Even further north, the land was richer still and was turned to vegetable crops. Because it was autumn, much of this land had been tilled and lay bare and brown under the sun. Vast vistas of hills rolling out to the sea spread out before me. The view above was mine during one lunchstop. I could just see Marsala in the far distance, and the Mediterranean beyond.

I was getting perilously low on water, even with careful conservation. The rivers that were shown on my map were all dry. There was not one drop of natural-flow water during this trek. Nor were there any towns where one might purchase water. I was beginning to think I would have to stop at an inhabited house and ask for water. After finishing my lunch at the above location, I began walking again, rounded a curve, and came upon two elderly people parked by the road at a large stone trough. They were filling water bottles - it was a spring!

The woman was very surprised to see me, said, " una donna!" [you're a woman!]. They wanted to know why I was walking, where I was from, wasn't the pack heavy, where was I going? The woman turned me toward the north and pointed to the mountain looming there. She said that was Erice, and that just to the south of it I would find Trapani:

Her husband filled my bottles for me, and I asked if I could take their photo.

With bottles filled, I prepared to leave. The husband helped me don my pack, then shook my hand. The woman hugged me and kissed both cheeks. I thanked them for everything. As I strode off down the road, the woman called out to me, "Attenda!" and I promised that I would be careful.

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