After a pleasant afternoon's ride — through the western edge of the Monti Nebrodi — I found a vacant little field just off the main highway, and I set up camp in it for the night. I could have camped in any one of a hundred such suitable spots — in this neck of the woods, they're in abundance — but I'm quite happy with the spot I chose. It's surrounded by farms and farmhouses: but my little patch appears to be unclaimed by any of its neighbours; and nobody bothered me during the night. Plus, it affords a gorgeous view of the stars overhead, of the countryside all around, and of the hilltop town of Gangi just ahead of me. Apart from being a little bit chilly, this high up in the mountains, it seems that I've stumbled across an excellent place for camping it rough.
Countryside on the road to Gangi: lots of wind turbines.
My little field near Gangi.
The afternoon's ride from Nicosia, and then from Sperlinga, was scenic and relaxing. A little bit of uphill, but nothing too strenuous. And all the way, lovely farmed countryside — quite a lot of wind turbines scattered around as well, for some reason (good to see some green energy, here in a supposedly backwards part of Europe). Everywhere I looked, I kept thinking: I could camp here no problem... or here... or anywhere here. Quite ridiculous, how hospitable it all is, really. Of course, camping rough around here is technically illegal; but as long as nobody cares or sees you, it's all good; and at this time of year, neither of those things is very likely.
Sicily cycle map, day 3.
All up, my third day of cycling in Sicily has been a blast. Despite a difficult morning's ascent, I've had a great time. And although the Nebrodi (and tomorrow, the Madonie) has been a detour from the speedier coast road around the island, it's one that's been well worth it. The scenery has been spectacular, and I've seen a side of Sicily that's not to be missed — it's more rugged, more isolated side (very different from the resort-clogged north coast). Yesterday, I expressed a lot of doubts and anxieties about the trip; today, I'm feeling a lot better about spending several weeks on my bike, and I'm a lot more confident that this endeavour is going to work out fine.