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.

First time in an other continent

First time I went to an other continent I thought it would have been by boat or with anything that I could enjoy and that could make me feel the time and climate changing in a smooth and natural way. I couldn’t: there was a terrible delay on my phd discussion in Torino. The big “Palazzo Nuovo” was closed due to a very bad asbestos contamination chance. My beloved tutor died of cancer two days after my phd discussion. He couldn’t even be there due to his sickness.

My plan of crossing the Atlantic Ocean blew up, and my saddness never actually touched that low level I was aspected from such a rough time. Probably this happened because I just went off: From my duties, my dreams, my businesses, my relationships and my everything: I just quitted!

I know it could sounds like many other stories but for many friends who could see me growing up in rules and obligations while having an anarchist spirit it was just a very aspected coming out for the good of everybody around. Most of the people that love me closer would agree that I’m much better away. Let’s say I was just holding my breath pretending to fit for something like 25 years.

Tis little collection of stories that nowadays we call blog will tell that it is not a fashionable way to get out of the way while being still around the western society in mind and purposes, but it is a little contribute for those who can still dream.

When money is not involved people rather thing there is no much going on, but I can swear especially coming where I come from, having that specific background, thinking what I’m thinking and fitting nowhere, that people like me can still live a great life just choosing their freedom.

So I was in an airplane, trying to recognize some caribbean islands from above. I travelled around Europe since I turned 18 and I could be able to afford a train ticket. I was a genius of self-orientation when it came about big cities and metros, but I remember I got lost in those clouds looking the America from above. It was a great thing, it was like watching my favourite book, the atlas, there, in my home bed in the closet where I started to dream about the world Back in the days. I was flying into South America, me, that girl that grew up in a room with no windows, and a scarse vision… At that time I was thinking “all of that is far from beeing enough”.

Still now, after four years travelling. I still think “that’s far from being enough”.

I chosed Colombia simply: it was cheap (I couldn’t get any farther with my budget), it was in the middle (good to look for some sailing options) it was in South America (even if I thought my first stop in s.a. it would have been Brazil) it was packed of indigenous beautiful culture, it wasn’t a tourist hotspots. All that sounded great!

Beauty on the way

Today I was cleaning the porch and patio space while in my mind I had the little project of saving some mint plants.

They where gorgeously blooming and many bees and indigo blue butterflies where hanging around. This feast was making me so happy that I couldn’t touch the plant for days, even knowing that once they make the flowers they start to die.

I was quite resigned about mint life cycle, and let it be for a while for the insects to enjoy, when my grandma told me there might be a way to save it.

I tried with a couple of plant from the graden. I chose to not try with all of the mint plants we have at the Timbuktu Hostel, cause I’m not sure I’m the right person to take care of life, no matter if it is human, animal or vegetal. I started to cut them following strict suggestions making my way into the bees and the purple flowers.

What I was left with was a several bunch of parfumed flowers and unhealthy mint leaves. I thought they were looking beautiful anyway so I decided to put them in different buckets and make a “show” of their last chance to live. I left buckets everywhere around the veranda where every guest chills and eats and talks. One was left with this wicker busket in front of the main door so everybody could almost step on his beauty.

Somethings are meant to show their beauty from their very last beginning to their very last and tragic end. That’s their purpose, I believe, that’s their only way to be.

Sunsetting around Trapani

In the western facing little seaside towns, Sunset is a must to see. Around the western costline in Sicily is such a deal that doesn’t lead to any romantic attachment anymore. People from Trapani are so into the sunset that they always try to get along with it. It’s a show that our world offers on a daily basis and this doesn’t make it boring at all not even if you attend it every single day.

A very common and lovely routine here around is to invite friends for “sunsetting” together. That makes it the most social part of the day. Even when alone, it is still something that makes you willing to stop for a second, no matter where you are. Watching the most special star falling behind the horizon is the best and chilled part of the day.

Here is a list of what I belive are the Best spots to have the greatest enlightments of your life: “Punta Sottile” lighthouse in Favignana island, Faraglioni in Favignana island,

Lazzaretto in the old Trapani harbour, Mount Erice at Venus castle gardens,

Stagnone Lagoon sault farms,

Mount Monaco in Sanvito Lo Capo,

Mount Cofano at Cornino side, Macari bay

Sanvito Lo Capo lighthouse

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.