Following the debacle of getting back to civilisation, this morning's ride continued to challenge me in more ways than one. From the back roads of the Piazza Armerina farming area, I rode south-east to the town or Mirabella, and from there continued on to the town of Caltagirone. The weather was a devil: windy with an icy bite, and light rain that came down regularly if intermittently. Plus, I was the victim of bad signage both in Mirabella, and upon reaching Caltagirone. The signs in Mirabella weren't too bad — it's only a small town, and the road onwards to Caltagirone is one of only a handful in the area — but in Caltagirone itself, I got seriously lost. So all up, not the most pleasant start to the day. But not all was doom and gloom: I at least made it to Caltagirone in time for a great hot choc and pastry; and I was able to take refuge in the coffee bar there for about ½ an hour, while I waited out a heavy downpour of rain.
When I started this Great Sicilian Ride of mine, I wasn't expecting much of the roads. I know that Europe in general is known for its great roads: but southern Italy is reputed to have much worse infrastructure than other areas further north; and Sicily is a far south as you can go. Well, to my pleasant surprise, the infrastructure has so far easily exceeded my modest expectations: Sicilian roads rock! Even in the remote mountain areas, the roads are smoothly sealed; they're seldom too steep; they're often banked; and they're generally very well signposted. All I can say is: well done, guys; how do you do it, and how can we make Aussie roads this good? And if this is an example of poorer European roads, then what the hell kind of seventh-heaven roads can I find further north?!