Sunday, November 12, 2017

Fabled


This would be the final posting on Pantelleria's soaks, at least that's the intention.

All three remaining "soaks" are located on the west coast of Pantelleria. 
Starting north to south, heading out of Pantelleria village proper (well maybe it's a town) the first hot spring is that of Saturia, about half way down the west coast. 

The background concerning this soak is special. Viverepantelleria.it on Sataria:
'Legend has it that here is where Ulysses and Calypso loved eachother'.
Papuscia.com
'Recent studies have identified the cave as Homer’s ‘Calypso’s cave’ on the island of Ogygia'.

The context (Wikipedia):
'Calypso is remembered the most for her role in Homer's Odyssey, in which she attempts to keep the fabled Greek hero Odysseus on her island to make him her immortal husband. According to Homer, Calypso kept Odysseus prisoner at Ogygia for seven years,[6] while Apollodorus says five years[7] and Hyginus says one.[8] Calypso enchants Odysseus with her singing as she moves to and from, weaving on her loom with a golden shuttle. During this time they have sex together, although Odysseus soon comes to wish for circumstances to change'.
Overlooked
Sataria doesn't see much traffic in the sense of soakers apparently; there are at least very few parking spaces directly available on the perimentale road. Possibly a mismatch?

From these parking spaces it's down a long line of concrete stairs and you arrive at what at first looks like a tidal pool. But in the cliff side itself is a cave with what was presumably once a grander bathing affair complete with a booth for a ticket seller / life saver (?). See below:

 

A description of what to expect: the Rough Guide to Sicily (2017):
'... Sataria, where concrete steps lead down to a tiny square-cut sea-pool, ideal for splashing around in. In the cave behind are more pools where warm water bubbles through, reputed to be good for curing rheumatism and skin diseases: a handful of people can usually be found jumping from pools to sea. There’s room on the concrete apron around the pool to lay out a towel, and it’s the only place for kilometres around with any shade – a nice place to eat your picnic'.
Viverepantelleria.it on Sataria:
'Sataria's thermal springs are found to the south-west along the perimetral road. Located in a little creek and hidden in a beautiful cave, it is one of the most interesting spots on the island. 
... 
Here you will find pools of curative spring water that soothe arthritis and rheumatisms and you will be able to pass the whole day freely enjoying the beneficial effects of its waters'.
Papuscia.com :
'A natural cave by the sea, Grotta di Sateria offers three easily accessible covered pools, into which hot springs flow at a temperature of around 40°C'.
Shameless
We venture on. 
On the far (and dark) side of the cave are a few pools from which the thermal waters emit. 
Alas, as I hadn't had the fortune to be blessed by the weather gods on my island visit, again the sea was in a sorry state and during the night it had flooded the entire cave, so the available waters were coolish and even the hotter pool was jam packed with seaweed. 


No one around though to spoil good dip, but if I had wanted to enter the tidal pool, I was in serious contention to be sucked out to sea.


Tripadvisor does have an entry on Sataria:
#3 of 3 Spas & Wellness in Pantelleria 
Based on 2 reviews (in Italian) it rates Sataria with 3 stars. One translation (ouch):

'I speak of a state of abandonment resounding with filth and stench of pee. It looks like a homeless dormitory. SHAME ON YOU'.
More info from the Pantelleriaguide website:
'The Sateria name comes from the Greek "Soterìa" and means a health cave'.  
Under sail
Heading further down the coast there is a hot spring in the port of the village of Scauri. 
I had asked around, but no one knew for sure where it was, so I decided not to scout the whole port area for what would have been an elaborate quest. 
It's there. 
There are a few references with little guidance, f.i. the earlier mentioned ViverePantelleria.

A couple hundred meters down from the port near La Vela restaurant, right under the cliff of Scauri village itself, is another minor (?) hot spring. 
Well, it was warm but not much flow. Nor much space. And tides washing in. A collectors item? 
Interesting though are the Byzantine ruins on the cliffs directly bordering the shorelined rocks (and hot spring). See Italian website visitpantelleria.


The location is also a foodies haven. La Vela is nice enough, higher up on the cliff La Nicchia is termed as the island's best (we beg to disagree) while next to the port is Altamarea,  another delight. 
Rough Guide on this hot spring:
'Scauri Porto is a wonderful place to while away summer days, with good swimming in the harbour, and two tiny hot pools just along the coast (5 min walk from la Vela)'.

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