|At the port in Lipari a guy came up to me asking if I needed a room. "Yes", I said, but first I asked him to show me the way to the tourist office. He did, but it was closed so we went on to his hotel. It was really a house converted into a pensione. I got a big room with two small balconies that looked down on the street and out to the small piazza with the island of Vulcano in the distance. Rosario's place was called La Casa del Pescatore-House of the Fisherman.
There was just one main street in the town and I walked it to get my bearings. I bought some food for the hike to Vulcano I planned to take and checked in at a photo shop to get my film developed and put on Cd. The man in the shop couldn't do the Cd part, so we 'talked' a bit and I commented on the enlargements he had on the walls. He also had a framed shot of some waves crashing on the piazza that I had seen as a postcard. He said he had taken it and handed me the postcard version indicating it was free. I thanked him and asked for his autograph on the back. 'Nello' signed his name proudly and I left with a souvenir of Lipari.
Ondrej, (pronounced Andre) in the next room, was my age and a marathon runner. He said he had run some enormously long races across Europe but couldn't run in the US because he couldn't get a visa. He invited me out for a drink and we shared a bottle of wine and several small plates of snacks. He gave me his address in Slovakia, where he was from and said to visit when I could.
I stayed an extra day because Lipari was so nice and I was waiting for good weather for the hike on Vulcano. The volcano is still considered active and last erupted in 1890. Finally, I took the hydrofoil to the island and right away met two people from Spain who were also there for the hike. They invited me to go with them and the three of us and a village dog made the one hour hike. At the top we could smell the sulphurous gases but luckily the strong wind pushed it over the rim away from us. I got as close as I dared and once got a face-full of steam and gas. Oi! We ate the food we brought and returned to the port after a couple of hours. I said goodbye to Isabel and Nacho at the port and returned to Lipari. The next morning Andre had to wake Rosario so we could pay our bills and leave. Andre was going to another island and run some more and I went to by hydrofoil to Milazzo on Sicily on my way to Palermo.