and roads dwindle down until the last 20 miles or so of the drive to Modica is very deserted, very dusty. I could see why, after a while – passed a quarry where what looked like beautiful white marble was being excavated. It is easy to forget that I’m now almost as far south as northern Africa and it is hot, and dusty. I can hear crickets outside right now. There is plenty of green, lots of olive, fig and lemon trees, I believe there are carob trees, but don’t know what they look like.
I passed Mount Etna – which is pretty hard to miss! The fertility of the land around the volcano has to be seen to be believed, the soil looks extraordinary and the land is just bursting with – well, everything! This is so much the land of the Goddess, with, again, lots of roadside shrines to the Lady: Madonnas everywhere. I’ve passed more than one stream called Briga, interestingly. There are so many places I’d love to go to but don’t think there will be time. Also, my stomach is complaining about something I’ve eaten, which is a bit worrying.