“Why would you come to Sicily to climb when you live in Utah?” the svelte Swiss woman asked in a barely detectible, yet posh accent. I looked at her blankly for a few seconds, wondering if she was attempting “second-language humor” or if she was indeed serious.
“Uh, we don’t have overhanging tufas along the Mediterranean,” I said, still somewhat unsure if she was putting me on or not.
“Yes, but there are no creks,” she said, miming a handjam.
I’ll trade “creks” for good olives, authentic gelato and cheap prosciutto any day of the week I told her.
“But Sicily is not well known to Americans, no?” She was unflagging (but correct) in debating our choice of European vacation, but still I hesitated…was this one of those Euro rhetorical questions: “no, yes” or “yes, no”?
“Ah yes, but who doesn’t prefer an adventure?” I said, answering her question with my own. She looked at me like I was a day-old croissant. I giggled.
And for the next two weeks we – JT, Chris Kalous (JT’s college “Outdoor Adventure Floor” dorm-mate from freshman year) Whitney Boland and myself – got ourselves into plenty of adventure… both climbing and as tourists.
[Above: Because the temperature was fairly mild, we kinda forgot about the shorter daylight hours of winter. We got back to the base in the dark and had to hike out by iPhone light and the flash of the lighthouse beacon. Photo: JT]