SICILIAN VOLCANOES

What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Climbing the very steep side of Stromboli at dusk, witnessing it erupt explosively, then descending in the dark. A truly unforgettable experience.

What did you think of your group leader?

Danino spoke very good english, was very friendly & approachable & smoothed the way for us everywhere, even taking us on walks on his day off or time off. Nothing was too much trouble for him.

Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Sicily in June is HOT & you will be doing a lot of arduous hill walking in the sun & heat of the day, be very prepared for that. Proper walking boots, not shoes are essential, although I did see an Italian girl at the top of Vulcano in a mini-skirt & heels! Take flip-flops if you intend going in the sea or on the beaches - they are very stony. Take gaiters & a head torch for the descent from Stromboli - they are essential! Take warm clothes for Etna - there is snow & ice up there even in June & the weather can change from minute to minute. Some of the walking is on steep-sided volcanoes covered with loose ash & I was acutely aware that on occasion there was nothing to stop you slipping & falling a very long way on sometimes razor-sharp volcanic stones & ash. There again, for me, that added to the experience.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

It was an excellent, well planned & executed trip. the walks & distances involved cleverly build up through the week from start to finish to allow acclimisation. The highlight of the trip for me was staying on Stromboli & ascending ABOVE the active volcano at dusk. Witnessing the volcano erupt lava 500-1000 foot into the air was an awe-inspiring sight. Stromboli itself had a charming little car-free port/town, we stayed in a lovely simple little B&B & I would have preferred two nights there as a chill-out time instead of our staying quite so many nights on Lipari. Although I looked forward to going up Etna on the last full day I found it a bit disappointing after having walked on two other active but smaller volcanoes earlier in the week - Etna is simply enormous, far too big to take in & you do not get near the summit.