Day 18 - From Palermo To Cagliari
In the morning, I realized that not only place I booked was awful, but it also did not provide breakfast. I packed my things and, quite early in the morning, I was back on the road. I chose to travel directly to Palermo, however, I favored not the shortest, but the most curvy way to reach there.
First I drove back to Erice because the road SP31, located on a hillside, offered wonderful views of the coastline. The road intersected with the SP20, and later with the SP18, and at the end, through SP16, led me again to San Vito Lo Capo. My attempt to drive entirely along the shore ended when I arrived at a dead end road. I had incorrectly assumed that local road, SP63, which, on a map, ended just next to a beach, had a small off-road connecting path. The lack of it forced me drive back to the main SS187. Getting closer to Castellammare del Golfo, I could already recall the taste of the sandwich
from the day I had arrived at Sicily. I took a break, ate, and in a hurry drove directly to Palermo. This time we were many motorcyclists waiting for the Ferry´s departure.
The only operating ferry was run by the Tirrenia company, and the journey they offered left much to be desired to say the least. It takes twelve hours to arrive to Calgiari in Sardegna and local people knew that in order to have a comfortable journey one needed to find the right place on the ferry. All the cabins were booked out long before the trip. When I entered the customers area, I was shocked by what I saw. For every four travelers, only one chair was available. The restaurant was not an area where people could sit and eat but rather a place where a person could just sit and stay for the entire night. Many people brought their own large mattresses which used a lot of floor space. The prospect of standing the whole night was not funny at all. Especially since the next day, I was going to drive. I had to find a spot where I could sleep otherwise I would not be able to stay focused during the ride. Another problem was that I needed to charge the many electronic devices I had with me. After about a half an hour, I found a socket just next to a bench in a bar occupied by kids trying to charge their game consoles. I decided that I would sit next to it and not move from that place till morning. The kids would have leave the place sooner or later. My spot was extremely uncomfortable, but within some time I managed to stretch "my area" in a way that I could lay down. Apart for the fact that "my spot" was in a bar, where the lights were never off and many people were constantly passing by, I was glad I was able to sit and, at some point, even lie down! I wondered that I had paid almost the same price for the trip as I would have for a private cabin on a ferry from Naples to Palermo. So how could they charge people so much and not provide enough space for them ? I forgot to mention that many people were sleeping on benches outside on the deck. Early in the morning, a student sat next to me shaking from the cold. He was one of the people sleeping on the deck. I could not look at him. I bought him a cup of hot tea and basically requested him to drink it.
Thereafter I had to take a ferry twice and I promised myself that I would avoid Tirrenia, even if the company would have offered a trip for free.