Mount Etna, Sicily 2013
This year’s winter was really long, March in the Ore Mountains was dreary and snowy and even winter lovers started to be sick of that white cold thing falling from the sky and covering every inch of the land. The biking trip to Etna got us out of this hell. As usual, the core of the Simpleride crew was Gaspi. Another member of the team was Mila Stafek, crème de la crème in the world of photography and last but not least…yours truly. I was behind the camera.
It is worth mentioning that we travelled in comfort thanks to a “fuel-efficient” van and we paid dearly for that. Fuel consumption was enormous, 800 litres (211 gallons) of LPG. We paid a toll in the Czech Republic. Then we continued to Germany, where motorways are toll-free. Thank God! However we dug into our pockets over and over again during the journey – a toll in Austria, Brenner, Italy and ferry tickets to Sicily.
After 25 hours we arrived at a small village, Zafferana Etna. We were supposed to meet Giuseppe, a guy who had arranged accommodation for us. He was really cool and we took advantage of his organizational skills and connections. We wondered if there was a link between these connections and his hometown Palermo. We looked forward to upcoming 10 days, biking, taking photos, filming. Moreover, we were awaiting a group of four bikers from the Czech Republic. Those guys were also longing to catch some rays and lazing around. Local bikers showed us around trails and we were told where the best trails are situated, which saved our time and eliminated the possibility of getting lost. The trails were covered in loads of gravel and ash and we spent the whole day riding up and down the hill. People who live near to Mount Etna experience ash, slag and dirt coming down like rain once a week. If you like drifting, dusty and skiddy trails, this is the best place to be.
Some guys went home after four days and the Simpleride crew started working. Cameras were alpha and omega of the following days in Sicily. We did our best to capture the most splendid scenery. The sea was in front of our eyes, snow-covered peak of the hill was within spitting distance, trails all around us and Etna – a volcano that expelled dark black ash clouds constantly. To cut a long story short, awesome!
The last day of our trip, the last sunrise…we got up and went biking at 5 am. We packed our bags and hit the road – a ferry ride, Italian motorways, Brenner, Austrian motorways, tolls, 800 litres of LPG, German motorways and we finally arrived in the Czech Republic. The Ore Mountains seemed even gloomier and cloudier than ten days ago. I love these Mountains…but where the hell is spring? We want it – we have it – biking!
All in all, it was the trip to remember – thank you guys!
– Gaspi, Mila