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  • Day28

    Etna and the ferry to Malta

    June 8, 2019 in Malta ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C

    I waited until almost 3pm before setting off from that idilic farmhouse in the hills just outside Spadafora Sicily. It was very hot so I abandoned my plan of a stroll round Noto and opted instead for a ride up mount Etna which I thought might be cooler. And what a ride it turned out to be. Everything was going just great until I reached the base then my sat nav decided it was time for another adventure so it took me up a road which became narrower and strewn with dumped rubbish until my way was blocked by two burnt out cars so I turned around and asked the sat nav to behave so it then took me for 45 minutes up one of the best roads of the trip. Perfect road surface with a mixture of fast and slow sweeping bends and many hairpins. The road had in several places been cut through the lava and not long ago. It was about 4.30 as I started the assent and the road was completely empty. Just me, it was incredible. At the top the tourists had all gone and everything was closed except the cafe bar where I met some Italian bikers who were not very chatty so I left them alone and just had a quick latte coffee and set off for another uninterrupted ride back down.
    I stopped for fuel just after 6.30 and didn't have time to waste to get to the ferry for 8.30 one motorway toll had a cue over a kilometre long so I turned into an Italian bikers and jumped it. The fee was 1.20 euros, hardly worth collecting.
    I boarded the new ferry to Malta at 8.20. it is called Saint John Paul ll Google it, it is not cheap but quite impressive. It was very full with no room for any more bikes or cars when we sailed.
    I love arriving in Malta so the drive at midnight from the port to the house was great. I couldn't settle once I arrived so I did all my clothes washing and had something to eat thanks to Laurie for getting me some milk and bread.
    It's funny how I don't get hungry when I'm on the bike. There have been several days when I have had only one meal.
    So now I relax for a while. I hear there is a classic car show in Valletta tomorrow and I'm just about to go and buy a ticket for a concert next Friday which features the man who sang the part of Freddy Mercury in the film Bohemian Rhapsody. He is singing at Fort At Angelo which is a five minute walk from the house.
    I will make an occasional post while here but not so frequent as while traveling.
    When I do travel back to the UK I'm thinking of going via Sicily, Sardinia, and Corsica, rather than ride up Italy. Stay tuned.
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