Driving east.

Today we drived east. And yes, this time we saw it, Lagoa de Fogo, a lake in a deep crater. 22 years ago it was very cloudy but this time the sky was high! From there the road went in serpentines down to the north coast. We had noticed that nowadays the farmers bring the milk back, when milking the cows in the field, on their pick-ups. But suddenly we saw a farmer on horse like we did 22 years ago!


In Furnas we looked at the hot wells and felt the smell of sulphur from the vapors. We walked through the Terra Nostra garden but probably it is nicer in spring when the large camellia collection flowers. Of course we went swimming in the thermal bath to stay young and with a good health. The water is not so nice colored but is has a very nice warm temperature. A slight smell of rotting eggs was left around us afterwards.


It had become late when we drove back to Ponta Delgada but we wanted to show where the juicy and sweet pineapples are grown. Narrow roads led to Faja da Baixa but we only saw high walls of stone, maybe part of a glasshouse could be seen. Suddenly, almost when giving up and turning the car, a door opened and lady came out and asked us if we wanted to see her pineapple farm – yes we wanted to see! Marta’s family have grown ananas over 100 years, and she showed us young  plants and growing fruits in her greenhouses. It takes up to 2,5 years to grow an ananas. Marta’s speciality is biologically grown fruits and it was very kind of her to show us around and answer all our questions! Of course we bought some ananas to bring home.


There is no ananas like the Azorean ananas.


Tomorrow  we go back home again.


Car hiking

To give rest to our hurting legs we decided to rent a car. After whale watching we went to Sete Cidades, the twin lakes and further on to go swimming in Mosteiros, the most western village of São Miguel. There are many mirandouros along the road where we had to stop.


We mad one scary mistake. There were two signs showing to mirandouro and fishing harbor so we followed them. Right behind a curve the road became very narrow and steep, hanging on the side of a cliff. No chance to turn. Half way down we meet another car, Calle had to go backwards until road could let two cars. Safe down it was the most cutest little harbor. But – could our small car take us back to the main road?


Whale Watching

The Azores are strongly connected with whaling. We have seen several old whale factories and boats around the islands. Since 1986 there is a treaty against whaling and there is no hunting any more here. Well, now the whales are hunted by the tourists ready with their cameras! We decided to do some whale watching but not with the small rubber boats we have seen before but a bigger catamaran. Money back if no cetaceans seen.


First we saw a small group of short-beaked common dolphins playing around in the waves. Then the boat headed far out and in the horizon we could see a whale diving and when doing it they stay away for 45 min. Suddenly another whale was very close to our boat, we could see it blow and the back of it. A little later we saw another one, a sperm whale, and we saw that until it dived and that is when the tail is going up. A large group of dolphins came and played around our boat. Amazing.


On the way back Elin also caught a flying fish with her camera.


Not too much activity

Today we prefer the flat ground. Today’s task was to go back to São Miguel from Pico. First the boat over to Horta and then a 40 min flight to Ponta Delgada, flying close to the summit of Pico right after start. Back here we didn’t know what to do so we have prepared for the next days. Read more about our activities tomorrow.


Pico Mountain

We made it! We reached the summit about 1000 m from mountain station where nowadays you have to register before ascending.  We got and gps and rules of conduct. Then we started to climb. Elin jumped up the mountain while we oldies had to take a pause every now and then. Mountain must have grown in 22 years? A big difference was also the amount of people climbing and there were no garbage along the path!


We made it to the summit on Pico piquinho, the extra volcano cone that rises 70 m over the large crater! It took us about 3 hours to get there. 2351 m high.  Wow. We could see Sao Jorge and Graciosa but Pico and Faial were covered by clouds.


Descending was worse. Feet and muscles did hurt and you needed full concentration for every step. Lava can really form many structures and the grit could roll away under the shoes.  On the lava the grip was good. The slope was almost 45 degrees or even more partly.  Now we don’t want to see any more lava thanks.


When reaching the station again our taxidriver was already waiting for us! Tonight we are tired and we don’t know how to go to the restaurant.



A day with mild azorean rain

A mild azorean rain started the day. But it never stays long and when it had stopped we went to Madalena for memories. Madalena has changed,it is not the little calm village anymore. There are lot of tourist activities offered  – whale watching, scuba diving and mountain climbing. After lunch we made the memory walk up to Pico hotel which still was there, but rebuilt, closed and empty. But we also found our tree in the curve up the hill. It was not that alone anymore, more houses were around.


Back in São Roque we made some shopping for tomorrow. In the evening we walked to our favorite but far distance Restaurant  Avenida again. On the way Elin made some coastal photos and Pia took a swim in a new pool close to the restaurant. Then the lulas griljadas were delicious.


Over to Pico

Mountain Pico has been watching us since we arrived to Faial. Friday morning we took the boat over to Pico island. Here we stay on the north coast in São Roque do Pico, watching over to the long island São Jorge. This is a small village where we have to walk a lot to get to the restaurants or swimming pools. Especially the best restaurants are far away so go dining will make us fit.


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Casa da Japoneira

On Faial we stayed at a small private B&B in Feteira.  It had a very nice green garden with high hedges of Camellia japonica, never seen hedges made from camellia before. The Camellias have given the name to the house and it is run by the very hospital couple Maria and José.  It was very nice to have breakfast outdoors every day and the last day we got fruitsalad and youghurt!


We took a taxi up to the caldeira, the large volcano crater on Faial. It is about 2 km in diameter and the trail is in some parts running along the edge which is not wider than one meter. On both sides it is steep, about 300 m down to the bottom of the caldeira and about 1000 m down to the ocean on the other side but not as steep all the way down… We had a great view over Faial and also over to Pico and Sao Jorge islands. All the Hortensias are very intense in their blue color up here in the humid air. And there are plenty of them!


Walking is good for the appetite. We decided to take the local restaurant here in Feteria tonight and had delicious clams and the favorite fish - swordfish.


Another day in Faial.

We are now in Faial. Calle needed some care for his feet so in the morning we went to Horta. We had coffee and a chat with the sailors we met yesterday evening and made some shopping for today’s picnic. We took a taxi to Capelhinos, the volcano that had an eruption in the late 50’th. There we climbed the lava fields and had a look at the old lighthouse. It was hot and dusty but we continued along the coast to Varadouro. There we found a restaurant and after the very long walk we had a gorgeous dinner with a view over the ocean. As the sky was clear we went up to see the caldeira in the sunset so if there are clouds again tomorrow we have seen it. From there we also had a good view over Pico.


My shoes (the one with pink and white socks) used to be black before we went up to the old vulcano. //Elin

Some pictures from Faial Island

Inside my photobag!

- Nikon D5000
-Canon A650 Powershot IS

-Nikon AF-S DX 18-105/3,5-5,6 G ED VR (Superzoom) +UV
-Nikon AF-S 70-300/4,5-5,6 VR G IF-ED (Telezoom) + UV
-Nikon AF-S 50/1,8 G (Normal) +UV

-(Betweenring?) for macro 12mm, 24mm och 36mm

-ND8 filter
-62mm UV-filter
-Reversesring, to set the lens the other way around for macro effect
-Stepupring 58mm - 67mm
-Some lensprotection stuff
-3 Fiber cloth
-Remotecontrol with autofocus

-16 GB memorycard
-4 GB memorycard
-2 Batteries


A very blustery day.

We started the day with a town walk to do some shopping and see how the wind and clouds evolved. We decided it was enough good for the western trail from Ponta Delgada to Fajã Grande.  Taxis are not common but we could catch one at the station. The old lady didn’t understand English but she could find out where we wanted to go and drew us safely up and down serpentine roads to the trail south Ponta Delgada. A few raindrops came but we decided we should go. After a few km we had a feeling we could be on Gotland’s west coast but instead of junipers there grow ericas like small trees. Stones and cows similar but here the blue Hortensias are everywhere.  And the distance down to the ocean being much higher, 300- 400 m. We could hear and see the waves breaking right beneath us, sometimes the shelf was only 1,5 m wide on the steep side. Have to admit it was a little scary with the strong wind… By walking we were thinking of the people who in ancient times have been building the trails and walls and who had to use them in all weathers.

In the end of the 9n km long trail it started to rain. In beginning only a mild rain but in the end a real hard shower. We took the bus back to Santa Cruz. Cost only 2,3 euro each. Taxi was 25 euro.  A day for the health of us and the budget.



Moving over to the other side.

Calles birthday! Sky is higher today and now we can see all the beauty around us. Started the day trekking to Lagoa dos Patos, a hidden small lake in the lush green, with several waterfalls coming down the mountain. We had to leave Cuada, this calm paradise with both excellent and personal service. Silvio drew us back to the eastern side stopping by all the essential miranduoros, panorama wievs, back to Santa Cruz.

After checking in at hotel Ocidental we again had to hunt for an open restaurant. Pia dared swimming in a piscina naturale, a pool formed by lava which protects against waves and streams. Water was lovely warm and clear, but Elin found too many fishes there.

The locals we talk to all know it is impossible to live only from natures beauty. Also for tourists food is essential, and no fast food chains are around when it is crisis. A wiev over to Corvo island doesn't help a hungry stomach. Tonight we learned the true meaning of slow food. However we are so pleased, three hours later we had all we needed.  

Trail Lajedo –Mosteiro-Fajãzinha- Cuada.

At breakfast we got a little companion today. She also liked the local bread and cheese.


Mrs Silvas was kind to drive us to Lajedo and she was telling us about the foggy weather, western winds and about the special kind of tourists the island and her village attracts. People like us, loving nature and genuine charm in a simple way.


From Lajedo we walked and Elin stopped hundreds of times to make photos from the stunning views or cows along the trail. She was very pleased to find out that she now could use her tripod and made pictures in a little ‘jungle stream’.


It was not an easy trail and our legs were hurting us when walking down to Fajãzinha where we hoped to have a late lunch. But we were too late. We will walk back tonight to the small, genuine restaurant with typical Flores cooking.

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