We said our goodbyes to Karolina and continued west. The North Coast is mountainous and beautiful. The number of villages that sit on mountain peaks are fascinating and I contemplated possible earthquakes and the consequences. One peak in particular looked like it would just fall off like gelato from a cone.
Cefalu is a old fishing village that sits below a steep conical hill. Cefalu has retained its medieval appearance and is famous for its medieval monuments. There is a well preserved Norman cathedral that was started in 1131. The narrow streets are enhanced with elaborate architectural decorations. The village today is a busy tourist resort. We watched Kite flying on the long sandy beach in the early evening. It is comical to walk the narrow streets and listen to the elderly Italian ladies yelling back and forth to each other from their apartment balconies as they hang out their laundry.
Termini Imerese was our next stop and a very NON-touristic but authentic working town. It is here that Fiat cars were once built and a few models of the Lancia. We stopped to break up the long miles and lack of wind for sailing. We found one of the largest supermarkets we have seen in sometime and I just wandered around admiring the selection. In the evening we made quite a steep climb up many stairs to the upper town looking for a restaurant, which we finally found in the large cathedral square. As the days push on in September the villages become more quiet, less restaurants open, with the tourist season coming to an end.
Castellammare Del Golfo is a old town built on the slopes around the bay. There are many stairways, bridges, and steep alleys to navigate. We spent 3 days here and enjoyed the area very much but as a forecasted gale was coming we rounded the NW corner of Sicily, San Vito Lo Capo and retraced our route from 2 years ago along the west and south side of the island. We took refuge from the gale in Licata and met some nice people on the dock. This marina is popular for many to leave their boats in the water during the winter months.
Now that we have circumnavigated Sicily, our favorite area is the north coast and our favorite city is Siracusa. Sicilian cuisine is centered around fish, vegetables and sweets, fabulous sweets I might add. The best local wines tend to remain on the island instead of exporting, therefore they are not as well known but are VERY good. We look forward to passing Sicily next spring and making some short stops to enjoy the wonderful food and wine and friendly people.
After a very long day of mostly motoring and some sailing we arrived to the port of Licata on the south coast to wait for the next gale to blow through as it was too early for us to arrive Malta with our slip reservation.
The storm produced some incredible waves outside the double breakwater to the port but inside we were comfortable and meeting many cruisers who were preparing to leave their boats for the winter. Departing the marina in early morning we were quite surprised to see the water temperature outside the breakwater was 16c when we have constantly seen temperatures 23c +. It was not until we were half way to Malta that the temperature increased again. The second half of the trip we had a great sail and approached the island of Gozo at 8.4 knots and enjoyed a swim when we reached the anchorage.