Our day in Palermo was spent close to the ferry port, as we were catching our next ferry that night to Genova.
We spent a few hours in an internet cafe, catching up on the news we'd missed while riding furiously through Southern Italy. While we were there, a man with a large gold chain around his neck came into the shop and demanded money from the Indian woman running the place. She nervously handed some over, but it didn't seem to be enough, the man was unhappy. Further words were exchanged and the man left. It took longer for the tension in the air to disappear.
Riding around Palermo we saw fruit stalls, fish markets, bread shops... in the tiny streets dozens of cars and scooters competed for space, beeping at each other and going in the wrong direction down one-way streets. They kept up a frantic pace and in our tired state it was quite overwhelming.
We were glad to board our ferry that night. It was a 20 hour journey and we'd opted for a cabin this time. We had a shower! And beds! The first thing we did onboard was to wash ourselves and all our clothes. We intended to explore the boat - the most lavish we'd been on yet - but fatigue caught up with us and we were quickly asleep.
We spent most of the next day on the ferry - reading in the sun, floating in the pool (fulfilling another of my lingering cruise dreams) and watching a movie. It was great to have a relaxation day! We were just getting ready for another swim and then a nap, when we were informed that we had to leave the cabin, as the final few hours of the voyage they would be preparing for the next group of passengers - we had to take our things and wait on the deck.
When we arrived in Genova we headed straight out of the city. We needed to camp to save some money! After a couple of short detours to the supermarket and a bike shop, we were on our way. On the outskirts of the city we found a place to camp - on the beach behind some trees. There seemed to be an infestation of mosquitoes, but we assembled the tent in a different spot and quickly jumped inside as it was getting dark.
The spot we'd chosen had some cardboard laid out - which was perfect for sitting the tent on. And it seemed it was the perfect spot for a reason. Just after 10, when the final traces of light were leaving the sky, the people who lived there returned with their garbage bags of possessions...
Sam and Shanna Evans are from Melbourne, Australia