Turning North – Belpasso, Sicily, Italy

We were awoken in the early hours, as our dogs were disturbed by something. We were camped in a scruffy end of town and an even scruffier car park, so we had only just got to sleep with one ear open. I slid open the blind on our bunk to reveal a pack of stray dogs, we counted 7, all appeared to be related from colouring and size. Younger dogs rolling around and playing with each other on the floor. They seemed harmless enough, not that I would have taken our dogs outdoors just at that moment to find out. However, it added to the feeling that the town of Regusa was a little on the wild side. Have never witnessed dogs in a pack, effectively in the wild before, was actually quite endearing to see them roaming together as a family group.

Despite our broken night’s sleep, we were still unsettled enough to wake early and were on the road to leave before 8am, hoping to miss the traffic. We were supposed to go to Syracuse today according to our mini-plan. However, we decided we had had enough of urban living and were not going to go just to tick some sightseeing tick box. Syracuse is the birthplace of Archimedes and there are two museums with recreations of his inventions which we would have liked to visit, but it seemed both are currently closed. So, Syracuse has been demoted to next time we pass this way.

Mount Etna at last

So having reached the most southerly point of our tour, almost on a par with Tunisia, we have turned north. Not unfortunately, without Google deciding to inexplicably take us right through the central narrow streets of Modica instead of via the nice bypass. The moral of the story being never believe sat-nav over road signs. As we headed north we were very excited to see Mount Etna’s snowy peak in the distance, piercing through its own localised halo of cloud circling it’s middle. We also witnessed some of the litter which Sicily has become notorious for. We have seen a little until now but today there were lay-bys part filled with it.

Infamous Sicily litter issues

We had to call in at the supermarket as we passed Syracuse and ended up with a bit of clothes shopping to supplement out winter clothing supplies before we get further north. Although we could well be in snow tomorrow on Etna, so they may well come in sooner. We were basking in 22 degrees at the supermarket car park having breakfast etc. however within an hour’s driving and part way up Etna it had dropped to 15 degrees.

Camped out at the base of Etna, ready to go (and for a wash!)

Tomorrow we will head up to Etna base camp, but today we have chosen a campsite at the base so we can get some sleep and empty / fill tanks so we can spend a couple of days camping out 🌋.

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