Chillin’ at Tewantin Memorial Park

Heading south while crossing Queensland till Brisbane led me to Noosa heads. I Didn’t really follow a strict plan and for that reasons I discovered how stunning Queensland is. I must have been quite spoiled from the remote places I have seen cause I remember I could stay in Noosa not even 15 minutes. I found myself running away from the crowd of December. Parking was a big issue and I gave up quite fast. I don’t regret I didn’t had a walk around cause I actually enjoyed Noosa surroundings very much. Tewantin for istance is a suburb in Noosa that lays on quite river waters. I was quite tired still from my adventures in Frazer island and all I needed was just a place with not to many people around.

At the memorial park me and my travel mate started to play with water, have pictures, organizing the car and finally chill. It was a super nice day. On the end, the fact that I couldn’t stay in Noosa turned good. It means I can go back a discover it in a different light, possibly in a low seasons light.

Greek Ruins

No matter how crazy living in Sicily drives me, during this fake “modern” times I take always my time to appreciate places where I grew up, once again, beautiful thanks to the long time ago facts.

Segesta is one of the biggest archeological site in Sicily, a place of interest for those who wants to approach sicilian ancient history.

Segesta can be reached by the highway A29 (PA-Mazzara).

These big area includes a Temple (still not known if to worship Cerere or Diana) an Agora, a majestic and panoramic Theatre (it lays on the slopes of mount Barbaro) with a stunning vew on the Castellammare gulf and Mount Inici, and other finds from classic age. Not to mention that still in the same area there are hot springs, little fresh water rivers and canyons to be visited.

I always considered my education with a lot of passion. I loved to study what I wanted to study and the feeling that I couldn’t trust what was told to me at the school had his big proof the first time I went to have a look to my (literally) “backyard”. Segesta is not even half of hour driving from where I used to live with my family. The very first time I was there I couldn’t enjoy like I wanted to. I was feeling overwhelmed by my own ignorance about sicilian history. In school they were teaching stories of far away things and skipping the very closest ones in time, for the sake of the bloody unification of Italy and consequent rising of poverty and rebels movement in the south, and in miles, I suppose, to improve a feeling of modesty and awe in the southern people to eventually become a subservient colony. There is indeed a whole hidden history on how the rich south became poor and got rubbed to make the unification wished by the Savoy kindom possible but I won’t talk about it in this article. I wanted just to mention the great feeling of ignorance I experienced And how miserable I thought my studies of “great things in Rome and elsewere I maybe see one day” were.

That’s how I started to build my personal knowledge about my history, throughout books and frequent visits everytime I was around Trapani.

Praya blanca. A daily trip from Cartagena

I was hanging in Cartagena from some days already and I thought it was a good idea to have a look around. My last attempts to go in a beach in Cartagena were packed of bad experiences and assholes following me to tell me I’m “beautiful” in all kind of languages or dialects and even when in a spot with few people around I had to be touched by pushy massage girls that wanted to sell their services. Sick of been touched or followed I asked some suggestions at the hostel. That day ended up in what I would call the most unfunny day ever. But at least it ended!!!

First of all I needed to deal with public service which includes little private taxi motor bikes. The bus got me in more than half of hour waiting and been honked by all the motorbikes passing by the bus stop, and one hour trip that left me at Passacaballo. That was the cheapest option. The edges of Cartagena looked messy but at least real, with several favelas. The bus driver stopped for food or coffee at all corners. That was a nice delay.

When in Passacaballo I was left alone with a crowd of motorbiker assaulting me, who knows if it was for getting money for their “business” or to hook me up. That line was always too blurred for me to be confortable. On the end a guy put a helmet on my head and drove me through the bridge till the very beginning of the reserve. When I left I told him to not come back cause I was already in the mood to ask for a Lancha (boat for turist) to bring me straight in the harbour before the sunset instead of dealing with all this “compliments” around. The beach was certainly beautiful but packed and it was impossible to find a spot far from the noise of waterscooters. It is pretty common there that drivers hang like bees on the beachfront to show their service and on the end, the noise and smoke that they produce drove me crazy. I moved on the very end of the beach in a rocky and shady part. Best think you can do there is to sleep and chill, also because there are all kind of people trying to sell you massage, snorkelgoogles, fruit. I mean, it sounded like Mondello beach in Palermo, but way more intrusive. The other tourists seem to enjoy this madness so I might be too used to desolate rocky places like the ones I find where I come from. I thought I wasn’t ready for this and in a certain way a mix of bad impressions might have polluted the whole idea of Cartagena surroundings. The lancha passage was my last option… Pay a bit of more money but avoid to deal with marriage offers from all the biker had no price. I tried to fit even if most of the lancha

were packed of people already settled for a return trip from the harbour. That made sense cause everybody else was coming over by boat. It is not that common still, to go through the bridge, cause it is quite a new thing. Many people in town infact were telling that this bridge was not welcomed especially for those who were living a quite life in the reserve. I was freezing sailing back to Cartagena. We stopped in an other island to drop some customers and kids were swimming and climbing the boat hoping for some pesos from the tourists.

I thought that couldn’t be the Colombia I was hoping to find. Infact I had to change opinion very soon, but for sure, those big contraddictions of money chasing of a rising caribbean coast and the pushy adventures made me wonder a lot on how I could turn my trip into something less disappointing and made me wonder on how this beautiful pieces of world are turning from a simple living to a poor living.

At that time I didn’t know that my instinct of not following suggestions about where to go or what is worth to see was absolutely correct. After that, I never betraied myself anymore. And everything turned out better.

Sometimes we have to be brave and face ourselves. My problem wasn’t the beauty around which I could see, my problem was to be truth to my self and never accept sugestions. That was the first and last time having something that couldn’t fit my personality and my idea of travelling.

Weeks later I would have paied for the mistake of having somebody putting a dirty helmet (with lices) on my head.

Every best trip starts with some fog

I will always remember when my best friend offered to bring me in Linate airport even if that meant for us to leave at 3 a.m. and get lost in the fog. I remember it because everytime my best friend offers me lifts it ends up like the best time ever, partying wild or having some stick’n poke tattoos, or facing snowstorms, or him coming one day earlier to pick me up at the airport. I love the fact that even if I meet him always in the same city contests he is a real “wild” person. It always feels like holiday with him. That time He was bringing me to have my first intercontinental flight, alone and a bit scared. I was super nervous and at that time I wasn’t so good in controlling those attacks of extra care and concern about the future, the culture, starvation, pollution, wars and global heating.

We started the trip stopping in every “autogril” (petrol station) like he always loves to do. For him, it doesn’t make sense to have a road trip if you can’t spend money in trash food and stupid things on the way. That is why we almost risked a fine in the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere with nobody in the same parking area for parking in the handicap reserved spot. Once we started to drive we understood that trip was going to be long and I was going to be late. No matter he fought the car couldn’t go any faster than 50 in the highway with that fog. Tracks, of course, had a different opinion of our troubles and they honked at us all time long. Their overtaking was pushing things far, shaking that little car that Gabri calls “scarponcino”, (litterally “ankleboot”) Linate direction signs are millions everywhere, even at the entrance of the highway from Torino kilometers away. Unfortunately, they forgot to put them in the most useful spot, especially when there are work in progress around and you need to exit the highway. We got lost and late of course but I will remember that crazy trip for ever. All night telling stupid sotries and funny things. Telling each other about our clumsy childhood…telling each other secrets that only in a car in the fog in the night you would ever lough about.

VHF and Radio things / connections when crossing an Ocean

The VhF was an important tool for my new life abroad. So it was that I started my “official” and “public” talking in English. At that time I remember it was an issue because even if I could communicate quite well with this foreign language I was still in doubt about my “listening” skills. Imagine when the skills needed are related to safety during sailing, approaching harbours, decks and having infos about weather, coordinates and communications with other boats. I really thought I could mess a lot with this tool in my hands, but everything went right in the end. First time using it was in the Caribbean Sea, Virgin Islands. Everybody on board thought it was my duty to do that, cause nobody was able to say anything in English. After this time that I remember with a bit of fear, this job was quite different…

When I started to travel with a more diversified provenience travellers everything become more “democratic” and the use of the vhf wasn’t a big deal anymore.

During my sailing trip I discover that the SSB Radio (single side band) was a great tool to communicate. In every area you can ask for the frequencies were independent volunteers advise you about everything related to the sea at least twice per day, at a certain time. I found it interesting, especially because you can communicate your position when you leave and people are taking notes of it. That means that they will look for you when you are aspected to come somewhere, somehow. This might sound a bit “too much” but is actually a very useful way to stay safe and “together” even when far apart from each other. Sometimes you meet new sailors because you hear their story on the radio and maybe you even talked, and the day after they are anchoring just besides you.

On those radio “rendez-vous”, there is normally a boat crew who is volunteering. They normally start to call people that were “in” during the last transmission. If you are signing for the first time you go on the queue waiting for the call for anybody else to join. After giving your name and position you can just keep silent and listen to the others or asking your questions and express your doubts on the end. I loved this system, I loved to hear from other people. I loved that we weren’t alone in a little boat in the vastity of the ocean. There were other sailors, many of them.

In Ritme, I was using the SSB radio also for sending very concise mails. We had the SailMail account provider connected with a Modem to the SSB Radio (it’s something like 280 $ per year, a pretty fair price for being connected with the world and being able to get the forecast wherever you are). It was quite a funny game for me to look for the best station with the most of the chance to get an email through, unless the Ocean was rough and throwing me up, down and left and right onto the desk. This system is actually very basic: you send a little email to a computer that is always connected on one of those radio stations offered (that is why you need to check the favourite one), that computer will eventually send it for you. Quite often “Niue” or “Honolulu” were the best options. One -few words (10) – email from the Ocean could take from two minutes to half of hour to go through. But, yes, I could tell my sister that I was still alive after many days of silence. It’s a great tool.