A quiet day of prep by the beach, Pozzallo, Sicily

Sunset over Marina di Modica - taken from our beach

Dave the motorhome is parked up by the beach just west of Pozzallo in Sicily (N36.71792 E14.81552). Between 1 and 3pm we were joined by a few cars, their drivers using the long Italian lunch break to either push back their seat and have a snooze, or drive onto the sand for a spot of fishing on the beach, now though we have the place to ourselves.

We slept well by the decaying boats in Portopalo di Capo Passero, woken only a couple of times by fishermen heading out in the night and two men having what sounded like an argument, but was more than likely a general discussion about the weather! I woke this morning feeling a bit off, hoping I hadn’t finally succumbed to Jay’s man-flu we decided to have a ‘take it easy’ day (I know most of our days are like this compared to real life!).

Before we left the harbour side it was time for poor Jay to check our loo (all things toilet are a man’s job in Dave). We’ve been getting wafts of wee smell quite a lot lately. We’d initially put it down to the uber bumpy Sicilian roads, but it was time to finally find out for sure. When we arrived yesterday Jay cleaned the cassette and its housing, this morning there was ‘liquid’ in there again and we hadn’t moved – conclusion, the seal on the cassette has gone and is leaking into the area it sits in – which isn’t smell proofed from the van.

We’re on our way to Palermo over the next week and we know there’s a motorhome dealership there, so I’ll ping them an email to check they have the part we need in stock. For now, we’re using the loo with the lid open (closing it when we move), so we pee straight into the cassette instead of peeing onto the top of it then flushing and opening it. This is possibly too much information for the non-motorhomers among you, but believe me when you get a load of us together the topic of conversation always ends up on loos!

Setting off we went about a mile up the road before stopping at a Ferramenta (Ironmongers). The tiny shop was packed with almost everything you could ever want, but as it was all higgledie-piggledie and it took us about half an hour of hunting around, pointing and miming before we came away having spent €5 on a few bits for Dave. We then ventured up to the local supermarket and bought a few bits and pieces including some dog food for Charlie, who has been keen to point out that he hasn’t had any dog meat since last year!

Polytunnels in south Sicily
Polytunnels in south Sicily

Back on the road again we wove our way through poly-tunnel filled fields accompanied by new tunes on our USB stick – we were getting a bit tired of the ones we added in September last year! Peeking inside the tunnels as we passed I could see ruby red tomatoes hanging like baubles on vines. In Pachino we had to stop for diesel, the light had started to flicker again. Gutted that we hadn’t made it to the weekend (when fuel is cheaper) we reluctantly put in €50 worth as it was the only note we had and the self service machines (where fuel is cheaper than the served pumps) don’t give change. We then moved along to the GPL pump where you have to be served, the attendant lumbered across as I drove Dave into place. Picking up the pump he looked up into Dave’s side window and grinned, ‘Cavalier King’! This is the standard greeting when people see Charlie. Jay obligingly nipped into Dave and took Charlie outside to be introduced to the attendant.

Fuel tanks full we headed to Ispica as satnav decided we shouldn’t use the scenic coastal road. Crossing over the border from Syracuse to Ragusa ruled land the roads suddenly got smoother – thank goodness. However they still resembled a film set from the end of mankind as shrubs, grasses and trees overgrew onto the carriageway obscuring the crash barriers. In Ispica we found several big supermarkets – Conad, Eurospin and MD Discount, all with packed car parks. The Penny Market, which was under construction, had had its defensive high-vis netting flattened, maybe the potential shoppers couldn’t wait!

Dave's windscreen on the world - Jay & Charlie head for the beach
Dave’s windscreen on the world – Jay & Charlie head for the beach

We reached our beachside location after just a couple of priouettes to get onto the right road, fortunately they seem to be deserted around here. Jay set about doing some work, I carried on my reading of the rough guide to Tunisia. The ferry is booked for next Saturday (€327 one way – gulp! – as we needed a pet friendly cabin so Charlie didn’t have to go in kennels) and our green card has come through from our insurance company (€42.50), it’s not cheap getting there, but it looks amazing and free camping is the norm – yippee!!

Sunset over Marina di Modica - taken from our beach
Sunset over Marina di Modica – taken from our beach

We’ve had quite a few people asking us about internet solutions on the road so while Charlie and I had a nap this afternoon Jay wrote an article on how we go about connecting – hopefully you’ll find it useful. The rest of the day has been spent reading up, using the bits from the Ferramenta to get our second set of LED lights working and doing other bits of work. Charlie has had a couple of plays on the beach before the sun set and the rain started. Tomorrow hopefully I’ll be back on top form after this rest and we’ll head somewhere for some sightseeing – we’ve heard there are Greek Temples and more Baroque towns to see before it’s ferry time.

Ju x

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