Flores


The westernmost island of the Azores is Flores – the “flower island” – a small (around 30 * 20 km) and little inhabited island, yet highly green and still very much in pristine state. Technically it is already part of America as it lies – together with its sibling Corvo – on the North American tectonic plate and thus moves away from the European plate (where the other islands are) by some 2-3 cm / year. Due to the exposed situation rainfall is more abundant here (2-3 times) than on the other islands which makes it rather wet…

The eastern and southern coastline is scattered by small farms and hamlets (the west cost is nearly pristine)

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Yet always the original forest (mainly laurel and juniper) can be seen in patches coming through

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“Siesta”

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Gin is growing… Zwinkerndes Smiley

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Nice patches – no idea why they are so round…

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Our lunch was taken in a local “restaurant” (you don’t have too many with a population of around 12,000). It reminded quite a lot of a very, very deep countryside inn…

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Including the local art

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and the food. Delicious it was, nutritious as well Zwinkerndes Smiley Everyday? No way… You cannot walk enough on these islands to compensate such food – not considering the amount of alcoholic beverages you need to digest as otherwise you’ll still have an upset stomach after 8 hours processing time…

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The mirror for sure has seen some better times Smiley

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From here we went towards the higher slopes (the main volcano) and suddenly were covered in clouds… Still hydrangea looks nice (it blends in – camouflage Smiley)

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It is not really cold – around 20°. The only problem it’s 10° lower than at the coast…

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Don’t walk too far – no lights…

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Strange roads through lava cuts

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For sure this plant likes the moist climate…

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A local kind of strawberry – if edible we didn’t know and didn’t want to try either.

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Now on the track it is getting really boggy and swampy. Brown water, mud, lava – lovely Smiley

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The moss at the sides is sometimes 30 cm thick

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A real carpet

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Providing life of its own – being the host to other smaller plants

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Life is hard here

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The way is cut through lava and is just beautiful

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Careful – hikers approaching Smiley

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Small tress on moss

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A dried caldera lake

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As soon as the sun breaks through sights change and everything gets really glorious

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Even the small dwarf-forest (the bonsai junipers are just nice Smiley)

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Old, torn, blown away

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Another cloud coming in

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and some sunny spells in between

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With all that moisture lichen is growing alongside the road

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in thick patches

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Just on bare lava

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Another wet spell

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3 min later…

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The world changes instantly

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The biggest problem with the clouds is that they are wet as well as a little bit salty (as they come very low over the sea they accumulate some salt as well). All this together leaves a wonderful film on you glasses which you can hardly get away. The big question is then – glasses with moisture or no glasses and poor eyesight Zwinkerndes Smiley

Due to the moisture all mosses grow nicely as well…

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Hydrangea (being imported from Japan a long time ago) is the predominant plant here

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Blooming everywhere

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along the road and meadows

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cows between them

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it just looks nice

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the flanks are covered, too

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As well as whole hillsides

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A slight glimpse of the neighbour Corvo with the typical hat

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On Thursday we will go there… Vomiting badly after 24 km over open water in a big dinghy Zwinkerndes Smiley

Kategorien:Azores, Flores, Hiking

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