Gord: Another item ticked off the bucket list: climb an active volcano and watch it erupt at night. Last night we went up Stromboli as part of a small guided group (guides are required to go to the summit). It’s about a 3,000 foot climb which we did at a leisurely pace. We arrived at the three active craters at sunset and the fireworks began. During the one and a half hours that we spent on the top we saw perhaps 20 eruptions, a spectacle that even our guide was excited about. Each eruption throws a fountain of molten rock 30 to 50 meters in the air, with an accompanying roar like a jet engine. The molten rock cascades down the slope and continues to glow. Between eruptions the smoke of the craters is lit from underneath like a giant stage set for MacBeth. It was a quick and fun descent on a cinder slope lit by the full moon.

Ruth: Part way up it occurred to me that I am afraid of heights. The path was a good one, but the steep slope and drop offs were fuelling my much too active imagination. The views were probably spectacular, but I was focused on the footwear of the person ahead of me. The vertigo diminished when I took my progressive glasses off at the halfway point, and reminded myself that a six year old had made the climb the day before. Step step step, breathe, step step step, breathe. Remember Heather (my conjured lucky charm and guardian angel) is there believing that I can do it. Step Step step breathe. I tried to not imagine the necessary night decent as I climbed up trying to leave my fears behind.

At the top I was completely distracted by the amazing light show. It truly was outstanding. None of our pictures or videos come close to capturing the moment.

The descent, fortunately was in the dark so that I couldn’t see the sea between my feet, 800 meters below. I was so happy to realize that decent was on a different route and we quickly stepped through the soft steep ash back to safety. I made it Heather!

Follow Our Journey

Don't want to miss a post?

Sign-up below to receive notifications whenever we add a new post to our blog.