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Interest so far

Yes - definitely: Head for the Hills, Rural Lass?, Ruby Walls, Twotone, Lazlo Woodbine, It-is-Adventure-time, LaurieC, Janhk, Maz, Birdsong, Glyn2, Peregrina, jo_jo, RuthieA
Yes - maybe: AverageGuy, Manners
Sorry - can't come: Ridgewalker, Miss T, Mira, Vickster, chrissy100

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jo_jo   on 26/07/17 @ 13:37 said:

Lazlo Woodbine: Please count me in Dougie, I would absolutely love to visit Scicily. This trip sounds right up my syreet. %u263A

Lazlo Woodbine   on 26/07/17 @ 14:41 said:

You have a volcano up your street Jo? Must affect property values.

AverageGuy   on 26/07/17 @ 18:20 said:

This sounds like a fantastic trip, I visited Silicy and climbed Etna a couple of years ago, loved it, Catalonia is worth a visit. Seeing an erupting volcano is on my list so I'm tempted to join you

LaurieC   on 26/07/17 @ 18:20 said:

Lazlo Woodbine: the itinerary looks nice and varied and volcano ascent by night will be special. Like you say, the price is pretty good as well.

Head for the Hills   on 26/07/17 @ 18:24 said:

This sounds good, Doug. Count me in too %uD83D%uDE0A

chrissy100   on 26/07/17 @ 19:58 said:

I'm definitely interested in this.

Glyn2   on 26/07/17 @ 21:50 said:

I'd definitely be up for this!

Lazlo Woodbine   on 27/07/17 @ 9:58 said:

looks like we are up and running. I will firm up the price and get back to you. There is only one direct flight from the UK to Palermo this year, Ryanair from Stansted. This may change next year. There is one direct flight to Catania from gatwick but this is twice the price.

LaurieC   on 27/07/17 @ 13:19 said:

LW: several airlines fly from Manchester at reasonable prices for October, including Ryanair (87pds), EasyJet, Alitalia

LaurieC   on 27/07/17 @ 13:19 said:

LW: these flights are to Palermo

Lazlo Woodbine   on 27/07/17 @ 14:27 said:

They didn't come up when I looked at Skyscanner. I looked for this year to get an idea of prices. Will check again as I would rather fly from Manchester than Stansted. It was probally because I used the same date as used for Stansted. We obviosly all have to arrive the same day.

Lazlo Woodbine   on 27/07/17 @ 14:32 said:

Yes looked again and no direct flights on the same day. The indirect flights all went via Bologna or Milan.

It-is-Adventure-time   on 27/07/17 @ 17:09 said:

Last time I was on the slopes of Mount Etna there was a blizzard, which was nice, but it meant I could not get the cable car to the top - perhaps this time I might get closer to the top!! The rest of the itinerary looks fantastic. I suspect as I am ninth on the list that I might miss out though. Let me know in due course

Lazlo Woodbine   on 27/07/17 @ 17:55 said:

It will be the first 8 with the deposit It-is. A lot can change in over a year and not every definite now could be definite later. Also I have to check places to stay. If I can find enough beds then I can take more. Stromboli and Lipari aren't that big. It is early days yet.

Lazlo Woodbine   on 27/07/17 @ 17:57 said:

Lawrence, I couldn't find any direct flights from manchester to palermo in October. Could you get the info to me.

LaurieC   on 28/07/17 @ 9:15 said:

Lazlo Woodbine: you are correct, no direct flights. However, I might still prefer a change at Bergamo (6hr overall flight) than have to travel from Preston to Stansted and return. When I include cost of fuel to/from Stansted in my dirty diesel, the 97pds (prev 87) flight is good value.
I am prepared to pay a deposit now to secure my place!

Glyn2   on 28/07/17 @ 16:20 said:

Lazio Woodbine - I thought I could send you a 50p deposit now to secure my place in case you forget to email me like you did when we were going to Majorca!!

Lazlo Woodbine   on 29/07/17 @ 18:41 said:

I see your point Lawrence, a choice between a long drive and waiting around an airport. On deposits, I would hate to exclude anybody so I will search for a place big enough for everybody.

jo_jo   on 29/07/17 @ 19:26 said:

Lazlo Woodbine: thanks that's great. Let me know when you need the deposits.
ILoveClouds: which airline/website have you looked at Lawrence and are they showing Oct 2018 yet?

LaurieC   on 30/07/17 @ 0:26 said:

Jo jo: I use Skyscanner and it allows searches up to July 2018. To get an idea of costs and travel time, I selected midweek travelling to/from Palermo from Manchester with Ryanair and I now get 78pds and 6hr travel in both directions. Weekend travel with Ryanair and Jet2 about 96pds. If you've never been round Bergamo it's worth a 2 hr taxi excursion to kill the waiting time between connections.Much better and cheaper than going to Stansted for me.

Glyn2   on 30/07/17 @ 1:53 said:

Thanks LW - I was joking obviously cause I missed all your messages about payments last time and I don't want to miss this!

It-is-Adventure-time   on 30/07/17 @ 23:05 said:

Looks fantastic - great organisation. Definetly for me, so just let me know when you would like my deposit and in what form. Living in Norfolk Stansted would be good for me, but Manchester easy enough to get to.

jo_jo   on 31/07/17 @ 15:12 said:

ILoveClouds: I would definitely prefer a Manchester flight as I am only 20mins from the airport, but I think I will wait and see what flights become available when they are released.

LaurieC   on 31/07/17 @ 18:30 said:

Lazlo Woodbine: thanks a lot for researching the hotels, ferries general itinerary and committing the dates. Really excited about this. 12 people is a lovely size for this tour.

Birdsong   on 31/07/17 @ 19:14 said:

Hi there,this sounds great. Count me in. Brilliant research and organisation. Stanstead probably easier for me to fly from. Let me know about deposits, Dawn

Maz   on 05/08/17 @ 18:08 said:

Definitely interested if room for me Doug.

Lazlo Woodbine   on 07/08/17 @ 10:06 said:

I was hoping for an even number of males and females. Now have 7 females and 5 males so will have to do a bit more room sorting. Before I do, does anyone want a room to themselves?

Birdsong   on 09/08/17 @ 9:09 said:

Hiya - have emailed you separately. But will bow out as you have an odd number, the trip was close to another tour I planned for early November. I think you will all have a fantastic time and I look forward to seeing the photos posted on your return

Janhk   on 29/09/17 @ 18:30 said:

I would be interested in the spare place Doug or do you already have a reserve list? Can you let me know.

Lazlo Woodbine   on 30/09/17 @ 7:51 said:

Hi Jan. The person who withdrew changed their mind. You could still go. I only limited the numbers because of trying to fit people in to rooms. You could book yourself. I will be putting up a list of ferry times in spring when the new time table comes out. Also there should be more and cheaper flights then. I used for the hotels but you can get better deals off airbnb if you didn't want the same hotels. You are on the reserve list by virtue of showing interest.

Peregrina   on 05/10/17 @ 13:05 said:

ooh, wow indeed. Can I go on a reserve list in someone drops out.

Lazlo Woodbine   on 31/10/17 @ 10:41 said:

Have booked my flight frpm Stansted. ?79.98.

Ruby Walls   on 31/10/17 @ 21:42 said:

Done! 4th Stanstead 17.10 pm.
11th Palermo 21.35 pm.

Birdsong   on 31/10/17 @ 21:57 said:

Hiya. Booked my flight from Heathrow

LaurieC   on 31/10/17 @ 21:57 said:

Lazlo Woodbine: I have booked my flights, using Skyscanner, details as follows:

Outbound 4th Oct
Manchester to Bergamo FR3218
13.40 dep 16.55 arrive
Bergamo to Palermo FR8892
19.50 dep 21.35 arrive
2hrs 55 mins wait at Bergamo

Return 11th Oct
Palermo to Bologna FR4799
08.25 dep 10.00 arrive
Bologna to Manchester FR2241
14.30 dep 16.05 arrive
4hr 30mins wait at Bologna

Take care that you book the 08.25 flight from Palermo as you are offered a later flight as well (when using Skyscanner)

It-is-Adventure-time   on 31/10/17 @ 22:09 said:

Have booked flight from Stansted - see you on the flight Dougie

jo_jo   on 31/10/17 @ 22:13 said:

ILoveClouds: it looks like you have to book all 4 legs of journey separately. Did you find a way around this?

LaurieC   on 31/10/17 @ 22:35 said:

jo_jo: no way round this, but when you book a leg, and it is confirmed select %u2018Done%u2019 at the top and it returns back to Skyscanner. Proceed to next leg. This is why I%u2019ve provided all flight details to help along with the caution about selecting right flight time. It also means that hold luggage has to be picked up at Bergamo and Bologna and checked in for last leg. I%u2019m travelling light!

LaurieC   on 31/10/17 @ 22:35 said:

That should read select Done, at the top

jo_jo   on 01/11/17 @ 9:35 said:

ILoveClouds: many thanks for the flight breakdown Laurie All done now. Yes I agree, think we will have to travel light this time (or pay 4 times for a hold bag!!)
Lazlo Woodbine: Have booked flights for Rhian and myself from Manchester. Flight details are the same as Laurie%u2019s

Head for the Hills   on 01/11/17 @ 10:08 said:

I'm booked from Stansted too, same as Ruby

Maz   on 01/11/17 @ 16:42 said:

Booked same as Doug and Adam from Stansted ?79.99.

LaurieC   on 06/11/17 @ 23:00 said:

Lazlo Woodbine: for Manchester travellers - all 4 flight legs are still available directly on the Ryanair site at the low prices I obtained. Use the flight codes I published above.
All - If you like, message me and I%u2019ll talk you through the bookings.
Not sure why Skyscanner is no longer listing the Ryanair routings.
If in doubt go via Stansted.

Lazlo Woodbine   on 07/11/17 @ 10:50 said:

That must be the case Lawrie. Strange indeed. Hope all people book soon because I will have to make a few changes with the reservations on the final night. No way you can get back to Palermo airport from Milazzo for the manchester flight. The Heath row flight is possible but means a really early start.

Miss T   on 08/11/17 @ 19:37 said:

Doug, is the female place still available? I'm very interested but don't have a clue what to do or how to sort it!

Lazlo Woodbine   on 08/11/17 @ 20:46 said:

Yes it is still available. If you want it first put yourself as a definite, then buy a flight which is your commitment. I will be asking for money in April to buy ferry tickets as they are cheaper bought in advance and as a group.

Janhk   on 09/11/17 @ 0:31 said:

Will book flights asap but currently away so not sure how quickly I'll be able to do that.

Lazlo Woodbine   on 09/11/17 @ 10:58 said:

I am wondering if all the Manchester Sicily flights are now fully booked. I checked Manchester to Catania as an alternative but it said all seats sold on this route.

LaurieC   on 09/11/17 @ 14:53 said:

Lazlo Woodbine: I%u2019ve just simulated booking the flights (described above in my earlier posting) on the Ryanair app and they are still available at more or less the same price.
Interestingly, I can also book each leg through Skyscanner as one way fares (same prices as Ryanair) but NOT as a journey from Manchester to Palermo and return.
The more interesting question for anyone still thinking about using Manchester is whether you intend to check in hold luggage as this will cost you more and inconvenience you more as you will have to check in at Bergamo going out and Bologna on return. But using Stansted has its costs and inconveniences for northern travellers

Lazlo Woodbine   on 09/11/17 @ 18:02 said:

Yes Lawrence, if only we could drive racing cars like Lewis Hamilton. Then we could have our own VAT free private jet.

chrissy100   on 17/11/17 @ 11:03 said:

I have checked my leave for next year and have worked out that with other trips already planned I am not going to have enough leave left by October to get away on this great trip sadly.

Lazlo Woodbine   on 17/11/17 @ 14:00 said:

Ok Chrissie. Another time. This trip may be on in 2019.

Peregrina   on 20/11/17 @ 17:22 said:

Hi Everyone, I'm now on board for this trip. Flight from Heathrow now booked, I had to pay ?132 but these are direct flights with no stops so for me worth paying a bit more. Also it doesn't include checked baggage so that'll be a challenge to pack for a whole week with just a cabin bag. Doug, I'm happy to share a room with someone.

LaurieC   on 20/11/17 @ 18:50 said:

Peregrina: so glad you%u2019re coming, it%u2019s going to be a lot of fun.

Lazlo Woodbine   on 23/11/17 @ 11:54 said:

I have created a group on Facebook, Sicily Volcanic Adventure if people want to post anything. Looking for volunteers to drive to Etna from Milazzo. Cheapest way.

jo_jo   on 23/11/17 @ 17:33 said:

Lazlo Woodbine: thanks for setting up the FB group. I am happy to do some driving on the island if you need a volunteer.

Lazlo Woodbine   on 24/11/17 @ 12:03 said:

Thanks Jo. It is only one day. Getting to Etna you would think easy but the tour companies want to rip you off. If you drive up to either of the start points, Piano Provenca or Rifugio Sapientze you can just walk up without a guide. Guides are only needed if you want to do the last 300m to the top and cost 25 euros.

Lazlo Woodbine   on 24/11/17 @ 12:12 said:

Those who are worried about costs of extra luggage I checked up on my brilliant idea of sending a parcel with your clothes via a courier. Well the cost of a 20kg parcel to Itlay would be about 20 pounds. Estimated time to arrive would be 3 to 4 days. Stick that where the sun don't shine Mr Leary.

Glyn2   on 25/11/17 @ 22:05 said:

Or doing some shopping while we're there and just sending it back home - I'm salivating just thinking about all those shoes with my name on . . . . .

Peregrina   on 26/11/17 @ 19:20 said:

I like the way you think!!!

RuthieA   on 27/11/17 @ 9:27 said:

Who is that with Doug?

Lazlo Woodbine   on 27/11/17 @ 17:45 said:

Ruthie, if you google parcel couriers to Italy there is a lot you can choose. Look for one who operates in your area. You would then need the hotel address or address of the nearest pichup point in Palermo. I have never done it, it was just an idea that came to me. There is always more than one way of skinning a cat.

RuthieA   on 27/11/17 @ 18:19 said:

Don't really need it for Italy but I'm going to Cyprus for 2 weeks in May and I have a pittance of a luggage allowance. I will look into it. Thanks Doug x

Glyn2   on 14/12/17 @ 11:46 said:

Easyjet just announced direct flights from Liverpool - none on the right dates for this trip but great for future reference!

Lazlo Woodbine   on 14/12/17 @ 17:11 said:

Thanks Glyn2. Liverpool flights tend to be summer only to the less popular places.

Janhk   on 20/12/17 @ 12:54 said:

EasyJet also seem to have direct flights from Luton and Gatwick but earlier so would mean the last night in Palermo not Milazzo

Lazlo Woodbine   on 20/12/17 @ 19:33 said:

Yes it appears EasyJet have come in late. Obviously there must be more demand for Sicily. We are going to be spending the last night in Palermo now.

Peregrina   on 03/01/18 @ 14:22 said:

I feel sick that I booked my Heathrow flight so early as I live right next door to Gatwick and the EasyJet flight is much cheaper.

Miss T   on 09/02/18 @ 15:30 said:

Lazlo Woodbine: I've sent you a private message Doug.

Maz   on 23/02/18 @ 17:16 said:

DOB emailed to you Dougie. Thanks so much for organinsing us.

Glyn2   on 27/02/18 @ 9:56 said:

Hi Dougie - you%u2019ve got a message from somebody re one last place on this trip if it%u2019s still available if you could reply to her please! She messaged me and I gave her you%u2019re email address and mobile number!

Glyn2   on 27/02/18 @ 12:57 said:

I mean %u2018I gave her your not you%u2019re . . . . .

Lazlo Woodbine   on 27/02/18 @ 20:48 said:

I have contacted her Glyn2.

Rural Lass?   on 27/02/18 @ 21:04 said:

Hi. Looks like I'm joining the fun. %uD83D%uDE0E

jo_jo   on 17/04/18 @ 18:13 said:

Lazlo Woodbine: Doug before I reply to your question re Lipari over Vulcan, can you briefly tell me what attractions Vulcan has. As we are already doing a lot of travelling, may consider staying in Lipari. Also what hotel have we in Lipari - is there a pool?

Lazlo Woodbine   on 19/04/18 @ 17:29 said:

Lipari has it's own attractions and the pool is at the hotel. I have decided not to pre book the vulcano trip but make it optional. As you say Jo we are already doing a lot of traveling.

Vickster   on 23/04/18 @ 23:26 said:

Lazlo Woodbine: I%u2019d be interested if a spare place becomes available for this trip, sounds like a good%u2019un.

Ruby Walls   on 23/04/18 @ 23:30 said:

I told you Vickstar would be up for more trips

Maz   on 30/08/18 @ 13:42 said:

Worth reading the Totem trekking Stromboli website re equipment and what to expect on the volcano before you pack.
Walking boots, head torch and buff seem to be essential and spare batteries just in case. Poles can be hired %u20AC4 as can everything else if you don't mind wearing hire boots. No contact lenses worth noting if you wear them. Lots of dust etc. 6 hour walk ( 2.45/3 hrs up and 2 hrs down with hour break on top.)

Maz   on 30/08/18 @ 13:46 said:

I might put some seasickness tablets in for the ferries- nothing worse than a rough sea crossing Laurie?

Lazlo Woodbine   on 30/08/18 @ 19:07 said:

I have provisionally booked the Stromboli walk but like everything else there are choices. There are two routes, the old route and the new. The old route is more scenic but tougher. Takes about 7 hours. The new route is easier and takes about 5 hours up and down. The old route is more expensive. Then we can either go as a private group or join a tour. This is only of benefit if you have more than 15 in the group otherwise it is more expensive. I have decided on the new route in a non-private tour which will be 28Euros each.

Hope everyone has organised airport transport and parking if necessary.

LaurieC   on 08/09/18 @ 10:03 said:

LW: thanks for all your efforts Doug, really appreciated. I can%u2019t wait to sample all these different areas. Maz: good idea to take anti sea sickness tablets. I still have some left

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