I totally climbed a mountain! Well, actually an active volcano! Check me out being a daredevil!
Ok, so it wasn’t a full on rock climbing expedition with ropes and crampons (whatever they are) and tents and base camps etc but it was still hard bloody work!
During my Italian adventure, we decided to exploit Naples’ surrounding areas attractions (and avoid spending too much time in the city) by climbing Mt Vesuvius. As it is called MOUNT Vesuvius, it counts as having climbed a mountain I’ve decided.
The mountain climb was part of our tour around Pompeii. The morning was spent at Pompeii and the afternoon was climbing the mountain with a pizza lunch in between. It was one of my favourite days of the trip! Loved it!
Whilst eating lunch, we befriended an American couple who were really friendly and both ridiculously good looking and they were really good at spurring me on. I wish I’d taken a photo of them now! I’m definitely not the fittest of people and generally avoid exercise wherever possible so hiking up this massive rock was a huge challenge for me.
First of all, the drive up the mountain is an experience in itself, all winding roads and buses having to take each corner VERY slowly! But the views are AMAZING! Obviously, these improve further and further up the mountain. One thing that I noticed was that people actually live on Mt V (as I’m now going to refer to it!). I kept thinking ‘what happens if it erupts?’ but apparently some clever scientist people have sensors that monitor it so they know about a month in advance if its going to erupt. That calmed my nerves slightly about climbing an active volcano!
We finally reached the car park which is quite near the top. The walk to the crater is about 1.4km but it feels soooo much longer. As we embarked on our epic trek, I glanced up and saw the path was zig zagged across several times. Obviously this is to provide the quickest and easiest route but it was a bit disheartening as it meant I was counting the zig zags! Also, the path is gravel so it was a bit like 1 step forwards, 2 steps back. Sensible footwear is definitely required! I saw some girls attempting the walk in flip flops! Seriously! It made me feel proud of my choice of cheap Converse esque pumps!
I’m not going to lie, the walk was hard work for me but I was expecting that! I needed to stop every few feet! But the amazing view made it ok. The view just got more and more amazing and I love a good view!
Once we reached the top, the path flattened out. The crater was pretty impressive although I was slightly concerned that I could see smoke! The sense of personal achievement was awesome. Yes it was only 1.4km walk, which is easy, but it was at a 45 degree incline on a slippy gravel path!
Just look at the view though. We could see all over Naples, Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast. Truly impressive!
I was very greatful for the souvenir shop at the top selling ice cold drinks! Definitely needed!
Once we’d enjoyed the view, and appreciated how much cooler it is at the top, we walked back down. The walk down was a piece of piss! Seriously, I was down in about 5 minutes! No messing! As we passed people just starting the walk, I was secretly relieved that I’d been there, done it and was now on the easy leg!
I love to get souvenirs so whilst we were walking down, I picked up a piece of rock from Mt V. Free and a genuine souvenir! Perfect! In my defence, our tour guide recommended that we take a small piece of rock with us! It now has pride of place on my fireplace next to my Irish Wishing Stone!
Have you been to Mt Vesuvius?