So I said goodbye to Rome giving it my best regards, tipped my hat to Marcus Aurelius the last of the great emperors and followed a flashing ambulance right out of the city. I was headed for the ancient Roman town of Pompeii. This whole town was covered in up to 6 meters of ash when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD. I stopped only briefly without visiting one of the most popular tourist’s destinations in Italy.
I pressed on for Sicily as the sky darkened with rain clouds periodically unleashing their fury from above. I reached the ferry port of Reggio Calabria around 9pm and set about finding solitude of solace. As I passed the ferry terminal I noticed cars and trucks lined up along the warf. I went to investigate and wound up on the island of Sicily in a town called Messina. This delightful city has an abundance of hotels; unfortunately for me the first three I checked were full. I wish the fourth had been as well because I ended up staying there and it was some abomination of creation.
The room consisted of a single bed which was hiding in the corner when I entered. There was a wicker basket wardrobe and a sink nailed to the green and cream industrial painted walls. There was a buzzer next to my bed and a crucifix torturing Jesus above it. What sort of satanic insanity had this room previously seen were the last thoughts as I slipped away? I didn’t sleep for long as my insane asylum/convent was right next to a ramp that led trucks to the ferry. As they dragged their heavy loads past, their exhaust fumes filled my room. At first light I took off without even enquiring after breakfast.
The Island’s port of Palermo was only a few hours ride away. That’s where I depart the Continent of Europe so that’s where I went. It was a nice and relaxed ride through the mountains with their Mafiosi villages. There are mirror glass wearing Good Fellows hanging out outside pizza shops all over these sandstone towns.
I’ve had a great time riding around Europe but the adventure must go on. Tomorrow I leave the 1980’s and Italy behind and head for the Continent of Africa where the real adventure begins.