Friday, 12 August 2011

Slowing down

Ten days later we are still in Sao Miguel. It took a while for our bodies to acclimatise (high humidity) and for our minds to stop rushing. There is no urgency now and we plan to take it slow.
It's a jungle out there.
We've been lucky in that our friend Ricardo has lent us his vehicle – an old pick-up with four-wheel drive. Our first drive in it turned out to be Jim's introduction to rally car driving. We went up the road next to Ricardo's house and holiday cottage. 'It's a good road,' Ricardo had said. 'You change to four-wheel drive, keep to the left and you get to the top of the mountain. Then you take the road down to Sete Cidades and brake, brake, brake.' The road turned out to be nothing more than a sandy track and we ended up driving around the volcanic crater at the top! The road down was so steep that Jim had muscle pains in his calves the next day from the constant braking. Luckily nobody came the other way!
Boat shed in the cliffs.
We went on a couple of beautiful hikes, one along the coast to the village of Ribeira Quente, where delicious horsemackerel are to be had, and another one to a waterfall and a pretty abandoned village near Faial da Terra. The coastal walk went past beautiful deserted beaches with small boat sheds built into the rocks and along bamboo-shaded paths along steep cliff sides. We spotted a small pipe coming out of a small stream and decided to taste the water. It was a carbonated mineral water spring.
Salto do Prego.
We have also revisited the thermal spring at Ferraria a couple of times. The best time to go is at low water when the hot spring mixes with the sea water to almost 30C. Marvellous.
So cute and yet so naughty: Bonita.
Other than that, we are enjoying having ample time to read, swim and hang out with Ricardo and his Labrador puppy Bonita. It's good to have some time to recover from all the effort of making the trip happen. We especially like being able to sit in the cockpit in shorts and T-shirts after sundown. A couple of nights ago we ate a barracuda caught from Ricardo's boat. No fishing success ourselves so far, but we are getting closer. Most of the fish we see are in the habour, where fishing is prohibited.
It's not all lazing around though. In a brief return to work, Jim helped to paint a boat yesterday. We also rebedded the stove pipe, which was leaking slightly.
Next week we're planning to move on to the central group of the Azores, taking in Sao Jorge, Pico, Faial and Graciosa.


Marc said...

Beautiful. Adding it to my list of future destinations...

Victoria Martin said...

Happy Summer! Looks lovely and relaxing! xx