Day 013 Italy : Volcano Solfatara, Pozzuoli

Day 013 Italy

Trip Distance 290 km (180 m) Total Distance 2656 km (1651 m)
Diesel Costs €1.07 - €1.11    
Stopover
Pozzuoli
Camping International Volcano Solfatara N40.82851 E14.13655 €20.20 incl electricity - very basic (no loo seats, no paper, dirty showers) Not recommended

 

Did you know that volcanoes hum?  I don't mean a ditty little tune... they absolutely stink!  Eeeuuuwww.  So, in one stroke we added an item to our bucket list and crossed it off.  Last night we slept in a volcano.  Now, according to the blurb this volcano is inactive.  But I ask you, if there are live geysers spewing 160C steam and sulphur and hot bubbling mud, does that sound inactive to you?  Nosirree Bob, not a chance.  This baby is alive somewhere - deep underneath the earth's crust - but alive and kicking!  The campsite that we stayed at is in the caldera of the volcano as "evidently" the sulphurous fumes and hot bubbling mud have restorative qualities.  To my mind anything that smells that bad cannot be good for you!  But centuries of visitors obviously know better than I do, so they have the benefit of the doubt.  I'm with Dante who describes the sulphur mines in Solfatara as hell - that's a bit more like it!  I can't recommend sleeping next to sulphurous outpourings no matter how good they might be, they tend to invade everything, including your sense of smell and taste.  I can however recommend it for being the BEST appetite suppressant ever :o)

 

a_SG101454 a_SG101461 a_SG101462 a_SG101465 a_SG101466 
Bubbling hot mud
160degC!
Everwhere you walk the ground is hot, hot, hot Sulphurous outpourings Trevor really close to the action Proof that the sulphur is very hot (just in case you didn't believe us!)

 

To get away from the horrible smell, we decided to take a walk into town.  It being Sunday, didn't enter our heads as we are working on much simpler rules.  If it's light, it's daytime and if it's dark, it's nighttime.  Time, days, dates and months have become a little meaningless.  It's a wonderful feeling but it pays to keep track of what day it is, as you'll see.  So, to carry on with the story, we decided that as the town below the volcano was a port, it would surely have some fish restaurants. 

The second thing we did not take into account was the fact that we were on a volcano and that the port below us was, in terms as the crow flies, quite close.  In terms of altitude, we were in the nose bleed stands and the town on the pitch.  We began our walk.  40 minutes later after a 1:2 slope down (I hear you cry "what goes down must come up!!" - don't worry, I'm with you there!) and the most incredibly winding stairs, we reached..... not the port but the town NEXT to the port which on a Sunday is filled with locals hanging around... and not much else.  So not even a fish restaurant to replenish ourselves with.  And remember, its Sunday, so no buses..... yes, that's right we had to walk back up. 1 hour later we reached the campsite again, legs trembling, heart pounding, only to be met by sulphurous fumes and, BANG, went our appetite.  This was proving to be a most fruitful lesson in abstinence and completely voluntarily!!