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01/02/13 - Tenacious
Another glorious day on the mooring, but we were warned to take plenty of warm clothes up the Mountain and suitable footwear to walk in snow or on the lava. Twenty-six of us piled in to the mini-coach and we set off!The journey took us through small villages and rural areas with olive trees, cacti and palm trees strewn across our path. The houses and cottages were colour-washed mustard yellow and a dull terracotta, obviously quite worn by the weather. After about an hour of swinging round acute bends in a zig-zag fashion, in order to ascend the mountain, we eventually arrived at the top. Unfortunately, the cable car to the summit was closed due to high winds, so we had from 10.00 hours till 15.30 hours to do what we wished. Most people had taken a packed lunch with a large un-cut sandwich, chocolate, crisps and fruit. It was funny to see the crisp packets as they had 'ballooned’ with the change of air-pressure. The driver remained with the coach – which was left open for access and drinks, and soon our group of 26 had peeled off into several disparate groups: The young cadets decided to hire sledges and try their luck on the lower snow slopes. Others went on a trek to the various craters which were well-signposted, while others went into the hotel for a drink and a meal.
The sky was a lovely azure blue, the sun was pleasantly warm and the views from the mountain to the lower hinterland were simply breath-taking! I just decided to stand and stare for a while. Then, it was time to go round the shops and see what things I might buy to take home to the family. I then had two wonderful coffees in the lower café/bar in a nice warm window of the restaurant and surveyed the scene. I decided to visit the Hotel and see the video of Mt. Etna and join some of our group for a drink.
What a perfect day! Time for home and the opportunity to explore local restaurants in the evening. Thanks to the Crew for organising this trip for us.