Friday, 19 February 2016

Trapani - a tricky day.

Thursday 18th February 

Yesterday we drove the 30 or so kilometres from Marsala to Trapani. We had identified a Sosta at Hotel Saline about 4kms to the south of the town on the road to the airport. It proved serviceable enough, a space to the rear of the hotel with a basic shower block, service point and ECU - at 15 euros not too bad. Even better, the Shell station down the road that I had identified in my pre-trip research as selling LPG did actually sell the stuff, so now we have a full cylinder of gas.

The Sosta - handy for visiting Trapani - in theory...
Hotel Saline is next to the road leading to the salt flats. There has been a salt extraction industry here since the Middle Ages and the salt pans dotted with ancient windmills are fascinating. As soon as we arrived we off-loaded the bikes and went for a bit of an explore.

La saline are spectacularly situated beneath Erice

With views towards the Isola Egadi

The silver-grey light was wonderful

Ancient windmills dot the salt beds - the building houses a museum 

One of the worlds great vehicles 
Today the plan was to visit Trapani itself. As forecast it rained during the morning, so we decided to wait for the 1:45pm bus. However by noon the rain had cleared and as we were only about three kilometres from a parking with designated motorhome bays on the edge of the city, we decided to drive in. The first glitch was that the car park was in use as the site of sprawling outdoor market. We found another car park next to the bus station, but the market had attracted lots of slightly dodgy looking guys hanging about. Some were trying to make a euro or two directing people into free parking places. Would the van be safe here for a few hours while we visited Trapani. We were not sure, and returned to the Sosta, to revert to plan A, and catch the bus.

The receptionist in the hotel told us that the time had been changed to 2.15, and the bus was number 31. We waited patiently by the roadside. Two school buses passed, then another travelling at Italian speed. It had scooted past us by the time we  noticed a '31' in tiny numbers on the front. We had missed it. This is too hard, we agreed; how much really so we need to see Trapani?

So we decided to move on to a campsite at Capo San Vito, but not before I had put a small dent in the over-cab roof, nothing too serious, the bodywork is not punctured nor is the paintwork scratched, but it's annoying nevertheless. The Sosta had a basketball net at one end overhanging the parking lot slightly. The thing was a bit wrecked, so parts of the chain basket dangled down, they must have dragged on the cab roof as I swung around. I spent the rest of the afternoon beating myself up about it.

This was a shame really as now  was not in the  mood to enjoy the drive through some spectacular mountain scenery. The clouds had cleared and the landscape lit by a golden light - beautiful. We drove through a village called Purgatory; it was empty, I am unsure if this was a good or bad sign. I did notice it had a nice looking cafe selling Illy coffee, so at least I should be able to get a decent Italian macchiato in the afterlife.

We drove through Purgatory - it seemed surprisingly quiet...
The campsite at Capo San Vito is probably the best we have been in since Punta Braccetto. Otherwise, today has been one to forget. I am looking forward to a sunny but chilly day tomorrow. We need to get the bikes off and explore the spectacular coastal scenery. Not everyday can be great, but if it's not, then all you can hope for is that tomorrow will be better.


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