Volcano number 6: The first high altitude volcano

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From a distance, Mt Etna – Europe’s highest and most active volcano – seemed mysterious. She sat surprisingly quietly in the background as people wandered the streets of Sicily’s port city Catania, just the occasional wisps of steam floated above her.

Up closer, her smoking was more pronounced and the landscape changed from lush greenery to scraggly brush and the cold hardness of black, frozen lava flows. Tree stumps had been left blackened and void of life. Mt Etna (3329m tall) is one hell of a beast. Continue reading

Volcano number 4 and 5: The opposite volcanoes

393It was only about 11:30am and it was stinking hot. The yellow sun pierced through the clear blue sky and scorched both me and the earth as beads of sweat started to gather on my brow.

For what looked like a relatively easy 390m high volcano to climb, Gran Cratere on the Aeolian Island Vulcano was deceptive. I found it hard going striding uphill in the glaring sun – I blame the heat and lack of fitness finesse for this. Continue reading

Volcano number 3: The erupting volcano

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That moment I got up close and saw my first active erupting volcano will stick with me.

I was in the Aeolian Islands, just north of Sicily, gorging myself on quite possibly the world’s best pizza, when suddenly everyone in the restaurant went wild, turning and pointing behind us. Paula, beside me, ferociously grabbed my arm and demanded me to “look, look, look”. Continue reading

Help: Could my trip to Sicily be in danger of cancellation?

So does anyone want to spend £1000 and come on a trip to Sicily with me – April 10th to 17th?
It appears that Nigel No Mates (that’s me) has been the sole person to book a tour for these dates and the trip is at risk of being cancelled unless three more people book. I’ve got two weeks before I find out if it will get the axe.

Continue reading