I went to Ga,s and from there we travelled down in the Ranger to Ian's (Sunday 23rd September.)
On our arrival we were warmly met by the whole Collins family and Sunday dinner was served how hospitable.
Off we set and a horrible journey, winds, rain and heavy traffic.
We arrived at the Gatwick travel lodge and had a few scoops and their finest 1/2 chicken and rubbery chips.
A reasonable nights sleep, as much as you can with Ga,s snoring!
A full cooked breakfast, well it was going to be a long day and 10 mins later at the airport and awaiting the guy to collect Ga,s car.
He had a form where you indicate any marks or damage, we laughed it would have been quicker to mark where was not damaged.
Checked in and also the paddle bag which had Ian, Ga and my paddles in £16 booked in advance a bargain.
Hung around and Easy Jet offed to Catania, with views of Etna on our arrival.
Now the next part was the mini bus to Milllazzo and the Hydrofoil trip to Volcano Island.
Ian was aware that we might miss the last sailing and we had a bit of a plan to B&B in such circumstances.
Ahh the driver had a plan and on numerous occasions rang ahead to find the times of such ferry,s.
The roads leading to my death sorry the port were a raised dual carriageway along the coast with many bends and tunnels.
In fairness this did not distract our driver from an average speed of 100 mph and generally allowing a 2 inch stopping distance from anything ahead and of course engaging the shield device which operates by the horn.
I considered my life and on many occasions asked for forgiveness and prayed to who ever was looking down at us for some protection.
We arrived at the port and the drivers plan had worked we boarded with 3 mins to spare.
|We were met at the Port by Eugenio a great guy very enthusiastic and the owner of Sicilyinkayak.com|
|After getting our rooms sorted in company with Eugenio we were driven to a local restaurant. Great beers, salads, local fish and generally top food and reasonable prices scrummy|
|Around this point is a very strong smell of eggs, its the gases and pool from the Volcano|
|The reception to the accommodation, I,ll cover such later|
|Monday and Tuesday we stayed at the accommodation many thanks to the Collins gang and to Ga for his culinary skills and of course some local beers and wines.....hic!|
|The main bus, can you hear it Chitty chitty bang bang!|
We arrived at night and we were warned about the mosquitoes and advised to wear long trousers and sleeved tops, ha! it would have been more appropriate to have mentioned a full kevlar suit, these bastards were fierce and even bit through clothe, a nightmare. The following morning we went down and sorted our kit out and decided to head out along the East of the Island due to the winds.
|Highly recommend this place.|
|Our boats some initial tipiness and not much improvement laden, you get use to your own boat, no skeg and they stayed where they were, no fear of any surfing!|
|Introductions over off we set for some supplies|
|Shopping time, bread, cheese, water more water, it was hot 30+|
|Some fantastic rock formations throughout the week|
|Who,s that up there then?|
|Not the best photo but the light was amazing|
|Etna in the distance and PSE 7|
|Now would you try and pick a paw paw, yes Ga did and suffered|
Back to our accommodation and some great home cooking from Ga and again some local wines and beers.
Second day planned and a relatively short one for mileage and off to our second Island of Lipari.
More shopping and after the distribution of stores we made our way.
slightly choppy seas but so warm and so blue fantastic.
|Ian your PFD matches the brollies|
|Island 2 ahead Lipari and a short crossing although lumpy|
|Approached Lapari and its fantastic coast line|
|We arrived mid afternoon and chilled out cover was essential|
|Fancy that a bar|
|Well it would be rude not to use the kitty and have a beer|
|Camp site number 1|
We had to wait for the sun bathers to leave in order to set up camp, food again by Ga and loads of it as well together with a cheeky wine.First camp fire as well does it get better? Off to bed to the sound of the waves crashing in fantastic night.
Up for about 9 well we are on holiday.
|Early morning views|
|and another one good morning folks|
|Off we set the plan was for Island number 3 Salina|
|Some rock hopping but the conditions picked up a bit|
|Ga,s head the swell and wind had picked up|
|Island 3 in the distance with a mist ring visible|
|Decision time do we go for island number 3?|
|The seas became oily and off we set|
|A lovely Port|
|Off for some shopping|
|We,d just come from there|
|A well deserved beer|
|A difficult one to find very rocky and we wanted to be out of the public view Ian had been on these Islands before and moved on by the Police|
|Tent with a view|
Another great night clear skies and a camp fire with some more local wines.
|We awoke to the sunshine and it was with us all day it was difficult to find any shade|
|I will remember this place for its clear seas|
|Lunch at Rinella|
|Well we are in Italy and its known for ice cream!|
|Is it a stone......its Pumice|
|Signs of Pumice quarries|
|Sad abandoned Pumice works|
|We struggled to find a site for wild camping Spring tides also influenced us|
|We ended up in a camp site at Canneto great showers and campers packing up at 6 am noisy bastards|
After a restaurant meal and some coffee and grappas the following day we planned to return to Volcano. I chatted to Ga and we decided that we would like to bag Volcano its not like we will be back again. Ian was not a 100 % and Paul had picked up a bad rash so we decided to split up after the crossing.
We paddled out and into the bay at Rada Di Lapari, lots of ferries and some consideration to the Port traffic and fairly choppy seas.
It calmed down as we approached Volcano and Ga and I continued to go around the Island.
|Walking on the beaches la la la|
|Off we set and some extremes that day|
|The rooms were 30 e per person and it was done through Eugenio there about a mile from town|
|The gang from L/R Paul, Me, Ga and Ian|
The following day we had a lift from reception 14 e for the Hydrofoil, 2 coaches back one at 4 and the other under 9 e a great holiday and highly recommended.
|A fine beer|