Sun 1st – Wed 4th June 2014
We left Punta Braccetto on Sunday morning after 4 days in one place, feeling rested and ready for the road again. Although the weather had been warm and sunny, the wind had deterred us from any beach time. The sea was rough and made it difficult to swim or snorkel, so it was a time for reading and minor housekeeping. Our destination for the day was Mt. Etna some 155km’s away, stopping at a Lidl supermarket to restock and arrived at the car park of Mt Etna about 1.30 after having lunch at a rest stop with views about 4/5 ths. of the way up. It was quite a climb in the Bunyip to the top car park but the views and the scenery were quite eerie as the lava from previous eruptions was still quite visible all around. At the base of the chairlift I spoke to a Dutch man who showed me photos of the top, they were not exciting and we opted not to take the chairlift for 30euros and then a bus for 30euros and then a long walk as well. The day was getting cloudy and the visibility was reducing by the minute, also it was extremely cold. We had thought about parking up there for the night but Clyde had found a spot on the internet which sounded more appealing than a car park in the cold amongst the clouds. We headed down the slope towards a town called Passopisciaro on the northern side of Mt. Etna where stopped at a Farm Stay [Agriturismo] called Etna Wine. The drive was quite interesting as all drives are in Sicily with a few crazy drivers trying their best to scare the s**t out of those they pass, cars parked across the roads and a few bumpy windy roads to contend with. Etna Wine – Agrturismo
Driving into the Etna Wine Farm Stay we were pleasantly surprized at how nice it all was, the views were great and it was situated on the northern slope of Mt Etna, looking out over vineyards and with views to hills and towns in distance. With only one other motorhome there it was very quiet and the people running the place were friendly and hospitable. After the tour of the facilities we were invited for some wine tasting. On an empty stomach and with some generous serves it was time to eat and have a relaxing evening. After tea we had a knock on our door and a man from the farm had just picked a bucket of cherries and asked us for a bowl which he filled. They were delicious and we had a good feed that evening in front of the TV.
In the morning we wound our way down to the motorway and on to Messini where we caught the ferry to mainland Italy. We parked that night on a beachside car park which Clyde and Anna had stayed on their way to Sicily called Gizzera Lido. It proved to be a quiet spot next to the beach and as it would be our last night together so we spent the evening together having coffee and pleasant conversation.
Farewell Clyde and Anna
On Tuesday morning we headed off towards Brindisi and after a few hours driving we stopped on the side of the road to have lunch and say our farewells to Clyde and Anna as they were heading north and we were heading east. After spending 3 weeks travelling through Sicily together it was hard to say goodbye and felt a little sad as we had a great time with them. This was our third time travelling together the first in Morocco, then Turkey and now Italy. We are hoping that we can do more trips together in the future if they are happy to put up with us. Haha.
We reached the port of Brindisi and went straight to the ticket office to book our ferry to Greece as we had not found it easy to do online. The friendly lady at the office was most helpful but the ferry for that night had no cabins available and the thought of spending the night on a chair was not appealing. So we booked for Wednesday night instead and headed down the coast to a campsite near the beach about 20 kilometres away. It was a large campsite with splendid facilities if you were going there for a long stay, the pool was crystal clear and had a separate spa pool and waterslide. We found a quiet spot under some trees and spent the time there getting some more washing done and a couple of small jobs done that had been put off. (You see Ewout is starting to get the idea of taking it easy] After a swim in the pool we left the campsite about 4.30 and drove to a large shopping centre we had seen on the way in, picking up some flippers to go with our snorkel and masks we bought a few years back in Croatia. You see we hope to do a lot of beachy stuff in Greece, and Ewout hopes to be able to find a spear to use and catch us some fish.
Shopping done and Pizza for tea, we headed for our ferry boarding and our next adventure Greece and the Peloponese.