Today we walked 32 km, which is more than expected. The weather was nice with no wind. Yeah!
The first 20 km was walking on roads again but then we finally hit a real hiking trail. That was quite enjoyable.
We passed through the town of Noto, a UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE. The city looks old, but I still need to figure out why it is a UWH.
Even though we find some nice landscape I want to say something serious about and to Sicily. It is full of trash. There is garbage, piles of garbage everywhere. It‘s really disgusting.
Traffic here is an adventure. People drive like crazy. It seems they take laws for a suggestion. With us road-walking it is quite an adventure sometimes.
I want to end today’s story with a sad encounter. We found a stray dog sitting on the side of the road hiding behind a garbage bag. He was too weak to get up and really scared of us. I tried to feed him with something out of my bag, but it worked only semi-well. I decided to pick him up and carry him to next town, Noto, to bring him to a pet-doctor. After a little while carrying the dog he jumped out of my arms into some bushes. I couldn‘t follow him but begged him to come back. He didn’t so I had to leave him behind knowing well he‘s probably going to die soon. That made me sad.
Yesterday afternoon we arrived in Portopalo di Capo Passero, our starting-point and southern terminus of our adventure. We decided to cowboy-camp, to sleep under the night sky with no shelter, right at the beach. Our first trail-dinner was Pasta with sauce. Since we forgot to buy salt, it tasted a bit pale. During that night my mattress ripped and I had to fix it at 2:33 a.m.. What a start! We woke up at around 8 and started to hike at around 9 a.m. The night was cold, maybe 5 degrees Celsius max. with a breeze making it feeling way colder.
It’s a sunny day and we start out with a 21.5 km street-walk. Even at day-time the wind is cold. We find a nice place to pitch our tents between some ruins nearby a lake. For dinner it’s Pasta with sauce again, and nosalt, of course. It gets dark at 5:30 p.m. and I decide to sit in my tent. Sunrise is at 7:15 a.m. It’s going to be a long lonely night, but I’m tired and fall asleep quickly. I hope it’s a bit warmer tomorrow, maybe with a little less wind. I’m really excited about this trip.
14 month ago, while hiking on the Camino in Spain, Jared and I made the plan to meet here in Sicily. Since then we haven’t talked or written a lot. After me arriving last night, Jared arrived today. I think it’s safe to say it was a big joy for both of us to see each other again. I personally had a tough month of work in December with its peak in the last week. As I worked in the entertainment business, the christmas season and up to New Year’s eve is one of the most stressful time of the year. I flew here from Germany via Rome and when I got here last night I soon went to bed and slept to mid-day today.
Jared arrived today in the afternoon after an exhausting 5 day trip from the USA. His last month, so he told me at dinner, was filled with work and meeting up with friends. But he finally got here. Tomorrow is dedicated to some sight-seeing and buying last necessities before we start hitting the trail by the end of the week.
Clothing: Mammut Fleecejacke RAB Neo Guide Jacket Fjällräven Karl Pro Trousers Icebreaker Merino longsleeve base layer Icebreaker Merino Shortsleeve base layer Icebreaker long underwear 2 x Woolpower underwear 2 x Woolpower Merino socks
Electronics: Black Diamond headlamp Powerbank 10.000 mAh iPod touch Garmin Oregon 750t incl 3 battery-packs
Hygiene: Towel Toothbrush and -paste Dr. Bronner Soap Toilet-paper Sawwyer Squeeze Waterfilter
Safety: compass First Aid Kid Emergency blanket
Miscellaneous: Esbit Titanium Silverware Leatherman Multitool Black Diamond Trekking-poles
It’s only 17 days to take-off to Sicily, those last few month past by very quickly and it’s about time to keep everyone up-to-date. So here we go:
Since my last posts in May I really enjoyed my time with my friends and several activities. Besides lots of work I did a lot of preparation for the upcoming adventure. Starting in August I rode my bike alongside the Rhine-river here in Germany taking the EV15. I started out in Switzerland, enjoyed most of my tour. However, I wasn’t too well prepared for this. My bike wasn’t the right choice and my choice of gear wasn’t neither. But with this taking into account I was able to push myself a little bit to get an idea what next year is maybe about, not always being in the comfort zone and still being able to push through. To be honest I didn’t ride as far as I wanted, but far enough to call it a success.
In November I went back to California visiting some old friends from high-school, friends from my PCT and the Camino. It was a time of sharing anecdotes and excitement, it was also a time for me to do a little bit of more research, think through my gear (again) and starting to get really focused. Apropos talking about gear, a detailed gear-list will be online soon and I don’t want to spoil but I am not an Ultra-light hiker. You wanna know why? Stay tuned!
Now it’s already mid-December, my flight is booked, the hostel for the first few nights in Sicily is booked, all maps and gps-data are up to date and I am looking forward to meeting my friend and hiking-companion Jared. Last week we took some time to make our last talk about questions like “Are we really gonna do it?” and “Are we mentally prepared for it?”. After throwing around some alternative hikes we could do instead, we concluded to stuck with our plan and really go for it.
It’s going to be adventurous, it’s going to be strenuous, its going to be long and it’s also going to be awesome. And awesome is just another way to express how livin’ is done!
One thing I have learned from hiking the Malerweg two weeks ago is to not underestimate the elevation-chart and my base-weight. Base-weight is something I will work on when I’m in Scotland in October (hopefully!) but what I can do is looking at the pure numbers of the trail, elevation-chart, distance and stages.
For the last two days I sat in front of the computer and put together all gpx-data, looked at the elevation, checked out climate-charts for certain areas and browsed for sections with no daily resupply possibilities. After that I had the urgent feeling to contact Jared and Tomasz, who may joins us (hopefully!), and ask them for their motivation-status. They answered quickly.
Here’s the conclusion: it’ll be a huge challenge and a big adventure. But we are certain to tackle it!
Here’s a map for you to see what we plan on hiking:
“I herewith announce that I do not see any possibility to keep on going under the current conditions. I must sadly admit that therefore I will quit!”
Those words I could have used to tell my boss that I quit my job by the end of this year in order to go on the E1 adventure and beyond. But instead we had a reasonable eye-to-eye talk about my plans and how we are going to proceed with work to the end. He needs some time to think about it, of course, and I now finally have taken another major step into a new chapter of my life. This whole thing is getting real. How exciting that is for me right now!
My next steps will be, starting this month, buying some new gear, which I will keep you informed on. So stay tuned and see how livin’ is done! 🙂