SICILIAN VOLCANOES

What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

The summits of the volcanoes. All were awe inspiring but all were different. Vulcano was fascinating with its fumeroles pouring out sulphur dioxide and steam and deposits of hot sulphur crystals. Stromboli by night was quite eerie, especially when the wind blew the smoke and steam towards us and we were enveloped in fog; scree running back down by the light of the moon and head torches was exhilarating. The prize went to Etna standing on the brink of the crater. Even more scary in retrospect when it erupted a week later; the place where we were standing isn't there any more!

What did you think of your group leader?

Turi was an excellent leader, very knowledgable with loads of local contacts. He was assisted by Eva who was learning and very keen. Both were great fun, particularly when Eva's English went slightly awry!

Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

A very worthwhile trip. You really do need good boots and a head torch and I found hiking poles very useful. Take some anti-histamine cream, the mosquitos can get busy at night, even when you are in bed.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Be sure to take swimming costumes. The apartments on Lipari are close to an excellent swimming beach, and there is good swimming on Vulcano and Stromboli. Personally the mud baths on Vulcano did not appeal but if they take your fancy, make sure you are wearing a swim suit that you would be happy to throw away afterwards as the smell of sulphur tends to persist!