Sicily Trip and………
This month’s post is about the Sicily trip I went, a day by day summary with photos and video. Speaking of video, the last couple of months I started upgrading the system. Getting more into the hobby of videography. I have opened a dedicated YouTube channel were the plan is that various videos relating to adventures and sights to visit will be posted on a regular basis. Also there is something extra that I had the pleasure of experiencing and has been long overdue.
I was contemplating for quite a while and the opportunity came to plan out and go on the christening of the Toyota Hilux, and mark the first overland trip of this vehicle. As far as location goes, it was quite straight forward, limited time, therefore closest spot, Sicily. An all round trip of the coast of Sicily to get a good idea of how driving long distances is, and also get an idea good spots in Sicily.
Plan was quite simple, coast route to get to the three points of Sicily and to sleep in a tent. First of all as mentioned before, below please find a 6 minute video of our trip. If you enjoy it, please like it in YouTube, make sure you
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Friday 27th April 2018
We started the day by packing up according to the checklist, since our departure was booked for 1630hrs, we had the morning to pack and sort out the equipment. We had made the decision to risk going 5 people in one vehicle, which later we realised that we were overcrowded. Future adventures will have 2 to 3 people per vehicle. To clarify this point, we did the trip and we were comfortable, however longer trips, or even the possibility to purchase or store some extra items would be a challenge.
We quickly packed everything up in the rear, the RSI Canopy proving itself as a life saver, and headed to lunch. Right after lunch we made our way to Virtu Ferries and waited patiently for the crew to guide us on the ferry.
Getting to Sicily early evening, meant we only had time to head to the campsite, with a detour to extend our ride to pass from the first of the 3 points of Sicily. We quickly headed to Camping Sabbiadoro in Gallina, province of Siracusa. They were very kind to welcome us, provide us a great spot to camp with the Hilux next to us. We quickly pitched up our tents and headed to the campsite’s restaurant for some dinner.
Still new to all the stuff in the canopy, we reorganised everything quickly for the rest of the trip. After a full day of organising the stuff in the canopy practically we were exhausted, but excited about the trip to come, so we quickly headed into the tent and rested.
Saturday 28th April 2018
I do not know what it is, but when I am in these kind of adventures, I feel that sleep is too much of a waste of time for me. I woke up before sunrise and decided to head out and explore the campsite’s area. Quickly I found out why it is called Sabbiadoro. Much like Malta’s own Golden Bay, I found a great looking beach, and although it was cloudy, sunrise looked awesome.
Soon everyone was awake and ready. We fixed breakfast and quickly packed up and started our journey for Day 2 of the trip. The plan was to head North, go to the second point, which is Pilone di Torre Faro. This is the closest point to the edge and right across the narrowest point to Italy, then head West, mid way to the third point.
We headed out, and had that feeling that we finally started the journey. First stop was the Oriented Nature Reserve Cavagrande. We headed up the curved and twisty road up toward the spot. We had to stop and enjoy the view from one of the various viewpoints. For you guys to get an idea, here is a stacked panorama shot.
Soon we got to Cavagrande, however it was too windy to do anything. Even standing outside was a challenge. Quickly we headed back down and on our way to our second stop Messina. On the way we were rewarded with awesome views of the Etna. On this segment of the trip I quickly realised that I forgot to get a Telepass, which helps out especially when you have a right hand drive car. This meant, that my friend had to dangle out of the window at each toll, either to get the ticket or to pay. This is something important to keep in mind, especially if travelling alone, which could be a real pain. Soon we got to Pilone di Torre Faro, where we found lots of children playing with kites in this beautiful windy day. We had a short break, had lunch, explored a small local market and then headed off towards our overnight campsite, leaving enough time for an unplanned stop on the way.
After a cool break we kept driving, admiring the skyline of Parco Nebrodi on the way. We did stop on the way to stretch our legs and admire the views, and we quickly found ourselves close to the campsite, Camping & Village Rais Gerbi. Staff here was very helpful and they quickly gave us options on where to set up our tents. As soon as a pitch with a view was mentioned, there was no choice left to make.
Sunday 29th April 2018
As mentioned previously, managed to wake up quite early and take an amazing sunrise shot from the small private beach at Camping & Village Rais Gerbi. So quiet, so peaceful, it truly fuels the dream to travel more. We quickly packed up, already feeling as if we have been doing this regularly, everything had its place.
This day would involve proceeding west, along the Northern coast of Sicily, stopping on the way, getting to Erice by mid day. Here we visit the historic town in the province of Trapani. Then head to the campsite, right at the third point of Sicily, the furthest point from our starting point. After an amazing breakfast, we quickly headed off, admiring the outline of Parco delle Madonie and some of the coastal villages along our route. During our route, somehow our gps got lost, and took us into the fields around Tangi, Province of Trapani. Obviously we welcomed being lost and stopped to admire the amazing scenery.
We finally got to Erice. Somehow gps took us through what I can call the back road to Erice. It was narrow, with sharp 180 degree turns that made it difficult in a 5.2 metre car and very long. Coming down we discovered the main road that was much easier to drive. Once we were at the top, the views where simply stunning. More photos and panoramas will be shown on SDB Media Creation, facebook, instagram and website.
The quiet streets of Erice are very beautiful to photograph, especially these alleys with cobbled stone.
We then headed down to our third campsite, which we arrived in the dark since we took more time than we planned in Erice. Camping Village El-Bahira, provided us with an awesome spot. It was very crowded as a campsite, however the area was amazing. I only wished I had more time to explore more.
Monday 30th April 2018
This evening was very short, since we just stopped to sleep, eat and shower. We went into our routine, we packed everything back up and our main target was to explore a bit the southern coast of Sicily, but also get as close to the ferry as possible, since the following day we only had a few hours to get to the ferry. Mainly we wanted to visit La Valle dei Tempi and Scala dei Turchi. It was a very hot day from the start.
As soon as we arrived to Valle dei temphi, we saw a large group of tourists and endless queues to go in. Therefore we decided to skip this and head directly to Scala dei Turchi. This is a truly amazing spot. It is a spot were we just hanged out, went for a walk to the beach, explored the area and had some lunch. After spending the day here we decided to just enjoy the southern coast drive and slowly head to the campsite.
So after the long drive, we found Camping Rocca dei Tramonti. This is a cool campsite, literally seaside. It is a large campsite and we had the freedom to camp anywhere we wanted. It even had roofed areas. So we settled in a secluded quiet area and headed to dinner in a close by restaurant.
Tuesday 1st May 2018
Today we head back home. We woke up quite early and headed back to Pozzallo. Here we started realising we are truly going back, whilst having breakfast we started noticing Maltese people around. Funnily enough at the end of such an adventure, we listed what was good and what was bad about the current setup and future longer adventures are really a possibility we are looking forward to. However there are a list of things that need to fixed in our current setup which I will definitely keep you guys informed on the progress.
In June, we had the pleasure of being invited by Mario Shwing Xuereb and his team at Toyota 4WD Malta, to give a small talk about our common passion, overland. I want to take some time and say a big thank you for contacting us and give us such an opportunity. It was nice to already be able to meet some people that read these articles. It helps when you start putting faces to names. Below are some photos of the awesome event. I will try and keep you guys informed of such events in the future.