Although it is difficult to summarise the holiday in a few short words, it was without a doubt amongst the best trips I have made. There is an extraordinary ‘permanent impermanence’ about Sicily, characterised in part by its volcanic nature, and the general feeling of being in a time warp.
Matt, our party leader, was a fount of knowledge and his enthusiasm for the walks made him an engaging companion. The Hotel management and staff were welcoming and helpful, the food was superb – even second helpings for those with bottomless stomachs!
It’s hard to point to any one day as particularly outstanding as each had a different character, and each its special moments. We were blessed with fine weather on all but the last day, even then walking the ridge between Malvagna and Rocella Valdemone with one’s head popping in and out of the cloud-base was quite an experience.
Etna was certainly a highlight – Good weather, and spectacular views. The walk to Taormina from above Gaggi, up and over Monte Venere, probably gave the best views of the week – although the shock of meeting ‘civilisation’ in Taormina was something else.
The late summer and the recent rain had brought out a profusion of flowers on the mountains.
The sight of spring and autumn crocus and the fantastic wild lilies will remain with me for a long time.
In closing, I’ll certainly be back again, probably for the C grade walks, and certainly for the Spring flowers. My thanks for your efficient organisation of everything, and in particular to Matt for his patience and skill.