Sunday, October 27, 2013

Alarm Eruption

The early morning of 26th October 2013 a light earthquake woke up the town of Catania. It is the signal that a batch of magma has found its way up through the host rocks. A new eruption starts at the summit craters in Mt. Etna and an ash and gases column rises up for 10.000 meters in the clear sky of a no-wind-day.
 This end of October is absolutely not a normal autumn: sea water is near 23°C as well as the air temperature. In front of the village of Acitrezza many people enjoy the summer-like-day paddling, swimming, rowing, fishing, and laying as lizards under the warm sun. The sea gulls show already their winter plumage and probably were expecting a bit colder weather...
Me and a London inhabitant, climb up one of the stacks made by columnar basalts to have a view on the sea and the cloud generated from the eruption, less than 20 km far.
Common Sea Gull (Larus ridibundus) with the winter plumage.

 On the way back, in the afternoon, clouds cover the view of Etna volcano but we already had a wonderful day and a delicious fish soup in a restaurant overlooking the sea, just above the beach where we left the kayaks. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Bicylcing experience in South Sicily

Thanks to the cooperation with Sampieri Bay Cycling and Mediterraneo Bike we also organize bicycle tours and this is one of the hundreds excursions we can offer.

The day after a sea kayak excursion in Siracusa I join the bike trip under the guidance of Raffaele, with two very active ladies from Australia.

Our tour leads along the territory of Noto, in the midst of vineyards, olive, almond and citrus groves.
The passage next to ancient farms, which once the wine was produced, is a pleasant break that allows us to enjoy sometimes lemon, sometimes some grape, and sometime ripe dates fallen by towering palm trees.
The path is quite, secondary roads, and we cross very few cars and tractors. Equal amount of paved and unpaved roads, gentle slopes and a few stony grounds.

And at the end of our trip a gorgeous lunch is waiting for us under the porch of Claudio's place, with the Syracuse closed typical pizzas (scacce), olives, sheep cheese (pecorino) and honey from Mt. Etna, all irrigated with a lovely local wine (Nero d'Avola)!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Around a small Island

Almost the southernmost point of Sicily, southern than Tunis and Algeri, there is a village called Portopalo a fisherman village with a small island called Isola di Capo Passero.

This was the place I choice for a short paddling session with Ailien from Netherland. Owner of Travels with Paddles Ltd., she explored the local coastline with me and even on her own, looking for the most beautiful shores of Sicily.

Even if we paddled for only 5 km, we had a lot of fun thanks to the easterly winds on this exposed coast. We used two SKD kayaks, me on the very interesting Baidarka, a copy of the Aleutian traditional boats.