12 March 2010 The day of surprises (magyarul is!)


We realise what to makes to have a plan, and how the things are arranging themself.

We wake up before 7am as the speakers of the ferry start to announce the arrival to Bari. We go and quickly get our breakfast, still as the guests of the Company. Then we jump into the car and soon after 8 o’clock we hit the road again. Better said we would hit the road but first we get lost in the town. We try all options to get out but we just can’t. Later Armin realizes that Balazs has forgotten to activate the map for Europe in his GPS. What a surprise! After this small mistake we can find a way out of Bari.

Calabria is beautiful region of Italy. We can say without any doubt that the spring is already here. The trees and the flowers are blooming and the Sun shines perfectly. We believe to reach Reggio di Calabria before 1pm so can be on the land of Sicily soon later.

The plan is fine, however the road constructions tell us we were wrong. We can drive very slowly so all we do is enjoy the beautiful landscape. The crazy sound from the engine is still there so Balazs starts to get nervous about it. After a deviation from the highway, in a village called Constanza, he decides to stop and check it. He realizes it’s the belt for AC that is too loose. So someone has to tighten it. Luckily there are 2 policemen who are directing the traffic at the roundabout, we go there to ask. The first one does not speak English so he calls his colleague. Carlo, the second policeman speaks English but he does not know where the repairman is in this town. He has to call his colleague who knows it by heart. What a situation! Like this 2 policemen together were able to give us information.

Benito the repairman is a middle aged happy guy. He smiles and jumps up to check the belt. He takes his tools from the trunk of his car and gets to work. He asks 20 euros for almost less than 5 minutes of “work”. We pay and continue our way through Calabria. We are very hungry so we set up a plan. As soon as we arrive to Villa San Giovanni. We take food and fuel before embarking to the Ferry. The plan is great as usual but we didn’t count Benito. The one who screwed us again. We had to stop for the fuel but the car again given an awful sound. At the petrol station a guy explains how to get someone who can fix it.

A young man comes out from the garage as we stop by him. We show him what’s wrong: the belt that was tightened by Benito is turned upside down and it seems to us it was “eaten” too. The young man calls “Papa”. Papa – we presume his father – checks the problem and explains the son what to do and how to do. It’s a funny situation again. We don’t speak Italian, and they don’t speak English. But somehow we are able to follow up the conversation. Sonny tell us his story when he spent a month in Sarajevo as a humanitarian worker during the war. He is also surprised when we tell him about our trip.


Armin stays with the car and Balazs tries to get some food. When he passes by the garage he sees and old Fiat Topolino. Papa explains: “Very old car. 64 years old. No. no. no. it’s not Topolino it’s the one before that model. 22 horsepowers..

Finally the petrol station is close so he buys some chips and ice tea. We agree to have a pizza and a beer tonight no matter what. Domenico (the name of Sonny) repairs the car and we drive to the port. We are lucky as we are the last one who enters the Ferry. In 20 mins we are in Sicilia. Benvenuti Messina!

Again we stuck in the traffic jam. We decide to visit Etna! It seemed the best idea ever. Let’s go then. We take the road toward Catania direction and start to count the tunnels along the road. After 50 we give up. Almost every kilometer has 1-2 tunnels. Very strange and expensive habit. It’s almost 6.30 when we leave the highway to find the most famous working volcano in Europe. It’s only 30 kms from here but we can drive very slowly: the road up there is very curvy with very narrow streets. And of course, all of them go steep uphill.

When the rain starts Armin mentions if it was the best idea ever to come uphill or not. Balazs is very optimistic and stubborn. We go. When the snowflakes are falling continuously and the fog goes downer the hill our water boils just before 8.2 km of the top. That’s it for us about Etna. We have to leave you without being able to admire your beauty. We’ve lost 1.5 hours to go uphill and now we have to turn back. The Sun already shines on the other side of the globe. We are hungry and angry. But we have to reach Palermo tonight. So no further question where to go.

We are silent in the car. Both of us are thinking. Either of beer and pizza, either of being in a comfy bed. Both of us are tired and disappointed. “Anyway there are other sights to see in Sicily! Cefalu is beautiful!” – shouts Balazs. Armin doesn’t support any new ideas so we drive again in silence towards Palermo. It’s more than 220 kms from here. It rains heavily and in addition to this our tires are made for the desert. The car runs slowly on the slippery road while bigger and bigger trucks are overtaking us.

We get to Palermo around 11pm. Balazs wakes Armin up, who was in real deep meditation instead of checking the coordinates on GPS. Anyway we cruise in town for an hour but we stuck in Friday’s night’s fever. The traffic is unbelievable. It rains outside but everybody is on the streets. They are about to go to party while we can’t find a place to sleep with a secured parking. We wouldn’t risk a break in the car as we are carrying so many things to African kids. So the point is to find a safe place for the car. Balazs is hungry again and Armin is sleepy. What a team! Both of us are tired as we have driven more than 850kms on curvy roads, and we couldn’t accomplish our plan. So what to do now? Beer seems to be the best solution for everything.

We go out of the town with a belief to find a place to sleep with safe parking, is easier in the suburbs, than in a city with a large harbor. Monreale seems close so we go there. We find a nice pizzeria first, so we are ready to get the beer and the pizza and find accommodation later.

Time flies and when we are about to leave the restaurant it’s already 1.30am! Luckily we jump into three youngsters who are willing to help us find a motel. We drive all around. And everywhere. But everything is closed. But we know well the owners are not sleeping but shaking their asses while dancing in some noisy bars. The boys gave up around 3 to help us so we are left alone. Suddenly we popped into NH Hotels. It’s very expensive but they are open and at least there is a guarded parking. We fall to sleep without a word.

02. nap Marcius 12. A meglepetesek napja!

7 elott nem sokkal ebredunk, mivel a hajo hangszoroi recsegve jelentik be: megerkeztunk Bariba. Felpattanunk es villamban megreggelizunk. Meg mindig a Hajos Tarsasag vendegeikent. Majd autoba pattanunk es elsokent hajtunk ki a hajobol. 8kor mar ismet uton vagyunk. Jobban mondva, uton volnank, ha nem tevednenk el a varosban. Minden megprobalunk. De csak jobban belekavarodunk. Mire Armin rajon, hogy Balazs a GPS-en nem aktivalta az europai terkepet, mar joval tobb mint egy orat elvesztettunk. A kis malor utan siman megtalaljuk Baribol kivezeto utat.

Calabria gyonyoru tartomanya Olaszorszagnak. Raadasul ezt meg fokozza, hogy itt mar jo koran megerkezett a tavasz. A fak es viragok, mar bimboznak es ujabb hajtasokat hoznak, a Nap csodalatosan sut. Ugy veljuk siman elerjuk Reggio di Calabriat meg boven 1 ora elott, tehat csomo idonk marad Szicilia felfedezesere.


A terv kivalo, de az utepitesekkel nem szamoltunk. Csak nagyon lassan tudunk elorebb jutni, de legalabb van lehetosegunk gyonyorkodni a tajban. Az autobol meg mindig elojon az a fura hang, ezert Balazs kezd egyre bosszusabb lenni. Az egyik eltereles utan nem birja tovabb es Constanza varosaban nekiall kideriteni a zaj okat. A klima ekszija tul laza, ezert nem forog rendesen es a csuszas miatt ad ki huje hangot. Mivel nincsen szerszamunk ezert szerelot kell keresni. Szerencsere 2 rendor eppen a forgalmat iranyitja a korforgalomban! LOL ezerrel, hehe :-). Az egyik nem beszel, ezert odahivja a kollegajat. Carlo beszel angolul, de nem tudja hol van szerelo. Ezert visszahivja a kollegat, es ketten egyuttes erovel kepesek immar megoldani gondunkat. Mekkora mar! :-)

Benito a szerelo egy kozepkoru vidam foszer. Nagy vigyorral a szajan pattan fel az autora, mikozben felig belog a motorterbe. A szerszamait az autoja csomagtartojaban tartja. Muhelye nincsen.. :-) 20 eurot ker egy 5 perces meloert. Fizetunk es nyomulunk tovabb Calabrian. Nagyon ehesek vagyunk ezert megallapodunk abban, hogy meg a hajora szallast megelozoen rogton betolunk valamit, amint Villa de San Giovanniba erkezunk. A terv ismet jo volna, ha Benito nem vert volna at bennunket. Ez a kontar nemcsak, hogy lehuzott 20 eurora, de meg nem is dolgozott meg erte! Az egyik benzinkutnal kiszallva ismet elojon az a fura hang.
Szerencsere rogton utbaigazitanak minket egy igazi szerelohoz.

A muhelybol egy fiatal srac jon elo. Megmutatjuk neki (kezzel-labbal ahogy kell), hogy a mi a gondunk: az a szijj, amit Benito NEM huzott meg megfordult es lereszelte sajat magat! A fiatalember hatrakialt: „Papa!” (Arminnal aggodva osszenezunk.) Papa – akirol feltetelezzuk, hogy az apja – felmeri a helyzetet es elmagyarazza fianak, hogy mit hogyan kell tennie. (Ismet aggodo osszetekintes Arminnal). Ismet elojon a fura helyzet. Mi nem beszelunk olaszul, ok meg angolul nem ertenek. Megis valahogy megertetjuk egymast es kellemes beszelgetesbe kezdunk. Kozben Domenico (igy hivjak a fiut) felig belog a motorterbe. A mozdulatot valszeg Benito is elleste, csak o nem kepes a latvanykonyhan kivul semmire. Szoval Domenico amikor megtudja honnan jovunk , elmeseli, hogy a balkani haboru alatt egy honapot dolgozott egy humanitarius szervezetnel. O is meglepodik amikor megtudja tolunk utazasunk celjat.


Armin marad az autoval es Domenicoval, Balazs pedig elindul kajat szerezni. Amikor elmegy a muhely ajtaja elott eszrevesz egy oreg Fiat Topolinot. Papa mesel (nana hogy olaszul) : „Ez egy nagyon oreg auto. 64 eves. Nem. Nem. Ez nem Topolino. Annak az elodje. 22 loeros!

Vegre egy kozeli benzinkuton talal chipset es jeges teat. Nem a legjobb kaja, de nincs mas. Megegyezunk, hogy este pizzat es sort vacsorazunk majd akarmi is tortenik. Domenico megjavitja az autot es mi iranyba vesszuk a kikotot.

Szerencsesek vagyunk hiszen utolsoken eppen beferunk a kompba.. 20 perc mulva mar Sziciliaban vagyunk. Benvenuto Messina!


Oromunk nem tart soka, hiszen megint csucsforgalomba keveredtunk. Gyorsan hatarozunk: ha mar itt vagyunk akkor irany az Etna. Eddig ez tunik a legjobb otletunknek! Gyerunk hat! Catania fele vesszuk az iranyt es elkezdjuk szamolni az alagutakat. Kb 50 utan feladjuk, hiszen minden kilometerre jut beloluk 2-3 darab. Furcsa es egyben draga szokas igy autopalyat epiteni. Kb 18.30kor hagyjuk el a palyat, hogy Europa leghiresebb vulkanjahoz jussunk. Csak 30 km valaszt el bennunket tole. Jovunk!

A hegynek felfele vezeto utak, inkabb utacskak es nagyon szukosek meg csuszosak es minden iranyba kanyarognak. Termeszetsen jo meredeken mennek felfele. Igy bitang lassan haladunk. Amikor az eso is zuhogni kezd, Armin megkerdezi, hogy tenyleg ez volt-e eddigi legjobb otletunk. Balazs azonban – aki ismeri, az tudja – a vegsokig kitartoan optimista. Es onfeju. Megyunk tovabb. Amikor az esot havazas valtja fel es kodbe borul a vilag, felforr a vizunk. Megallunk. Csak 8.2 km kell meg, hogy megpillantsuk a csucsot, de Armin mar leszarja. Irany vissza le a hegyrol. Nesze neked Etna. Itthagyunk, anelkul, hogy megneztunk volna. Karnyujtasnyira voltal!

Masfel ora felesleges kitero utan, ismet masfel ora kell, hogy lejussunk az autopalyaig. A Nap is sut. De a Fold masik oldalan! Ehesek es idegesek vagyunk. Es meg ma este kell eljutni Palermoba. Nem kerdeses az utirany.

Csendben ulunk az autoban. Mindketten gondolkozunk. Ki a sorrol es a pizzarol. Ki pedig kenyelmes agyikorol. Mindketten faradtak es csalodottak vagyunk. „Semmi gond! Van meg csomo latnivalo Szicilian! Peldaul Cefalu gyonyoru!” – kialt fel hirtelen Balazs. Armin nagyon nem tamogatja az ujabb nagyszeru otletet – pedig Corleone falut is felvethette volna valaki. Ismet csendben autokazunk Palermo fele. Meg 220 km innen. Cefettul esik az eso es nekunk sivatagba valo gumijaink vannak. Az auto lassan haladva birkozik meg a csuszos utakkal. Egyre nagyobb es nagyobb kamionok eloznek meg.

Joval 23 ora utan erkezunk meg Palermoba. Balazs felrazza Armint, aki szemmel latomast nem a GPS koordinatak olvasgatasaba volt elmelyedve. Fel ala cirkalunk a varosban, de egy ora alatt sem talalunk semmi szallast, ahol orzott parkolo is volna. Nem orulnenk, ha az afrikai gyerekeknek szant ajandekok valaki mas oromet szolgalnak. Raadasul a pentek esti laz hajtja a nepet. Mindenki partikepesnek erzi magat aki ma este autoba ul.

Balazs ehes es Arminnak nincs szallasa. Micsoda csapat! Ebbol nem sok jo fog kisulni. Mindketten faradtak vagyunk es ma mar tobb, mint 850 km-t vezettunk olyan utakon, hogy elkepeszto. Raadasul a jobbnal jobb terveink is mind kudarcot vallottak. Mit tegyunk most. A sor az mindig jo megoldas mindenre! Kimegyunk a varosbol abban a hiszemben, hogy ott konnyebben lelunk szallast es orzott parkolot, mint a nagy kikotovarosban. Monreale tokeletes megoldasnak tunk. Odamegyunk. Eloszor egy pizzeriat latunk meg. Raer meg a szallaskereses! – gondoljuk akkor.

Az ido szinte repul a sor es a pizza hivogato tarsasagaban. Mar hajnali fel 2-re jar az ido mikor feleszmelunk. Belebotlunk harom tinedzserbe, akik felajanljak, hogy segitenek szallast talalni. Korbe-korbe autokazzuk ismet a varost, de mar minden zarva. De mi tudjuk, hogy a szallasado tulajok nem alszanak, hanem a segguket razva tancolnak valami zajos tancos szorakozohelyen. A fiuk segitokeszek, de hajnali 3kor ok is feladjak. Egyedul maradtunk. Ekkor belebotlunk egy NH hotelbe. Jo draga de legalabb nyitva vannak. Es van orzott parkolo is. Szo nelkul zuhanunk az agyba aludni.