13.06.2013 24 °C
We finally leave Riposto!
Early morning the weather was good so we left Riposto under motor to Messina. The weather was warm and due to the lack of wind there was a slight haze/sea mist in the air, however we were still treated to some lovely views over the water back to the coast. We travelled back past Taormina and it looked every bit spectacular from the water. We continued up the coast and pulled into Messina mid afternoon.
Messina is located opposite the Italian boot tip where the distance between Italy and Sicily would not be any more than a couple of kilometers.
The straits are famous for the swordfish that are fished and caught within its waters. The boats that catch them are only small, 25-35 feet and have a huge mast were the spotter stands, I'm guessing around 60 ft !!!! tall with a crows nest perched on top. A horrible job especially in a rolling sea!!!!
They also have a long walkway protruding from the bow about the length of the boat were they spear the fish from.
After we settled into the marina we went exploring Messina.
It's a large city of perhaps the size of a Bendigo or Ballarat. It certainly won't go down as our favorite but we have been in worst places.
We stopped for a coffee and to study our maps when a employee came out to chat. After the obligatory 10 questions we asked for a nice restuarant.
That night we found the L'altro orsa and with Allan and Gloria had a great local meal. Her recommendation was spot on !!!
The next morning while Allan was doing his regular inspections of the boat he noticed some matted substance in the fuel filter.
We had a go at cleaning it out however we coundn't dislodge the foreign matter without dismantling the whole assembly......something Allan was reluctant to do.
So, again armed with my broken Italian we proceeded to secure the help of a diesel mechanic.
Sicily runs on the same time schedule everywhere..............Slow!!!!!!!!
The earliest we could get a mechanic was 2-30 after siesta.
Allan, faced with the problems of lack of breeze and possible fuel blockage was reluctant to motor out to the island of Stromboli. So with the lost day we decided with A&G that we would make tonight our last night on the boat. This would give them more time to explore the aeolian islands without trying to rush us back in time for our commitments.
while we waited for the mechanic Glenda & I went into town and booked our car for the remainder of our Sicilian journey.
Not long after our return the mechanic arrived and surprise,surprise....... he didn't have replacement filters for that model!!!!!!
It would be a few days before he could get parts to town so he offered to replace the whole system for Allan .......... At a price Allan was happy with.
Allan agreed and booked him for 8-30 the next morning..........the only question remaining ??????? Would he show up????
Every grey cloud has a silver lining !!!!
We were able to stay on the boat and listen to THE BOMBERS great win!!!!!
Pigs do Fly!!!!
The mechanic shows up.......... BUT with a second hand filter housing.
After a brief discussion and a price reduction the motor was running again.
G and I gathered our bags and said our goodbye's.
We collected our car and left Messina. We initially travelled along the autostrad in a Southerly direction. About 30 min down the road we left the coast and decided to climb into the hills to explore some of the villages perched up high overlooking the coast. Going was slow but the distances weren't great.
The views were spectacular and it was fantastic just driving through these pretty villages watching the locals going about their daily business. At the local coffee shop/ bar the men and women would gather together in their separate groups and wonder who the strange car driving through their village belonged to???
We looped around through the countryside for a couple of hours then eventually returned back to the coast just north of Taormina. We pulled over for a coffee and set about finding a suitable hotel to stay in. Taormina is a busy tourist spot with people everywhere so we decided to look around the area where we were having coffee. We eventually booked into this hotel opposite the beach and close to plenty of cafe's and restaurants. We settled into our room overlooking the beach then went to dine on the waterfront.