Marina di Ragusa is a town in its own right and not just a marina! A bit like Mallorca, the main town is further inland away from marauding pirates and invaders. The marina itself is delightful, incredibly clean and the water is fed by underground springs so there are no barnacles at all. People who have over wintered here have had no growth at all. Note to self – move here when work is finished in Malta. As you can see from the picture below, there are no barnacles to be seen and the water is turquoise!
They also offer incredibly good winter rates here so there is a lively liveaboard community here. We joined them for a drink (or two!) last night in a local bar.
But we are getting ahead of ourselves. The weather over the next few days is forecast to be very windy and blowing from the NW. This meant that the only opportunity to go further west towards Licate was to go today (Weds) but we would have had to leave early and then would be stuck there for the next five days. After some investigation, it was easier to hire a car from Ragusa as the bus only costs €4.80 return and goes fairly regularly. So, we are staying in Marina di Ragusa until at least Monday and have secured a reasonable deal from the marina on top of the discount we get for being members of the Cruising Assocation.
Yesterday, we went into Ragusa to the smaller, and older, part called Ragusa Ibla. This was the town before the 1693 earthquake and is full of baroque buildings as well as the requisite duomo. We had intended to eat at the Michelin starred restaurant there but we didn’t get there in time as they stopped serving at 1330. Another time. Instead we had lunch at a little restaurant just behind the duomo, washed down with a fab bottle of local wine. Pictures below of Ragusa Ibla Duomo and gardens.
Today (Weds) was sunny and warm with temperatures in the high 20s. We went into town early to pick up the hire care except we couldn’t find their office. It transpires that the Hertz office hadn’t actually opened so there were no signs and the map on their website was completely wrong so we traipsed about a mile in the wrong direction before figuring out it was close to the bus stop! However, it did mean that we had a good look around the town centre. We had initially thought that it was as bad as Sassari in Sardinia but it turned out to be much nicer although they had also turned their Liberation Square into a car park!
Having picked up our little Fiat 500, the first thing we did was go to the local Decathlon store where we purchased an inflatable kayak to have on the boat before we started to explore the SE corner of Sicily. This is when you realise just how big Sicily is. It’s the largest island in the Med and the roads are not exactly made for fast driving. Even the Superstradas are a bit like B roads in the UK so 40mph is the best you can manage. There are a few that are better than this but not many. Suffice to say, we didn’t manage to see much in our first afternoon. We did get to see some nice coastlines and spotted a couple of anchorages. A very kind Polish cyclist took the picture below of us at Avalon.