Trains in Italy have a reputation for being unreliable; they may show, they may not.
I was staying in Palermo and planned a day trip to Cefalu via train. A young Aussie girl from my hostel invited herself along and we set off for the station. On the way, it seemed only appropriate to ask the travel Gods to arrange for the train to show up on time and get us to a clean beach quick, quick. We also threw in the request for perfect weather and an epic sunset. It was summer, the odds were in our favor. We swam, tanned, laughed, explored, drank pretty drinks and ate tasty foods, got nice attention from cute flirty boys and finished the day with limoncello and a sunset. The travel Gods heard our pleas and provided a perfect day all the while bringing us together.
Back in Palermo we browsed the street markets and churches, enjoyed some wonderfully heavy arancini and pane panelle and were invited into a small sketchy butcher shop where the owner gifted us a plate of snails and lemon flavored beer. I was delighted that she could roll with the day, the conversations and company were refreshing, fun and comfortable. I proposed my road trip plan around Sicily and asked if she wanted to join since she was planning to head to Catania on the other side of the island. She was my first travel companion I hadn’t known prior and my first real travel friend (The Unique and Undeniably Wonderful Travel Romance ).
We picked up my reserved rental and began our trip heading west. We figured we would try our luck with the Universe again as it worked so well the first time, “today we would like to eat tasty clams for dinner and a stay at a beach front place with a pool, for free if possible!?”
We arrived in San Vito Lo Capo late in the afternoon and pulled into a campsite. It was on the beach. It had a pool. It had a vibe. Could the Gods really be this good to us? Could it be? Neither of us had camping equipment, but they had exactly 1 chalet left for the weekend. Was the Universe really this accommodating? The staff were so friendly and the excitement was building up, but then they told us the price. It was higher than we planned to spend and they offered a lower price per night if we stayed two nights instead of one. We hadn’t planned on spending extra time there or that much money so we needed to talk it over, but besides that, this place was amazing. They offered to hold the chalet for us while we got dinner and decided.
We drove into town and weighed our options over a dinner of perfectly prepared Spaghetti alle Vongole (pasta with clams in a briny sauce). It was meant to be. We must be spreading good karma. We phoned the campsite from the restaurant, thanked them for bringing the price down and it looks like we’ll be there for the weekend. We’ll check out the town and be back around midnight. “No problem,” they replied and arranged for the security guard to give us our keys and sort the rest out in the morning.
While in town we kept the good times flowing, stoked about how good things happen when you put the good energies out there. We returned to the campsite picked up the keys from the night guard, opened the door to the chalet and sobered up fast. Our home was totally filthy! Hair, dirt and a layer of loose rocks covered everything – the floor, the bed and the shower. I could overlook the roaches in the bathroom since it’s a campsite but, seriously, what the hell?!? The security guy couldn’t help us and we didn’t know who else to turn to so we poured some limoncello and thought if we get good and drunk we can give the sheets a good shake and crash on top. But then there was the stain!!! Did someone piss the bed????? At this hour the ONLY solution was to clean off the bottle and lay completely still, without touching anything, on the bare mattress of the pull-out sofa.
That morning they offered to replace the sheets, but the damage was done. We were exhausted and hungover and just wanted to move on. We got what we asked for – a free nights’ stay at beachfront accommodation with a pool. Next time we should really be more specific.