Day 8 - Kallikoros to Borgo Pantano

Friday, October 25

Another beautiful day.

Today's ride: 23.6 km or 55.9 km
"This morning a short shuttle takes us to our starting point near Testa dell'Acqua. From here, we pedal toward the ruins of Noto Antica. After lunch a mostly downhill and flat scenic road leads us to our last hotel, towards Syracuse with lemon and orange trees alonside our final stretch."

Again we opted for the short ride since lunch was enormous!

Noto Antica:
"We park our bikes out of the gateway and explore the ruins. This is an ancient city destroyed by the terrible earthquake of 1693. It is enclosed between two deep ravines that made the site easy to defend. Its streets were once crowded with people and are now surrounded by vegetation, in a fascinating scenario where ruins emerge from bushes."

The bus took us up to the top of a hill, where Sandro met us with the bikes. Lisa and I were first to head down the road again, but others in the group were close behind, and most of us arrived at Noto Antica together. It's a pretty rugged ruin, and quite large. We only had about half an hour there, so we didn't see too much of it.

The old castle

Wall carvings by prisoners in the castle dungeon


Barbara Beck sent us this picture, which I'm pretty sure is right after we left Noto Antica.

This is probably the only picture of us actually riding.

After Noto Antica, we lagged a bit from the rest of group and were close to the last ones to arrive at Agriturismo Agri Milo.

"This local farm created and run by the three brothers Pisano (Andrea, Salvo & Marco) will prepare delicious local specialties for us. Surrounded by 22 hectares of Mediterranean vegetation on the hills of Monti Iblei, this is a teaching farm protecting and breeding some animal species. The main focus is the preservation of the donkey, an animal that has worked for centuries with man ensuring their survival and development. The donkey was marginalized by technolgy and endangered. Today is considered again a great help for agricultural works... with the additional charm of slowness, calm, patience and prudence. Hence the proposal that aims to rediscover these values with the help of donkeys and their good company."

More than enough

but then there is fresh ricotta

and snails

followed by a pasta course
All of that plus a couple of glasses of wine, and you can see why we opted to take the van in the afternoon.

We had a nice room at Hotel Borgo Pantano, they decked it out with some honeymoon decorations and some cookies.

Facebook folks wondered if that one in the middle is a dog biscuit. Actually it was almond flavored and quite good.

The honeymoon decorations

The pool is gorgeous

We lounged around the pool for a while, had a few beers from the pool bar, then spent some time in the hot tub. Hot tubs in Sicily are not like in the US, you have to make a reservation, they clean it and change the water for each use. I think it was 18 Euros for half an hour. After the hot tub, we felt compelled to take a nap and other honeymoon activities.

Dinner that night was at the hotel. It was a buffet style dinner with wine, of course.

Day 9