Pozzallo – Malta (mostly by boat)
Well, the ferry did leave at 0930 and we were in good time. There were a few moments of nervousness when the ticket office was still closed at 0745. But this was Sicily! Our tickets were purchased and now we had to wait for the ferry to arrive. During this interval, we had a long conversation with an Italian, who spoke only Italian, about the virtues of some parts of Italy and Sicily and a conversation in English with a gentleman who had secured a job in Malta and was with his family in two cars. We learned, in detail, of the various mishaps which had befallen them on the way from Cowbridge. We wonder now if those continued on his arrival in Malta! I will explain.
We thought we had travelled some pretty hairy roads, but our introduction to Malta was as scary as it was unexpected. We had planned to avoid the major peripherique but it seemed we were left with little choice. Unsympathetic traffic, driving on the left, tunnels and hills all conspired to leave us pretty tense and drained on our eventual arrival at our hotel. Now, we had been extravagant in our choice of final hotel as a prize for completing our journey, so we were somewhat taken aback by our reception; an irate man in a suit waving his arms energetically and shouting that we could not leave our bikes there. At this point Mr. Angry lost it, marched into the foyer, confronted the management and succinctly explained that after more than 6500 kms and numerous stops at everything from campsites to posh hotels, this had been an unforgettable welcome for all the wrong reasons. Much boot licking and apologies followed but the damage had been done. A shame but it is still a very nice hotel!
So we end our adventure after 100 days of cycling and I will miss talking to you all. It has been a comfort to know that we have not been alone. So here is to the next time?!!!!!!