Saturday, August 2, 2008
Saturday, December 8, 2007
This is a picture of the NZ team Adventure Sport coming in to land on Day 2 of the race this morning:
Below: Chris enters the choppy waters in Catania...
Below: Chris's bike looking all shiny and clean before it was sold (note his beloved red tyre).
The following day it was raining as we ran (running very late) to the station, missed the train and had to wait 3 hours for another through the centre of Sicily out to Cefalu on the Northern Coast. We found a nice hotel and splashed out on our last Italian pizza. In the morning we swam on the pretty beach and wandered around the town of Cefalu with its large rock. In the afternoon we headed to Oliveri to camp.
Monday, November 26, 2007
We had been told there was an info centre there, but no such thing could we find, only the grumpy gondola man who could tell us nothing. So we headed up the rocky slope and reached the top of the gondola in about an hour and a half having climbed over some lava flows and up some steep screes. There seemed to be no track whatsoever. It was very misty and only a few people were around and no jeeps seemed to be running at all!
We continued up until we reached the top of hut where we were supposed to get guides, but there was noone there at all. We continued up through some snow folowing some old footprints. Then we came to a snow patch where many large boulders seemed to have landed - overtop of the footprints - without makingany trails int he snow in large craters as if they had landed form some height - a tad unnerved we continued up over hot ground covered in steam and sulfur. Suddenly the cloud cleared amd we could see the crater rim ahead of us. The whole landscape was reveiled and it was spectacular.
We could see miles down into the Catania below several layers of clouds like we were in an aeroplane it felt so high. Beside us was the Southwest crater billowing huge quantities of steam and below us we could see other craters spread out across the slopes. The crater we stood beside was billowing steam which was horribly smelly when it came our way so we didn't stay too long on the summit.
We ran down the shingly slopes admiring all we hadnot seen in the mist on the way up. We got down to the gondola and had a much needed refuel in the afternoon sun, thenm ran the final bit down to the bikes. It was a surreal cruise down the hairpins amongst huge lava flows with the sun setting and we 'whoopeeeed' as we went. Then Chris got 2 more flat tyres! (but luckily by now he was gettingsuper fast at fixing them!) With our flashing lights we entered Catania and negotiated the terrifying traffic to finally arrive safely back at the campspot at 6pm for a well deserved feed.
Later in the evening we spoke to the camp guy who said there had been an eruption of the southwest crater the night before which explained all the mysterious boulders in the snow!! Yikes!!
Since the Mt Etna Mission we have had two more days in Catania doing some more paddling in some interesting seas! (as shown in the photos and video below!). Tommorrow we are going on a train trip to the North Coast for our last few days in Sicily where we hope to visit the Volcano Islands! Today we are trying to sell our now shiny, clean bikes )0: On Dec 2 we fly out from Rome heading for Dubai! So ciao for now (0:
From there we headed up a steep clòimb that was supposed to lead us over a 500 m pass to Sapri. However Mr Chris I Am A Good Navigator took us up the wrong hill! So we had to go all the way back down, then round and up the correct 500m pass where there were more barking dogs. Then Chris had a massive tyre blow out on the way down and it was dark - things were looking grim! Luckily we managed to hitch a lift in one of the classic Italien 3 wheel trucks to the railway, got to a bike shop to fix the puncture and caught a train to Sapri. At Apri we cooked dinner on the platform, then caught the 2 hour train ride to Palmi where we knew there was a campground.At 11 pm at night Palmi is a very scray place with big barb fences, not a sole around and lots of big barking dogs. And low and behold the large unclimable gates of the campground was shut and noone answered the buzzer. After some panicking I spotted the large flashing neon HOTEL sign , so that is where we went! It was a 4 star hotel, but the nice man offered us a cheaper rate so it wasn't too expensive and we had a luxiourious sleep both vowing not to let that happen again!
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
We kayaked along the coast which almost entirely vertical sea cliff with little houses perched everywhere. It was great fun, we explored some caves and blowholes. After catching the train back to the campground we went out to dinner with 4 friendly Australians who were staying in the campground too.
So, victorious, we wandered up to the highest point of the Island for a beautiful view as it got dark and all the lights went on. Our German friends were most jealous when they saw our video and I think the pull of not swimming in the blue grotto may well lure them back to Capri (0: