This morning's ride to Geraci Siculo was a bit tough; but after that, the rest of the day was a breeze. Yesterday, I slogged through the long uphill climb into the Nebrodi mountains; and today, all that paid off, because it was a long downhill cruise through the neighbouring Madonie mountains, and back to the Sicilian north coast. Not only was the rest of the day completely downhill — it was also warm, sunny, and very pleasant scenery-wise. Like the Nebrodi, Le Madonie is also a pristine and protected area of Sicily; and it also boasts rolling farmland, lush forests, and charming mountain towns. I passed through Castelbuono — one such town — at lunchtime today; when I sat down at a cafe on the main drag there, one of the locals was even generous enough to buy me an espresso! Nothing like some warm, rural Sicilian hospitality, eh?
Scenic ride, en route to Castelbuono.
Castelbuono itself: the town gets its name from the big castle in the centre of town, which can be seen quite prominently from a distance.
Like its neighbour higher in the mountains (Geraci Siculo), Castelbuono is a charming and rustic place, and its local residents are very friendly. It also boasts a big old castle (and not such a ruined one, either); although I didn't check out the castle up close, I just saw it while I was riding into town. I stopped in Castelbuono for some food and some coffee, before continuing north out of the mountains, towards the coastal resort town of Cefalù, where I called it a day and had a relaxing evening.