May 16th

A long day from early morning until late at night, we met up with Caroline, an Australian who is visiting here. Her dad was born here in Lipari and so she is reconnecting with her past. We take a boat to Vulcano and back and enjoy a few hours soaking in the mud and swimming in the ocean where there are pockets of hot water rising from the ocean floor.

Next we take a boat to the island of Panarea and explore that island for a couple of hours. Lastly, we head over to Stromboli, a volcano that is constantly active and growing and spewing lava into the air. It is amazing to me, but people live there on this active volcano. We have been watching this island from afar for some time now, and you can see the volcanic explosions pushing steam into the air and there is almost a constant volcanic cloud hanging over the exposed and active crater.

We head into town and have a wonderful fresh fish dinner overlooking the bay with all the sailboats and the small outcropping of rock in the distance with a lighthouse at the very top that is apparently where Stromboli first surfaced. Laughter, good food, good company and stunning views. What more can one ask for?

As the sun sets, the boat picks us up and we head first to the outcropping of rock with the lighthouse, which is just stunning to see up close, and then around the island to where the lava explodes into the sky and runs down the sides all the way to the sea. This “River of Fire” is pretty constant, and the side of the island is black from top to bottom.

We sit there in the dark and watch as Stromboli explodes several times sending red lava high into the air. We can also see lightning and hear thunder start at the other end of the island.

Making our way back to Lipari in the dark of night watching an incredible lightning storm from the safety of the bow with the wind in our faces, I am content and enthralled. It is a long ride back. The night is beautiful. Back on our boat, tired and euphoric from the experiences today, the storm catches up with us and lighting flashes, thunder roars and the rain comes down as I am gently rocked to sleep.

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Water bubbles up in the ocean at Vulcano
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Caroline does a selfie at Vulcano
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Waiting for the boat in Lipari
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Leaving Lipari
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Crater at Vulcano
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Caves in cove on Panarea
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A new island and volcano starting?
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The first island started by Stromboli
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Stromboli explodes lava
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