We tickled the sole of Italy’s foot as we made our way further south. We stopped in the town of Gerace, a medieval hill town on the evening of New Years Day. It’s castle sits perched upon a rocky outcrop and the rest of the town clings to the edges, and it affords some excellent views of the surrounding hills and coastline. These hills are just lovely, like something from a Lord of the Rings film set, especially in the setting sun. We found a deserted Motorhome stopover on top of the hill giving some great views to wake up to, probably one of the best spots so far.
We cut across inland heading for Villa San Giovanni and the ferry crossing to Sicily, but were again thwarted by a road block. We doubled back and took any other road but whilst this wasn’t closed, it might well have been as the surface gave the suspension another good workout. I’ve no fear of going to Morocco with the van now, the roads can’t be worse than this! Finally we descended from the hills on one of the longest flyovers I’ve ever been on, which soared down through the foothills above the valley floor, like some automotive helter-skelter.
An impressively smooth stretch of the A3 took us down to the port, cutting through new road tunnels adjacent to the old. Finally, some signs of progress in the road department. The crossing across the Messina Straight was fast and efficient – they need a bridge, there a half a dozen ferries that just bounce back and forth all day long. You tip out of the port into the tow, not the best bit of planning and it’s nose to tail for a while before we could get to the autostrada and head south.
We are now packed like sardines into a small campsite, but it’s still the Italian holidays so we expect it to quieten down a bit after the weekend. We’ll probably stay here for a few days and take stock, explore the local countryside, and see if we can get a view of Etna – which was being bashful and hiding behind some clouds today.