With Motorhome in Europe for a whole year - part 5
We are in Sicily
From the car park in Scilla it was only a short drive of approx. 10 minutes down to the ferry dock in Villa San Giovanni for the boats crossing the Messina Strait to Sicily. There are ferries here all the time and there is no need to pre-book tickets for this route. The ticket office is located at the entrance to the ferry area. A small tip here is to buy a return ticket, as there is a discount when you buy both ways, and the return is valid for 3 months. The ferry crossing across the strait is about half an hour.
Other driving culture
After a nice walk across the Messina Strait we drove ashore in Messina. As usual, there is some chaos, a different driving culture than we are used to here at home. A couple of the cars pounded into each other during the landing, so be careful and careful. GPS's one was tuned to Aggricampegio Allesandra, a campsite we had recommended by a friend couple. After a few minutes drive we arrived at the first toll station, yes there are a few toll stations on the northwest part of the island. We drive in to the boom and press the button to get a ticket, but nothing happens. Pretty soon it was built up with cars behind us, and these Italians are not afraid to use the horn. A rather loud howl of honking cars behind us results in Finn feverishly pressing the ticket button. There is no ticket, but suddenly the boom goes up. What shall we do? The ticket we should have is important when we are off the highway again, the fare is calculated based on how far we have driven. A little stressed and red in the top we make a quick decision, we take the chance to drive without a ticket.
It got pretty quiet in the car, none of us said big after the passing of the boom. We showed that we would probably have problems when leaving the highway. After a few miles we arrived at the exit to Torrenova and the toll station. Fortunately, there was manual weeding. Finn tries out his best Italian "No biglietti, tic tactic, - macina caputt". Fortunately, the lady understood what the problem was, we had to pay normal tariff from Messina and everything worked out.
Later we were told that this is a fairly common problem in Sicily, and if it were to happen again it was smart to take a picture of the boma machine as documentation.
Camping Agricampeggio Allesandra
We drove directly to Camping Agricampeggio Allesandra, which in turn was a campsite we had been recommended by friends. The campsite is clean and pretty, located right on the beach, the service is pleasant and service minded and speaks good English. The pitches are large and fine, divided by small bushes, each pitch has both water, drainage and its own garbage can. There are several toilet buildings, and we get our own key to the one who reserved us. There are also a number of additional services here, transport if you are going into town, you can get clothes washed. There are even own masseurs, which Tone used. Agricampeggio Allesandra is also a member of the organization "Sicily en Plain Air", a chain of campsites that holds a very high standard. These campsites are spread throughout Sicily. After the long drive from Livorno, it was wonderful to be able to relax for a few days at this wonderful campsite.
After a few lazy days at the campsite, the restlessness took us again, and we decided to move on. At the campsite we had become acquainted with a motorhome couple from Germany, and they advised us not to drive the highway, but take SS113, the old road. They believed that the road standard was actually better than the highway. After a quick look at the GPS it showed that it would only take 15-20 minutes longer, and the tip we had got voted very well, the tire and the standard of the road was actually much better than the highway. The road is much narrower, of course, and winds around all the nooks and crannies along the coast. The road also goes through many cozy small towns along the way, and there are constantly interesting things to observe and observe.
After a drive of one hour and twenty minutes we rolled into Camping Rais Gerbi in Finale. The campsite itself is a few years older than the one we came from, but the location is absolutely fantastic. Here there are also large beautiful pitches with concrete pavement, and these are located on floors down towards the water's edge. In high season there is also a great pool facility here, but this was now closed for the season. The area around the campsite is also great, and invites to romantic walks in delicious temperature and low golden evening sun. It is also a short 20 minute walk into the center of Finale, a cozy little town with a good selection of eateries and shopping opportunities.
Further towards Birgi Vecchi
We had had some contact with another Norwegian couple who were also on a motorhome ride in Sicily, and we decided to meet. It is always exciting to meet other Norwegian motorists so far from home, there are not so many people who choose to travel so far with motorhomes. The place we arranged for the meeting was Birgi Vecchi. It would be a little extra driving for us compared to what we had actually planned, but we had plenty of time so it was no problem. Along the way we had to pass Palermo, and were quite amazed at the driving pattern here. Fortunately we were not going into the city, we had the chaos of Naples fresh in memory, and had no desire to experience such a thing again. The highway that runs on the outskirts of Palermo had no marked lane, and sometimes there were 4 cars in width, other times it was 5. A slightly incomprehensible system, so here it was important to keep the tongue straight in the mouth.
Birgi Vecchi is also located along the coast right next to Marsala which is also known for the Marsala wine. The agreed meeting place was a place for fricamping right down at the water's edge at Lagunen Lo Stagnone. When it comes to fricamping, this is not a problem in Sicily in low season. It went well to park, and it was a nice meeting. Sharing experiences, good food and guitar playing throughout the evening. An awesome sunset over Lo Stagnone ended a nice evening with new friends.
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