c r a t e r i

[ 19:33 friday 8 september – stromboli ]

i’m on top of the volcano with irena, angelo and their two dogs niki and tano. we got here half an hour ago after a brisk ascent. the sun melted into the sea ten minutes ago but it’s still just about possible to see the islands of salina, filicudi and alicudi stretching away to the horizon.

we’re perched on the edge of the escarpment where it falls away to the craters below. the volcano’s more active than i’ve ever seen it. the westernmost crater has built up a lava cone with a constant glow of magma inside. every ten minutes or so there’s a blast of gas followed by a deafening roar as a jet of magma shoots vertically upward. thirty seconds later we’re dusted by a shower of fine grit falling from the sky. a second crater ejects a more typical fan-shaped eruption every twenty minutes and a third wide-mouthed crater makes a deep explosive boom, scattering lava in all diirections.

i don’t stand a chance of describing what it’s like to be here so i’d better shut up.

: c :

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