Thursday, May 01, 2008

Road Trip London - Gozo.

Day 18 Mirabella Imbaccari, Sicily - Pozzallo Sicily - Gozo.

We left Agriturismo Gigliotto feeling a bit disappointed, this area of Sicily is wonderful and the location of Agriturismo Gigliotto is even more so, unfortunately from an accommodation point of view well lets just say it's a bit rough around the edges, some attention to detail is required.It is around 90 mins drive across country to the Sicily coastal town of Pozzallo, on route we had to stop to fill up with fuel and clean some more bugs from the car to enable us to see out of the window, the pump attendant laughed and commented "do you not get bugs in the UK" surprisingly in English I explained that we do indeed get bugs sticking to the car in the UK but only in the one or two hot months that we get a year in the UK each year and then not in this quantity.
We arrived in Pozzallo, the ferry was well signposted and easy to find, we stopped to check the timetable the ferry would not leave until 9.00pm this evening and we would not be able to book tickets until 7.00pm that evening. The time then was 11.30am so a bit of time to kill, Pozzallo would normally be a busy holiday seaside town but we are very early in the season so it is almost uninhabited with not much in the way of entertainment open for a couple of tourists with 8 hours or so to kill. We quickly found a coffee bar on the seafront and ordered 2 coffee's to think about what we were going to do, we decided on an early lunch, found a restaurant that was open and enjoyed lunch overlooking the sea, that killed a couple of hours, we then spent another hour or so driving along the coast road taking in the view, stopping periodically to check out the beach, found somewhere to park up on the beach and watch the world go by.

At 6.30pm we returned to the ferry ready to book our tickets at 7.00pm, whilst waiting I noticed a motor home with British plates and went over too introduce myself (you don't get many British vehicles this far south normally) it was a Scotsman and his wife also relocating to Gozo, in conversation he explained that he had already been here for 24 hours waiting to board the ferry to Malta. This was my train of thought before we left on this journey, only one ferry a day makes the crossing from Sicily to Malta and back, it is mid April the holiday season has not really got underway so you the demand for the ferry will be low, so it should simply be a matter of turning up purchasing a ticket and driving on. WRONG!!The capacity for the ferry is not that large, it will carry a large number of passengers but not so vehicles.

I Cued at the ticket desk along with others for last minute tickets, the ticket office opened and then it dawned on me from previous experience Italians don't cue, in the free for all that followed I was told that there were no spaces on the ferry I should come back at 8.30pm to wait for a space that may become available if somebody does not show up that has booked, and I would be 4th in that cue, Other wise we would have to wait until Wednesday (this was Monday), I went back to the car to explain to Gill what was happening, oh gosh she exclaimed, (her actual words were a lot stronger than that).We got on the ferry that night, only just, so we were all happy again.We arrived in Malta around midnight and were now faced with the task of finding our way from Valletta harbour to the Gozo ferry at the other end of the island, now you may think they have just found there way from London to Malta so Valleta harbour to Gozo should be a piece of cake, the first thing to understand is all the way across Europe I have had the assistance of TomTom satellite navigation, the maps included with this system covers all of western Europe and even some of eastern Europe but strangely enough not Malta.We arrived in Munxar at 2.30am only to find that I had picked up the wrong keys to the house whilst we were in the UK, the correct keys had been packed and would be on a container with the rest of our belongings and would arrive in Malta in about 1 weeks time.I had to wake he lady that looks after the house whilst we are away to get her keys, she was very understanding.

So Home Sweet Home 2.30 in the morning 21st April 2008.
  • Mileage 2635
    Fuel used 80 gallons or 363 litres.
  • Fuel cost £508.00
  • Toll road fees cost £270.00.


Julie said...

Hey you made it. Nice One!. Enjoy the change of pace of life. And await the deluge of friends/family coming to visit. If Gill wants her nails doing, I'm happy for her to import me over, specially. Just like Posh n Becks, when they want a particular treatment!

gail.metcalfe said...

Gill and Steve.
Congradulations on arriving in Gozo. We have enjoyed reading of your adventures, and look forward to meeting you, maybe next week, and hearing more about your mammouth trip.

Gail and Bill

Sabine said...

Welcome Home Steve & Gill!
I enjoyed your posts of your trip so much... and got green & yellow with envy. We made the tour from Berlin to Reggio di Calabria in 3 days. I always suspected it, but now I know how much we missed!!
Thanks for sharing it with us!

Steve Holmes said...

Julie, I am sure that Gill will need her nails doing, you will be most welcome.

Gail, Give me a call when you have settled in here, remember you promised me a beer!

Sabine, it's great to be home and thanks for the welcome.