|Day 1: from Palermo to Corleone|
My first day touring saw me start in Palermo, and head mostly south towards Corleone. As you can see from the elevation profile, the climbing started almost immediately and continued to reach a peak about 25km before dropping down a bit into my overnight stop in Corleone. My summary for the day was:
Distance: 84 km
Elevation Gain: 1,442 metres
Elevation Loss: 951 metres
The day started by picking up my Bianchi touring bike provided in Palermo from Veloce.
The affiliate bike shop in Palermo is run by Barbara and her family, who took great care of me in making sure I had everything I needed for my 2-week journey.
I checked out of the B&B, leaving behind excess luggage with Alessandro.
I had previously made arrangements to do this, and booked another night there upon my return in 2 weeks. It was a relief to not have to carry excess gear while on my bike. It was late morning by the time I departed Palermo, with interesting times working my through the busy city streets before finally hitting the lesser travelled outskirts.
What a beautiful sunny day ahead as I worked my way to Corleone, with a brief stop to visit the brilliant mosaics of the Cattedrale di Monreale. My route from Monreale to Corleone could have been a bit more direct, but I missed a couple of turns. Not to worry, as it allowed me to enjoy more of the peaceful country roads – quite a relief after the hustle and bustle of the busy city. The only downside was running out of water in the heat of the mid-afternoon, and nothing open by the time I reached the small paese of Santa Cristina Gela.
Fortunately, the local carabinieri (police) were quite helpful and gave me an escort to a small roadside bar in Piana degli Albanese. It was about 3km off my route to Corleone, but who was I to argue with the authorities! The rest of my day was less eventful, and I arrived in Corleone around 6pm. I had booked my B&B the night before via email to Antonino Gariffo at Al Capriccio, and also enjoyed a bountiful dinner at his attached restaurant