Vulcano, Panarea and Stromboli
18 Apr 2006
|Greetings again dedicated followers !!
I just have to say THANK YOU again to everyone who has emailed me - believe me when you are in a foreign country on your own you just hang out for news from home, and everyone is being totally wonderful, even the details of small things are really nice to read about, so get typing, and I will try and return the favour with more tales from Italia.
Well, firstly, I have to say that I am writing this from the Amalfi Coast as have found a net point and the time tonight here. Secondly, some bad news, DUH me has somehow lost my usb cable for my camera. Dont even ask, because I really donT know how, but anyway 5thats life. I have a 512 and a 1 g mem card and once they are full...well. Anyway, am hoping that the fabulous Arnie can work some gadget magic and find me a replacement cable for when he arrives in Rome in less than 2 weels and then the photos will continue.
Was booked to go out on the afternoon/evening trip to see Panarea and Stromboli (which is actively erupting) but the sea was really rough so I decided to go the next day, and went to Vulcano island instead. Turned out to be an excellent choice - the boat did not even make Panarea as it was SO rough and lots of people were sick. Instead, I met a nice guy called Erik in the bar and I spent a lovely afternoon being shown around Vulcano. We bathed our feet in the famous smelly mud pool which actually was not that warm, in fact about 2 degrees off cold, but that did not stop several other smelly mud starved Europeans from flopping around in it. Maybe they did not read the bit in Lonely Planet that it is slightly radioactive...
Anyway, Erik and I cruised around Vulcano, went to the black sand beach which was deserted and rough as facing the wind. It was really nice to get away from tourists, even though the season hasnt even started yet. I dread to think how insane the place must be in summer !!! We took coffee (te con latte for me) and walked up the start of the old abandoned track up Vulcano cone for a beatiful view across to Lipari late in the day, then caught the feryy back to Lipari and had a lovely dinner in town with excellent local wine.
Next day the trip to Stromboli was on, sea much flatter, and the most perfect beautiful day Yaahhooo !!! Still drug myself up every time I have to go on a ferry tho, being such a bad traveller I know the ropes from way back on that front. It was a really nice trip, late lunch on Panarea, still asleep for the off season but heaps of little whitewashed villas with blue doors (apparently they keep the mozzies away...). Very pleasant and peaceful with spring gardens and of course - HEAPS of lemons on the trees everywhere. Dropped off the guys walkijng to the summit of Stromboli, and then went arounf the island on the boat and looked at the Sciara del fuoro - scar of fire, a big lava flow slowly working its way down to the sea. Pretty good stuff for us geologists (even one who is used to active NZ). Then put ashore for 4 hours to walk around the town and have some dinner before the evening viewing of Stromboli from the sea. It had calmed down even more by the time we went out, and the full moon was rising over the Tyrrheanean Sea - can you imaging how incredible this was ??? The lights of Stromboli town twinkilg, the cone of Stroboli right there, and every 5 mins or so, a fire fountaining eruption to ooohs and ahhs from all on the boat. Apparently it is quite active at the moment. Totally sated I spent the rest of the trip back to Lipari still up on the top deck and totally froze but many smokers in the cabin and I havbe also learned to stay up top !! WAS extremely frozen when I got back at 11pm but had a great day out. Leaving for the mainland and Amalfi Coast on 7am hydrofoil tomorrow, am sorry to be leaving as it is a charming and sleepy place full of local character (in April anyway).