In Sicily we had been in cities and wineries for days and decided we must get outside. We decided to visit La Riserva Naturale Orientata dello Zingaro which turned out to provide one of the most compelling hikes of our lives.
Lo Zingaro as the locals call it is Sicily's first nature reserve and is one of the island's great success stories.
The tunnel above was built as part of a highway system that was to go along the coast here but in 1980 several thousand Sicilians marched on the site declaring their disdain for the highway project and for once the Italian government listened to Sicily and the area became a series of trails along the sea to stunning cove beaches below.
There is a north and a south entrance to the park and 9 kilometers of stunning hiking in between. Juliet and I were Colorado strong on this hike and went 6km in before turning back. Of course we stopped at a couple of beaches along the way to enjoy some sun and brisk water.
As we relaxed on the small stones of this sparsely populated cove we watched a father (an American) swimming with his 3 girls and exploring the rocks along the back right of this photo. As fate would have it, one of the girls was stung by a jellyfish (Medusa in Italian and a much more appropriate name).
I caught this photo of the father bringing the girls to shore. Juliet, being the always prepared nurse happened to have some Banadryl in her bag and I delivered the needed antihistamine to the family and discovered they had 2 more boys with them and all had come down from Frankfurt where Michael (yep, that's his name) was stationed in the US Marine Corps.
Of course the girl was fine and was splashing her hands and feet in the water within 15 minutes (probably just before she fell totally asleep) and we bid farewell to the family as the beach was invaded by local school-children and we hit a final beach on the way out of Dodge.
We drove back to Porto Palo that evening knowing we had seen one of the most beautiful places in all of Italy and Europe for that matter. Stories in hand, water being guzzled, and the Autostrada lulled us into a state of calm and ease we had not known for over 3 weeks. A truly Blissful Adventure!
THE BLISSFUL ADVENTURE MOVES TOMORROW!
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Cheers Blissful Adventurers and we will see you on the other side!
Michael and Juliet Housewright