Sometimes the way ahead does not lead anywhere. Departing from Villa Del Casale, the navi leads more or less straight towards Agrigento. Like the Princess of the Pea, I favour comfort and hence big roads with Hector, but today the first trial turns out dead end. Typical Sicilian, there is no detour nor early warning, just a blocked road. From 3 possible directions, this has been the best, but flexible as I am I switch to second best. Fifteen minutes later, another road barrier shows up. I study my detailed map of the island and the options are:
- Main road towards Agrigento: blocked, no way of trespassing
- A more indirect tour: blocked right in front
- Go North, then East, then all South, then West. For hours. Honestly??
- Go back to where I have started and stay there, possibly forever
Finally, I go for the best option which is ignoring the blockade, circle Hector’s tires around the barrier, marvel at Sicilian’s biggest pothole and, later on, gently wave at the construction workers I pass by. Fortunately, most people accept the disabled road and leave the one and last existing lane to us with hardly any oncoming traffic.
Based on the recommendation of the French couple I met the other day, Hector heads on South. Leaving tiny little mosaic stones behind and approaching massive rocks: Our destination is known as the Scala dei Turchi, which is slightly misleading as it does not refer to Turks but rather to pirates, all named “turchi” in former times and demonstrating ancient preconceptions.
Around noon, Hector rolls on the ground of Punta Piccola Park, a simple and likeable sosta camper at the beach of Porto Empedocle / Realmonte. 2 toilets, 3 showers and space for some dozens of camper vans with sea view. I tend to like those simple but well-located places.
The restaurant right around the corner serves delicious fish, wine, espresso and whatever else you need for your comfort: get out of the sosta’s gateway, turn left, walk max. 50m, get into the restaurant and out to the terrace, ask for fish of the day, enjoy! This being set, I take off my shoes and promenade on the beach for relaxed two kilometres.
The more I turn West and thus away from industrial Porto Empedocle, the more beautiful is the shore. I give up looking back and continue my way along the coast line.
Soon enough I spot the white cliff made of soft limestone and a blinding white marl. These days, only the tough reach it, as recent rockfalls required to close a part of the beach. The only way leads through the water stirred up by hundreds of tourist legs and with invisible stones and rocks beneath the feet. A rope indicates the safest passageway where you will always find helping hands of elderly poeple along the queue (or the other way round).
Once you are there, it is impossible not to pose for Instagram, friends and your own vanity. With the scenery as fantastic as it is, here come the inevitable “bella figura” pictures of the day:
I spend quite some time on one of the highest “steps” of the so-called stairway. There is so much to see from here! The changing colours of the sea, all kinds of people passing by and then there is a group of Dutchmen that is keen on showing off with their youth and their muscles. After an hour or two, I turn around and leave this wonderful place behind.
Just one pity comes with todays excursion: my handstand skills do not match this place. Not yet. It would have been marvellous to pose in a free-floating handstand on top of that glistening white platform. One of the last thoughts before falling asleep that night is: “What if I exercise more focused?”. I wonder if this will get me somewhere someday…