31 May 2005

An Island in the Sun

Originally uploaded by Katherine H.
My time in Sicily is winding down, and I decided that today would be the day for a trip to Favignana, the largest of the three Egadi Islands that sit off the coast near Trapani. About 600,000 years ago the islands were connected to the mainland. As the sea level gradually rose, the connections were submerged, and they became an archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea.

I packed a towel, a memoir by Jill Ker Conway, my word searches, snacks for lunch, and headed off to find parking at the port in Trapani. The meter readers were on my side today. On the return trip, the ferry was over an hour late. Subsequently, the time on my prepaid ticket stub had expired before I returned, but fortunately no ticket! I even watched one meter reader check the window of my car as I was standing on the deck waiting for the traghetto to dock.

Favignana is a great island for biking. I, however, decided to walk, so I was grateful for a gentle breeze. En route to a beach on the other side of the island I stopped to schmear sunblock on my face and neck, but didn’t put it on my arms until I reached the beach. So, yes, I did get a bit of a sunburn – but at least I got it from sunbathing along the Mediterranean!

I was a bit surprised when I reached the first beach at how small it was. Part of it was very rocky, and the rest was a combination of sand and material that looked like finely shredded tree bark shavings. I never did figure out what it was or where it came from (there isn’t a lot of vegetation on the island), but it was soft to walk on. The water was stunningly clear, and I couldn’t resist getting my feet wet.

I wanted to get more than my feet wet, however, so I went in search of a less populated and more private sport further from curious eyes. I found a great spot with enough room to put my towel at the water’s edge. The surrounding rock created a little cove, and no one else was there when I first arrived. This would change later on, but for the first hour or so, it was all mine. I rock-hopped around out to deeper water, and for a while just stood there submerged in the water, swaying with the current.

On my way back to the port, I wandered through part of the town and saw some old medieval ruins. School was in session, and as I walked through the streets I could hear the students reciting and singing their lessons. By this time, my energy was quite drained from the early summer sun, and I was ready to be back at Fontanasalsa for another delicious dinner.

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