I finally got to wear shorts to kayak this year – although I needed to go to Italy for the privilege! Last week, Barry and I attended the San Vito Climbing Festival near the NW tip of Sicily. This is the 6th year of the festival and for the first year it also included sea kayaking and a few other outdoor sports.
I was showing the “Islands of Fire” film one evening at the best venue I’ve ever spoken at. The talks were given in the open air in the main square of San Vito besides an old church. People can sit and watch, or just stop to have a look as they wander through town.
We’ve been to Sicily twice before to the Vulcano symposium on the beautiful volcanic Aeolian islands. The NW corner of Sicily is equally impressive with incredible limestone cliffs, crystal-clear water, white sandy beaches & a few caves and arches. You can paddle along wild cliffs for a few miles, then land in a village for some fine food. Unexpectedly there were lots of people at the event who we’d already met & it was great to catch up with folks & get to know a few more people. It was good to meet Guido Grugnola who was talking & showing a film about his circumnavigation of Italy & Sicily by kayak. Giacomo Della Gatta was showing a film about his kayak trip down the Niger river. Tatiana was over frommainland Italy and teaching rolling most days. Vincenzo did a good job organising the daily sea kayaking trips. Our friends Francesco and Gianfranco drove over from Catania to see us & brought us kayaks and paddles to use. Big thanks to them. They also made us eat lots of fine food & helped make sure we had ice cream every day.
Thanks to Gianfranco & Guido for the jumping pics.There are lots more photos of the festival on Facebook (Italian sea kayakers seem to LOVE facebook!). Tatiana’s blog about the festival is here.