As I proceeded further north, the soil became richer and there were occupied farmhouses here and there. Every available acre was covered with grapevines. Here and there were large bottling plants.


There were still plenty of abandoned houses. Farmers simply planted around them.


For at least a half day I walked through land that looked like this in every direction. I was very interested in trying some of this wine when I finally reached Trapani!


I met up with a few more people in this area, farm laborers who came in from the cities to work for the day and then left the countryside at night. Invariably, when I stopped to ask directions, or ask where we were on my map, people were friendly and offered their help. Occasionally there would be a car or truck going by, and some of the roads were now paved. People stopped to offer me a lift - I kind of wondered about the guy with 2 goats in the back of the truck, did he want me to ride with the goats? I always politely refused, and they always took this goodnaturedly.

Here is one of the campsites I had in this area, necessarily amidst the grapevines:

One could do worse than to awaken to such a view. On the evening that I camped here, I arrived at around 2:30, footsore and weary. I threw down the pack and flopped down against it to pull off my shoes and tend to the newest batch of blisters. It was such a calming place, so peaceful, with birds flitting through the vines, honeybees occasionally buzzing by, distant sounds of dogs and tractors and people calling to one another. Clouds floated overhead in a blue blue sky. I sat amidst the vines like that, relaxed and content, for three hours until the sun went down. Here was the pleasure of travelling by oneself, no need to do anything if I didn't feel like it, no need to get anywhere, no schedule. I slept the usual 12 hours that night.

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