Mt Etna erupting with Catania behind in 2001 – courtesy of photographer Carsten Peter
What do you know about Sicily? Probably more than we do.
The furthest south we have ever been in Italy is the Amalfi Coast just south of Naples. But not this trip because this trip we are spending a week in Sicily – the island known for Mt Etna and the Cosa Nostra.
We fly into Catania which lies in the shadow of Mt Etna (which is still classified as an active volcano). From there we drive south for 2 hours to Noto where a villa and our friends Gill, Andre, Josh and Jordan are waiting.
We have a week to discover our corner of Sicily. What should we do? Where should we go? Make us an offer we can’t refuse.
Last weekend the family travelled to Nelson for a family birthday. Bella had her first flight while Poppie clocked up a few more miles for her frequent flyer account.
Moving the four of us is a military operation involving 2 suitcases, 2 dog cages, 2 cabin bags and, of course, us.
As always Nelson was warm and sunny – most of the time – and inviting. The birthday boy was turning 3 so Saturday was spent in the company of other 3 year olds of all ages. Vast amounts of sugar were consumed in a short space of time with the resulting laughter, tears, fun and chaos of a kids party.
By the end of the day the house resembled a toy shop with a strong “Cars” influence.
We arrived back home Monday afternoon with two tired dogs who immediately fell asleep on the bed. The humans weren’t far behind them.
Our little puppy who used to fit in the palm of our hands is now a gangly 18 week old teenager with a mind of her own.
We’ve had a dog trainer come in and help us to wrangle her into line. She’s much better behaved but still has those moments of total abandon when she laps the couch repeatedly at full speed with no regard for anything in her way – whether it be me or Poppie or any piece of furniture that she runs into as her turning circle increases.
In the last couple of weeks she has worked out how to jump up on our bed and Poppie’s last haven of peace and quiet is now gone. But Bella seems to know that the bed is not a place to misbehave and it’s not unusual to find them both side by side, surrounded by their toys, sound asleep.
Making use of a Beatles song title seemed the most appropriate way to herald the arrival of the good weather at Pohara – and hopefully the start of a long hot summer break.
I got the chance to head out around the coast yesterday with a camera and accompanied by my photographic assistant to take a few shots. Although we’ve been to Pohara a couple of times in the past, this is the first time I’ve really had the chance to discover the coast. It really is worth seeing.
As I write this the rest of the team are at the beach swimming, jet skiing, building sand castles and soaking up the sun. Just like when we were kids – except for the jet skiing bit of course.
The umbrella drys under blue sky
The coast to the east of Pohara
An unusual land mark
The photographers assistant at work
Pohara Beach stretches into the distance
Daisies cling to a cliff face
A man clings to a cliff face …
No, it’s actually a climber
The wind drives waves to the shore
The coast looking towards Abel Tasman National Park
The view from our place to the sea – missing the sea because of the mist and rain
After weeks of glorious weather the day we arrive in Pohara the rain started. Well in truth, the rain started in Nelson and followed us over the Takaka Hill. The hill is a challenging drive in fine weather but with a mix of rain and mist it becomes doubly exciting – particularly as the traffic includes numerous camper vans and cars towing boats. It’s only the raw power of the mighty Falcon ute that means we can keep up a decent pace.
We arrived at “our place” for the next few days with light rain falling. Somewhere in the recesses of my brain I recall that, according to Maori mythology, rain is seen as tears of the gods which is good luck.
Hopefully good luck that brings fewer tears and more sun over the next few days.