After sleepless night in a bus (8-hours drive) we arrived to Reggio Calaria, a town on a continental side of Messina channel.
The bus ride was tiring but not useless. The road goes along the coast, and the coast of Southern Italy is incredible. Rocky cliffs, hills, covered with olive trees and vines, blue Mediterranean sea and plenty of multilevel coastal towns, settled in bays and harbours.
Ferry to Messina – and I’m on Sicily! So close to the aim of my bus journey, the town Taormina, where the boat “Vagabond” was waiting for me. And here’s a point, where my plan starts to be useless.
First I missed the stop in Messina. The next one was in more than an hour drive, in Catania. The point, where I realised the fact of a missed stop, was a turn to Taormina that we passed. HERE I remembered that I needed to hop off in Messina. “Well, lets look around. Not every day on Sicilia”, – I finally decided. And have a relaxing ride to Catania, admiring landscapes of the island.
In Catania we stopped on a bus station, so there was no problem in finding the bus to Taormina. If the previous bus was typically touristic (very good bus, by the way – clean, with smily drivers and even snacks and drinks served. The company is called “Interbus – Ibus”, here’s the link. The ticket from Roma to Messina costs 32 euros, ferry is included), the bus Catania-Taormina was typically public. People attacted it, seiged and took with a battle. Happily, poor driver was able to hide in his seat in proper time.
The public was diverse: Africans, Arabs and a few Italians. There were many sellers with their goods, so I worried a bit for my bag, which was in a lugguage section. On every stop people opened it to take their numerous things.
The ride was fun: I talked to my neighbour from Bangladesh and watched the scenery through the window. The result of my unattentiveness: I was late to Taormina for four hours.
Taormina is a resort town, not far from Etna volcano. I could see it from a distance, with an smoke above its head. The town has three bays with beaches and anchorage for yachts. I ended up on the top of the hill, on a bus station. While going through a winding road up, I saw several yachts, anchored near the rock.
Funny thing was that about the boat I didn’t know anything, except the name of the yacht and the first name of the captain. With this poor information I ended up on a beach.
I asked Rescue service, and they told me that haven’t seen the boat with the name “Vagabond” in the nearest bay. They I rushed to the diving school – but they didn’t know anything useful for me. Finally, I decided to find a restaurant with the internet, write an email to the captain Cristiano and wait.
The waiter, whom I asked about WiFi, spoke English very slightly. But he spoke French! Not perfect but better than me – italian. I explained a situation to him. Probably, because of my desperate face or just his kind nature , but he gave me his notebook with mobile connection to the net. At the same time, another guy from a restaurant tried to help me, calling to stations all over Taormina and asking about “Vagabond”. Finally, he found some guys, who saw a boat with this name.
Meanwhile, I wrote an e-mail to Cris and – oh miracle! – he called me in a minute! We were lucky to get the connection, and soon a white dinghy brought me on board the yacht. Chapter 3 of my journey has started…
I’m in Palermo now, the capital of Sicily. The city that I would never want to leave. Yesterday we spent several hours trying to find internet. Today we can’t hire a car.
I can forgive everything – car, internet – but not lack of air. Despite it’s on an island, stetched far along the coast, it’s so dusty here…
Tomorrow we’re leaving to an island Ustica in Tyrrhenian sea. Just 9 km across. Can’t wait to leave Palermo.