Sunday, October 9, 2016

Conquering Mt Etna

We headed out this morning fairly early - our mission - Mt Etna. Whlie waiting for the shuttle to the car Anne pointed out some temple ruins right next to us dating to about 200 BC.

Laughed at the sign put up.. You have to wonder why it was necessary to put the sign up in the first place!

And then to Mt Etna.

We grabbedsome breakfast then walked to the cable car building. I have a chest infection and asthma, and I sruggled to get up to the building from the incline and stairs. I wondered how I was going to climb.

The cable car gave us brilliant views of the area and climbed 1900 metres.

At the top there were some jackets for sale - soft shell for a really good price. We all purchased one. Then we started walking. I struggled to get up the first hill - let alone 5km uphill. The air was very thin as well. I realised my limitations and said goodbye to Anne and Camille and headed back to the shop/cafe to wait for them.

Then I thought - I haven't come all this way to NOT get to the top. So I forked out another 33 Euros for the bus trip tot he crater and the guided walk up the craters (still very steep). I'm gad I did as the views were amazing.

tTo give you an idea of how far I still had to walk - see those people that look like ants on top of the crater - I had to walk there too! At one stage I really struggled - the wind was blowing, it was very steep, so I swallowed my pride and asked for help. Friendly arms were given and I was able to do it. Very thankful for understanding people and an understanding guide. The air was so thin at one stage I got very dizzy. Thought it was just me - but both Anne and Camille also experienced the same.

The last time this crater erupted was in 2011 and went for 3 months. You can still see the shaft hole in this photo!

I felt like I was on a moonscape.

Small vents with steam coming through them, which you had to step over carefully.

Up high, I could see the winding path the bus had taken, and more busses were on their way up far below..

To give perspective the buildings below is where the bus dropped me off.

And here's me at the top in my new jacket! I'll have to get some pink glasses!

I met Anne and Camille on the way back down, and they passed me their bags so I could take them down on the bus. I waited in the cafe for them, and they really didn't take long to arrive. Much easier going down! Anne told me that there was a sign at the cable car that those people with asthma should not go on the crater! Ha!

We then headed to the beach nearest to us - really pretty. There's a little island with a house on it in Gaudi style. I didn't go in with Anne and Camille - I headed into the water to have my last swim.

As this was our last day in Sicily.

We had a drink at the bar at the beach, then headed back up and went out to a fish dinner. The food was incredible - a fitting way to end our trip with fresh seafood.

Lastly - here's our map and piece of paper that we used to plan our trip around Sicily - that and googl4 maps. No doubt you'll have no problem recreating the trip!

Off to Poland now. From 27C to 11C. I'm going to freeze - glad I bought that jacket!

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