SP 92 is a bendy road that leads you out from Nicolosi, passing by one, two lava stone quarries, handful of houses, couple of mountain hotels and restaurants. After 8-9km the road starts to cut through lava fields. Every now and then black, hard, sharp-edged walls more than 4m high squeeze the road from both sides. It takes few moments to understand that the road must have been "reclaimed" back from the nature and literally carved out from lava after relative recent eruptions of Etna. As the asphalt continues to climb, pines replace leaf trees. The grass disappears from the roadside, pushed away by abrasive black ashes. The vegetation gets noticeably scarce. Lava rocks remind more surface of the Moon than anything else. As the day gets warmer, patches of melting snow start feeding wide streams of ice cold water running down the road.
Every now and then am overtaken by solitaire road biker or occasional car. Around 10km mark I start meeting cars descending the mountain. Quite few of them pass-by with bigger or smaller snowmen built on the bonnet, some pieces-of-art covering 3/4 of the windscreen. Drivers and the passengers seem not to be bothered at all. They salute me cheerfully by pressing the horns, grinning widely.
Once alerted of 10km distance mark by my Garmin, and with most of 500ml Isostar bottle drank, it is time to turn back. Next time I make it full length - directly to Rifugio Sapienza.