So far I have ratcheted through a load of places, I want to add more, but the time has just not allowed for it I/we also want to get some vlogs up at the same and we will a bit later, but today I want to bring with us on our journey across the island of Sicily.
The small town that holds the port is that of a typical industrial Italian town that has been there since the invention of the boat, past its “sell-by” date and possibly not built for the traffic and size of traffic that passes through for the 20 minute crossings that a good bridge could replace.
In fact, while the whole thing looks complicated, it was actually much easier. I pulled over where the enormous sign stating “Buy Your Tickets Here” indicated and headed straight for the kiosk and short queues and got in line right behind the only trucker to want to pay for his crossing with a bag of loose change – an ENORMOUS bag of loose change….
Finally, with ticket in hand we jumped in the car and then set off on the most uncomfortable stuffy ferry ride that Carbon Monoxide Cruises could offer…
Like every town, like every city in every country of the world, there is a good, bad and ugly side to most towns. In this and with heavy reference to Bad and Ugly (like a blind date gone terribly wrong) Sicily excels…
The town centre roads are the stuff of legend. The tightness of two-way streets in coastal towns is the stuff of lost wing mirrors, wheels, tyres and probably small children and pets.
But what Sicily also is, is beautiful!!
Whatever attitudes the mainland of Italia like to show, they paled in comparison to the attitudes of the Sicilians. If fact, they seemed more passionate about not giving a damn, than, well, you get the idea – its bit of a strange mix.
But as we left the North-eastern sprawl and headed south, Mt Etna started to become visible, which while it sounds like it was just something we saw in the distance – wasn’t. “It”, while sitting in rush hour traffic, appeared through its own clouds and smoke and in places it had apparently set several things on fire judging by the helicopters bombing said areas with water!!
I sat there marvelling at: a) one of the biggest meanest volcano’s on the planet venting. b) firefighting by air. c) stuck in traffic with a thousand horny honking addicted Italians d) If Etna blew… we’d all die AND E) no one, but no one seemed to care in the slightest…
It was awesome 🙂
As we headed down the east coast we soon decided to avoid the wing mirror removing town street in favour of the local motorway which is actually very good – and as you get closer to Catania, the same EU super spending appears in the building of a new super freeway and so many tunnels I actually lost count.
Another night in the Car and a trip to the Ferry Port caused an issue that rocked our existence…
A car and two people to Malta 498 euros!!! with Virtu Ferries.
Not only could we not believe this price, but it stopped our journey dead in its tracks…
Furthermore, this is a real issue for the EU Monopoly commission because daylight robbery life this is astounding.
Upon realising the sheer cost was greater than the cost of driving back to the UK, flying ourselves, dogs and belongings – we had hard choices to make.
This was the end of our hope for a new start.
We headed north and looked for accommodation to get our thoughts together. Having booked a place online we arrived at the foot of Mt Etna only to find it had been double booked and they hadn’t told us until we got there.
Frustration and disappointment was creating a new scale of its own and it was taking a toll.
Finally, in a parked car we raised (as you can see in earlier posts) a cry for help… and while no one had to, they helped.
Trying to make the best of it, we went towards Etna to shoot and other of Gabby’s 22 push-ups for PTSD.
Every penny counted, but it was still a few days before we could finally cross, and only after Gabby had found a cheaper crossing online with the same Virtu Ferries company at 405 euros… But it was a couple of days away.
So now we had time on our hands and while taking a meandering run back down to the port we came across the town of Ispica… and wow!! The whole place is covered in caves…
In fact the town of today which a kinda creepy through its lack of life was only built after an earthquake destroyed many of the cave dwellings and causing major loss of life.
This site alone has made us wish to return in the winter to explore the hell out it. I never knew there was an entire troglodyte city here.
The town itself – awesome enough for Gabby to do another 22 pushups 🙂
Finally we freshened up and on Sunday 14th August we rolled onto the ferry and set sail for Malta!!
This situation remains the same, progress is slow, but without the help we’ve had and continue to still need, we wouldn’t have gotten this far, especially with the ferry price costing us our ability to rent a home.
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