Saturday, March 15, 2008

Hiking, Rock Climbing, Exploring Sicily

It has been so beautiful out so I decided to take full advantage of it today.  I totally love to go on little adventures looking for treasures. My son  Adam and I hit the jackpot today.  We stumbled upon a prehistoric temple site, dating back to 2000 B.C.!!!! I remember reading about it and also knew that it was close to where we live, however, I didn't realize just how close. We pass it everyday ;o) Our adventures started off by taking some of the crazy little dirt roads in the hopes of exploring old old old houses, when we discovered this ginormous cave!!! We see this thing from the road and I have actually driven past it many times. Today, apparently I looked a little closer and to my suprise noticed that it was an archeological excavation site complete with a Museum.  Typical Sicilians welcomed us right in and gave us the VIP treatment.  We also received a guided tour (not the norm) into the cave and into the actual excavation area!!!!! It was all I could do not to pick up the hundreds of scattered pieces of pottery, old columns, and who knows what else. I have actually found two pieces of terracota pottery, on the beach, that I believe to be hundreds or thousands of years old, one of which is a little oil lamp (giddy, giddy)
After leaveing the archeological site we ventured up an old dirt road, stopped and ate a picnic lunch while looking at a panoramic view of southern Sicily. Once we finished our meal, we decided to go hiking. (I decided, Adam was freaked out with the distance I wanted to go)...  We left our car and began our journey across a very rocky field. I believe it might have been an early field of hay or straw. Next was the field of thorn bushes, then a field we named "death valley".  This one was dirt but had tall dead stickery things.  We made it to 3 different extremely old homes. Our first treasure was the old sliding lock to someone's front door. I refused to leave it even though it did not fit into any of my pockets and ,therefore, was made to carry it throughout the entire journey.  Some of the strange sticker plants that we waded through had some kind of poison in them. The sensation that our bare legs felt after scrapping through them was that of being stung by a bee!!!! Did it stop me??? Yea right!!!!
We continued to track closer and closer to a large cluster of rocks. Once there we looked over the top to discover that we were on the edge of a mountain!!!!!!!  These rocks are the ones that I see every single day and they contain a vast amount of catacombs or caves.  The holes are man made, dating back to roman times and even beyond this perhaps the whole B.C. era. SCORE!!!! I talk about wanting to explore these things all the time.  So off we went, down the mountain. We kept thinking that we were right above them, only to look back up and realize they were at the very tip top. LOL  No place left to go but back up!!!!!  UP UP UP we climbed and yes it was real rock climbing apparently, especially towards the top when we were pretty much on our bellies looking for bukas to stick our feet and roots to hoist ourselves up. (Remember, I still have this giant lock in my hands crippling me) At one point I had stuck my hand into something wet and brown, as well as, reaching the top with a squished snail stuck to the palm of my hand. Escargo anyone???  EUREKA  We made it!!!!!!!!
After exploring the caves, we discovered we had to keep going up in the hopes of getting to the other side of the mountain from which we came...... Once we reached the tip top we began laughing at the predicament we were now in. We had gotten to a point where it was just as steep to go down the other side. There we were, mother and son, stranded on the top of a Sicillian mountain, no one would realize we were missing, no cell phone, no water (very responsible right, don't look at me, I'm not the boy scout).. We talked about where there's a will, there's a way. Obviously we made it down and I have some gorgeous photos and a fantastic ancient lock!!!! 
Enjoy the photo journey.
PS: In the second photo if you click on it you can look closely and will see the cave and excavation site and the HIWay 417,  In the second to last photo, that is the castle that some of you have heard me talk about or I guess some of you have seen. LOOK how close we are and we are sort of behind it on the west side.  

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