Torre Faro to Acqua Menta
I have never been to Africa. But somehow it feels like Africa when I take my first steps on Sicilian soil. Beige sky, hazy. Sand must be in the air. The sun barely able to shine through. And it's hot. Very hot already as I walk back towards Messina, where I took the bus earlier this morning to Torre Faro. Yes I know, thru-hikers do weird stuff. But it's what E1 wants us hikers to walk.
After a long day yesterday and a short night, I feel a bit exhausted. Especially in combination with the heat. A quick swim fixes the problem and I feel like a new person. Eventually, I leave the coast near Messina and head up into the hills, where I meet Maria, who took the bus.
From there, the walk gets extremely pretty. Initially on a tar-sealed road then on more or less rough 4WD tracks with phenomenal views left and right and some proper hiking track in the end. It's hazy but clear enough to see the mainland.
The trail stays in between 800 and 1000 meters above sea level. Not too much up and down which is especially appreciated by Maria. While it is hot it's also windy, actually making it not too unpleasant to walk. At least for me. I don't think Maria would agree :D
So Ww take it easy, leaving enough time for breaks.
Water supply is challenging. Luckily just an hour before pitching our tent, we find Aqua Lima - a fountain. Without this one, I fear we would have run into problems tomorrow. It's already 18:00 but we (Maria ;) decide to carry on. While that last bit on a hiking trail offers more spectacular views it's also slow going. With no suitable camping spot, we walk and walk and walk. Then, just when the sun is about to set, we reach a gravel road and some great camping spot. A long, but fulfilling day. And obviously I am very happy to see Maria up and running again.
First day in Sicily complete. While I was initially a bit worried about the heat, it wasn't as bad as I thought. And then there were the views, an absolute highlight. I am now really looking forward to hiking across the island in the coming days.