When I arrived back in Messina today, the main order of business was to try and sell my bike. I'm not planning to do any more cycling in Italy (or anywhere else in Europe), so I don't need it any more. Unfortunately, I didn't have any success in flogging the daym thing off to anyone. I spent about an hour cruising around the streets of downtown Messina, looking for bike shops that might be interested in purchasing it. I only found one place that was a dedicated bike shop: they flatly declined interest in the bike, saying that they only sold new bikes, and that none of their customers would be interested in my third-hand (at least) piece-of-junk. The only other place I found was a hardware store, but they also sold a few bikes: they too had no interest in buying. Doesn't anyone want a nice, cheap Roman bike here in Sicily?
Taormina wasn't for me, so I came back down the hill, and hung out in Giardini Naxos. Upon my return to Giardini, I was relieved to find that it's a much more relaxed, much more reasonably-priced town than its neighbour up top. I called it an early half-day today, and the afternoon here in Giardini was very easy-going: I checked into a budget B&B (the cheapest one I've found so far); I enjoyed the day's hot choc break; I found some Internet, and went online for a few hours (after waiting for the Sicilian siesta to end — it finished "early" here, at 3pm); and I grabbed some tavola calda (sort-of "fast food") for dinner. Life's easy in Giardini — I don't wanna leave Sicily. Why can't I stay here forever?
Sounds like the kind of name that America's worst president would make up, don't you think? Actually — amazingly — the name "the freedom trail" was not made up by Dubbya, and it even predates the Bush administration. "The freedom trail" is a red line that winds through the streets of old Boston town, and that guides the curious tourist to a number of the more prominent historical landmarks, here in one of the oldest and most history-rich cities in the USA. Today, Ivor, Manuela, dad and myself embarked upon the trail, and discovered a whole lot of things about Boston and American Heritage.
Ivor, Manuela, dad and myself went on a stroll of downtown Boston today, as an introduction to the city for my aunt and uncle. Saw some nice buildings, including the Boston Public Library, and a few of the city centre's big churches. Also saw some of the lovely streets of Beacon Hill, the upmarket and very quaint district where Ivor and Manuela have rented an apartment for the week. We tried going up the Prudential Tower, the tallest building in Boston — but it was very cloudy today, so there was nothing to see from the top.
My dad arrived here in Boston this morning, after getting delayed in LA for 12 hours yesterday, and having to take an overnight flight from west coast to east. So my duty today was to help my dad stay awake all day — so he can combat his jetlag, and adjust quickly to Boston time — by touring the city with him, and elbowing him at the firssigns of chluffing. An in this noble endeavour — i.e. in my "jetlag duty" — I believe I was quite successful. We managed to see a few of Boston's sights, and my dad lasted until the evening.
Seeing that yesterday evening, I discovered my foot was painfully injured — and that this morning it wasn't feeling much better — today I decided to just take it easy, and to relax on the beach in Abraão, with a book and a sandy towel. I didn't have much choice, really: I could barely walk! So it was a bit of gentle wandering today, and a bit of eating; but mostly, just sitting on the sand and reading. Nice weather today — those clouds have all but cleared up — so I had plenty of sun to keep me company. Well, it was nice to unwind and to take it easy anyhow — but hopefully the 'ol foot will heal up soon, so that I can be back in action for the end of my time here in Brazil.
After almost two weeks in BA, staying at The clan, my time here has finally come to a close. This afternoon, I had my final lunch with Oly, my final chat with the Swedish chick, and my final bit of hanging out at the bar. I've had a blast here, but I think it's also about time I was moving on. And now that the Jewish New Year events are all wrapped up, there's nothing holding me here anymore.
After the party night last night, today was positively dead. I said farewell to Patrick this morning: he's going to Tena ahead of me, as he has less time than me. As it was raining all day, and as I was tired and bored (just like everyone else in town), today was a good day to catch up on ye 'ol blogging, to read a book, and to sleep. Not the most exciting day of my trip; but after the non-stop adventuring and partying of the past week, I did kinda need a break. And there's no day like Sunday for resting.
Patrick and I arrived in the teeny (yet bizarrely touristy) village of Chugchilán this afternoon, after having been to see Laguna Quilotoa. We found the lovely Cloud Forest Hostel, which we checked into straightaway. I also joined in a game of volleyball, which was being played in the village's central square — by a mixture of local boys, and fellow gringo backpackers (mainly Dutch and French people). Had great fun, although all us tourists were no match for the locals (lucky that both teams had a nice even mix).
This afternoon, had my second trip to the cinemas, so far on my trip (last time was in La Paz). Chris, Sharon, a few random Israeli guys, and myself went to the upmarket shopping mall of Larcomar — which is built into the side of Lima's cliff-ridden shores, very cool construction — and watched the new Transformers movie at the screens there. Very nice cinema, and an excellent movie. Although it was (obviously) chock-full with special effects, predictable romance, and a hair-thin plot, it was still much better than I expected.