Stromboli

I woke up at 6:00…open the door & looked out on a sea as calm as a lake…the sun already burning down…I’d had a rough night on a very narrow single bed…it felt I was in a dream…I went back to sleep…not having the motivation to get dressed & go take photos…

When I went out just after 8, the scene had changed…a breeze was ruffling the surface of the water & a fog was hanging over it…I had coffee (black) & walked to catch the train…all went smoothly…

I did hear that there was a chance of delays on Saturday, the G7 summit has caused complete chaos on the East Coast… I might need to change my plans & take the bus to Catania rather than the train…

I arrived in Messina, found the bus & all went smoothly…came to Milazzo…chaotic port where too many people take ferries…

I wandered around, it was 11 am & my ferry to Stromboli only at 2 pm….but it is difficult to wander with two bags & a suitcase on wheels…

The sound of the wheels on the cobbles and pavements drive me insane…

I found a likely restaurant, used to the strange ways of the English a speaking world & had lunch before 12…prosciutto crudo & melon, yellow spaghetti carbonara with lots of pancetta…coffee

The ferry was like a can of sardines…packed tightly…people left at Lipari…more got on…people left at Panarea…more got on…at Stromboli, a little Ape awaited…looks like a tuk-tuk, with the words, Hotel Miramare….I took a ride…loved it!

I went up the stairs to walk about town & confirmed my fears…if I could barely walk up several flights of stairs to town, I would certainly not make it up the mountain…

So, I read up again about climbing past the Osservatorio restaurant to the view point beyond…

& set off just after 6…

I walked at a fast pace…it took 40 sweaty, painful minutes to reached the restaurant…

Then, up & up & up & up…I just could not make it! At one point, there were people standing, a Dutch couple…& they told me that right from there I could see the lava flow…& so it was…I spent almost two hours there, waiting for the crater to spew fire…it did…20 minutes apart, 10 minutes, 5…

Each time, I was like an excited child, & lost another time piece of my heart…

By the time I reluctantly left, it was gone…my heart, forever lost to an uncaring, but fiery volcano…

I was cold, shivering from the sweaty T-shirt after the sun went down, I was stiff & sore from the climb…but I was singing, awed & captivated by God’s creation…(at the same time an unbelievably beautiful sunset on my right)

I stumbled home in the dark, my torch light & shoes inadequate for the downhill trek…

It

Was

So much harder than I thought it would be…

But it was so much more than I could ever have imagined…

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