THE AMALFI COAST

What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Walking round the crater summit of Vesuvius and looking down over the thousands of houses that would be engulfed if Vesuvius erupts again.  With only three days' notice and no main route out, the possibility of a catastrophe is very real.  However, trying to race those elderly people up to the summit didn't come easy, but going down was much easier.  If you are lucky enough to have the same guide as we did, you get the privilidge to walk around the whole of the crater. The hospitality of the family run hotel and the friendliness of the group made the holiday for me.

What did you think of your group leader?

Alfred led us on some mighty walks!  Punctuality and his friendliess were his forte and he certainly had our safety at the forefront when we were confronted by a forest fire.  Although this meant turning back and retracing our steps, the staff of the hotel came out in the middle of the day to drive us by road nearer to our destination thus avoiding the fires.  We nicknamed one of them Emerson (after the racing driver) because he knew how to take every bend in that well run route!

Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Make sure you are fit and can cope with lots of steps.  I know the trip is graded leisurely/moderate - it certainly falls into the moderate category taken at a leisurely pace.  I wouldn't recommend it to anyone with knee, hip or foot problems.  That put aside, the views are spectacular  and so is the food.  Although the hotel does not have a pool, which is a shame, take a swim suit as you do get the opportunity to swim in the sea - which you have to negotiate the hot pebbles to get to!

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Enjoy yourself, eat plenty, take advantage of the additional excursions - difficult to choose between Capri and Herculaneum.