First night in Sicily
After a crazy day of trains and ferries, I've made it to Messina, my first stop on the island of Sicily. Messina is a nice enough town, but certainly nothing special: there's nothing here to attract tourists; apart from the fact that if coming by ferry, it's the main way in. Anyway, although I'm all geared-up for camping during my Great Sicilian Ride, I decided to just stay at a hotel here in town tonight: by the time I reached Messina, it was already too dark to get out into the countryside; plus, I need to buy food and other supplies, and I need to finalise the setup for my bike.
It was a quick one this evening. I found a cheap enough hotel in Messina, called Hotel Excelsior, which afforded me a private room at quite a reasonable rate (not much more than a hostel bed in Rome costs). The guy at the reception desk, Savadore, was very nice: he even spoke a bit of English; and he was keen to practice his languge skills with me. Most of the evening was taken up by shopping: found a supermarket where I could stock up on supplies such as bread, pasta, and milk; bought a plastic bucket, which I need for shoving various excess items of equipment on the back of the bike (not everything's fitting into the saddlebags); and grabbed some pizza for dinner.
Once all those mundane tasks were done, I positively crashed into bed. After the long and tedious day of getting down to Sicily — and the big night in Rome that preceded it last night — I was completely buggered. Plus, I had the luxury treat of a private room and a comfy bed: not something you get everywhere, when you're a cheapo backpacker. So I slept a whopping 11 hours tonight, making me all prepared for the great ride to begin tomorrow.