Ever since the snow in Abruzzo, we’ve been aware of the approach of winter. Few campsites are open, and the days are short enough that there’s a real restriction on what we’ve been able to do. As a result, we’ve been expecting a certain amount of stasis until Spring starts to approach.
The initial plan of finding an apartment has gone more-or-less by the board, partly through always wondering if the next place will be perfection, partly through wariness of the amount of bureacracy and hidden expense likely to be involved.
So it looks like we’re staying in the van. But where? It’s got to be somewhere south enough to be pleasantly warm, and it’s got to be somewhere with enough in the surrounding area to keep us interested. It’s also got to be a campsite with good enough facilities… Sicily’s certainly (mostly) got the weather – but every single one of the campsites around the island has been lacking in one or both of the other factors.
By the time we got to Palermo, then Cefalu, we’d more or less finished the lap of the island, and there was only one corner left unvisited – San Vito lo Capo, at the peak of a headland in the far north-west.
The campsite was closed for November, so we’d had to delay our arrival until the start of December. When we finally arrived, with expectations stacked heavily, our hearts sank. First impressions were not exactly overwhelming.
After a night, though, everything started to look much rosier. The showers are about the best we’ve experienced since leaving the UK. The town is incredibly dead and out-of-season, but still very pleasant – and there’s even a decent fresh pasta shop. The natural reserve of the Zingaro lies a few kilometres south – it’s not large, only about 7km north-south, but going by how small a dent we made on the map during our first (exhausting) day’s walk, that’s not going to be a big issue.
La Pineta is also easily the best site we’ve found for another reason – the cats here are definitely the most characterful to date.
So – it looks like we’ve found ourselves a base. With an address that we can rely on, we can catch up with some of the things we’ve been needing to order. That leaves us with no choice to sit here at least until various packages have arrived. Somehow, though, it doesn’t seem to be too big a hardship – it’s difficult to believe, but we’ve already been here over a fortnight – and we’ve less than another fortnight to go before Christmas… How DID that happen?