It had rained during the night, and I woke to a chilly wind. A weather system was drawing cooler air in from the East. This wasn’t in the small print. However, the TV promised a large high working up from North Africa to restore things back to normal. Thank goodness.
My route out of Sortino was one long climb, in fact it took me until an early lunch to finish it. A great way to warm up though. The roads were rural, very quiet and beautiful. At one point I surprised a herd of dozing cattle all wearing bells, and when they careered off down the hill it made the most entertaining sound.
Rural Sicily is beautiful but quite barren in places. Just scrub oak and small pines form the tree cover. Life must have been dreadfully hard on the land which is obviously why so many people emigrated to America in search of a better future. Even today it seems like a hand to mouth existence, but at least they have the benefit of modern machinery.
I rounded a bend this morning and I could feel my jaw drop. I was faced with the most incredible view: hundreds of square miles of landscape and far off towns and villages. It felt like flying.
There are some very impressive towns in this part of Sicily, but I wanted to visit one in particular. Ragusa sits astride a hilltop with a saddle in between the two centres. It is Baroque by nature, and whether you like the style or not, it keeps you looking.
It always amazes me how soft stonework survives for so long and in many cases it just doesn’t, but that’s the attraction of it. Faded glory.
The ecclesiastical buildings seem to be doing the best. The Duomo dominates the lower town and I would imagine many couples apply to be married there because the wedding album would be quite memorable.
Tomorrow I head to the coast again and a small harbour called Punta Secca.
This technically represents the end of my journey, but I will devote an entire post to the place, if I don’t sample too much of the wonderful Sicillian wine. They really do keep a sensational cellar.