Lucky Escape

Frank does his routine water and oil check on Emma before we head back down 2000 mtrs towards the sea. Curiously, Emma is completely out of water. Was the steep ascent out of her league too? We fill up with water, top up the oil and get going. We pass through Zafferana where we stop off to visit the local administration one more time, to lean on everyone we can get hold of to proceed with the cleaning of the dry torrent near Passopomo. We get yet more stories as to why nothing’s happened so far, bar closing the bridge, and we do not divulge that we are leaving, instead we make them believe that we will be back to check on them.

We roll on down the hill. In Santa Venerina, we happen to pass by the amazing Riccotta shop, so we stop off there too and get some baked Ricotta as well as a leg of lamb.


When we get back to Emma, we see a tell-tale little rivulet emerging from under the van, running down the side of the road. Uh-oh, do we have a leak in the radiator?

As it happens when you travel, there is a garage just 50 mtrs down the road, and although they only work with cars, a friendly mechanic goes and rings the door bell of the house we are parked in front of, which turns out to be that of a lorry mechanic. They don’t have time to fit us in but recommend someone else 5km down the road. We load up with more water and roll on down the hill.

Emma at the ‘dentist’ – open wiiiide…


uh -ooohhh…





Luckily, Frank had plans to make marmalade and I needed to do a lot of writing, because we are marooned for the next 24 hours while our radiator is taken out and replaced with a new one. We leave 600 Euros lighter but so glad it happened exactly when it happened and didn’t cause more damage. We could have been stuck on the top of Etna with a blown gasket or worse, a seized engine.



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