Visiting Stromboli was a long-time goal for both Jo and for me, though for Jo much longer than myself! We spent an hour and a half walking around from the port on the far side of the island and finally found ourselves thinking, "just over the next ridge". When we did finally reach that last ridge, we found ourselves on a straight path made of rocks thrown up from previous eruptions, smoothed and laid flat to point our way onward.
All around, tall grasses and yellow flowers swayed gently in the breeze and as we drew nearer to the "Stream of Fire" we found ourselves, as on the rest of the walk, totally alone. As we turned and began walking upwards towards the crater and towards the viewing point on our map, a thunder-like rumble and a puff of black smoke: a small eruption, but little more than a couple of miles away. From here, we decided on balance to have a plan, just in case the remote chance that any larger material would be thrown up and put us in danger.