Monday, August 20

here we go round the cactus bush


Levanzo is the smallest of the three Egadi Islands, and the few dirt roads that radiate from the village see only an occasional old car or Vespa that have been retired to the island with their equally retired owners.  I had read that it is possible to circumnavigate the island on foot, and I am always up for a rambling adventure with ocean views and the promise of a swim and coffee at the end. The tourist information promotes the island as perfect for "those who seek solitude and rhythms set by the breaking waves or the sound of ones own feet on the stones", and for once, they are not exaggerating; at least outside of the weekend and summer holiday months.  The track along the rugged limestone coast has expansive views over the other two islands and many sequestered bays accessible only by boat.  Steep steps lead down to the famous Grotto del Genovese, a cave with ancient graffiti, engravings and painted figures estimated to be from the Neolithic and Palaeolithic eras.  A more romantic and less taxing way to visit on a boat tour.  I passed on the stick men and steps, and continued along the ridge, listening to my feet skip over the stones. 

In fact I was so taken with the solitude and sight of a loaded fig tree that I missed the turn-off.  The track narrowed to dozens of interwoven goat tracks through sharp scrub, and as I climbed higher up the scree slope of Pizzo die Monaco, I could see the beach and road far below with no way down.  Just me and the over sized seagulls catching the updraft. Back I went to the fig tree where I found the path down to the pebble beach for a welcome dip. Now for that coffee...


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