Tag Archives: Ustica

Paradise dwellers

This is a story about the paradise…

The lighthouse of Ustica

In Palermo our crew grew bigger: Cristiano’s friends and his brother from Brazil has arrived, Isabel from Poland joined the crew. All worries that we had, searching for Internet and car rent, were forgotten.

The next destination of “Vagabond” – the island Ustica in Tyrrhenian sea.

Map of Ustica on the main square

This day was a significant day for me. Precious feeling has returned to me – feeling of harmony with the world, being one piece with it, long time ago forgotten, always missed. Not a moment, not a mood but constant and strong feeling.

The beautiful sensitive yacht responsed for movements of steering wheel in my hands. Healing salty sea touched the hull and tried to get us from time to time. Sicily was disappearing slowly, turning into colourful and sunny mirage behind.

I feel calm and confident now. What’s that – forgotten or never known? I have no reason to run. And no wish. I’m here already, in the best place in the world.

Port of Ustica

In several hours we were on place. The island was completely different from touristic Vulcano that we visited before. We anchored not far from a beautiful lighthouse that is on photo at the beginning of the post.

The small idilic island is just 9 km across. Taxi driver Pippo took us to the town. I haven’t been to many places like this one. Clean streets, white houses, terassas with awesome view on the marina. And flowers, flowers, flowers…

By scooters we explored the island. Beautiful, beautiful!  Despite complains of Leo and David, we all climbed the hill and were regarded with another incredible view.

I don’t remember names of a lighthouse or a town. But the usland is so small that you can walk around it. The amazing place is a square – close to the marina, with restaurant on a terasse. All houses on this square are ornated with pictures.

Beautiful portrait on the wall of the restaurant
For whom does he waiting for? Probably, you : )

We met the sunset in a warm and fun circle. Cristiano’s friends from the boat “La Palapa” joined us for a party with beers and brq. We danced, swam naked and played music (the drum was a 5 liters beer can – and yes, I loved it! Miss my djembe)). And the night was beautiful.

That day was a perfect day. The island is a real paradase. I couldn’t expect in overcrowded Europe. So, please, my friends, don’t tell too many people about it – let it stay a paradise : )

Vagabond - my small world

Chapter 3: on board of “Vagabond”

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.

Taormina - view from a high point

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…

Vulcano, one of Ionian islands

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.