Pico And Sao Miguel Excursions


As the weather turned out to be rather good in the higher parts (which usually is cloud covered) we decided to walk up there (where it is around 8° cooler as well…). We were just happy to see that we are not the only ones feeling too warm Smiley

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Another fellow hiker

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No idea why, but it seemed alright – just a bit young and flustered

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The “Pico highlands” – farming county…

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Endemic shrub which – together with Erica – used to cover all of the Island

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inside a volcano crater

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It was so warm, that the tar started to melt and form bubbles

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The very last trip and end of the walk

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A beautiful example of a side-volcano (not the main one, but a kind of “spot”)

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An old chimney

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Sunset in the harbour

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And our beloved restaurant, whale-watch-station, etc. – we call it simply “The Whaler”

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Colourful clouds

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and serene atmosphere

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The next morning, on the day where we were flying to Sao Miguel, the weather had changed again. Grey, clouds, warm – the typical hothouse Zwinkerndes Smiley

As we had a lot of time we drove to the highlands to catch some last views there (and escape the heat)

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On the way to the airport the lava fields where they started to cultivate grapes in small quarters. The grapes get their water only from clouds and natural occurrences (aka rain Zwinkerndes Smiley), yet didn’t look too healthy to us. 

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Then, after a short flight and the usual havoc at the airport back to Caloura Hotel (with air-con Smiley)

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The next day we made a small excursion to a botanic garden (actually more an old park of 6 hectare) in Ponte Delgada. The fruit of the araucaria (which was the main diet of some dinosaurs) is quite impressive

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with some 30 cm in length. Just imagine it drops on you while walking by…

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A fig tree with fantastic roots

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And a Japanese tree

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Wonderful branches

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another fig – this time around 160 years old

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and the ever present bamboo

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We called this Australian tree an “eye-tree”

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Guess why Zwinkerndes Smiley

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While I was playing around with my camera Ursula was investigating the local prince population – to no avail (fortunately)

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And… as very often… It started to rain in the evening Zwinkerndes Smiley

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Mighty clouds coming in

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Which didn’t prevent us to go to Lagoa to a fish restaurant for having some broiled limpets and fish

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Taste wonderful – only in that place I guess they were harvested too close to human habitats as the algae was very big and we had some trouble a bit later…

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It looks rather rundown in general – not so much a place you enjoy for an evening stroll

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That was a reminder of the best Japanese English translations…

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Yet we did like the graffiti very much. Somehow very interesting

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and finally a rather weird looking church door

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The next day our trip brought us back to Furnas where aside the lake is a volcanic active area with hot and boiling springs

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Some like it hot, for some it is too hot Fledermaus

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Another interesting thing done here is cooking with geothermal heat. They bring the pots with the raw “Cozido” (a kind of stew with chicken, pork, yam, potato, cabbage, etc.) which tastes very good, yet proofed to be nearly indigestible (at least within 8 h)… Real farming food, heavy and solid Zwinkerndes Smiley

The pots are usually brought in a kind of event-style atmosphere and given to local wardens

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which bury them

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in the sand so they are cooking within 2-3 hours

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After sampling the cozido and still slightly burping we headed down the cost for another smaller walk (as the one around the lake was perhaps longish, but somehow more suited for people 40 years superior our age…).

So this time we found a short, yet quite intense walk on an old path down the cliffs, which is still nowadays the only way to some villages at the bottom of the cliffs.

In the beginning the lava looks amazing

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And the poor mule has a hard time with the big guy and load

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At the bottom are 2 small settlements with a wonderful beach

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and idyllic lounges

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just lovely on a summer day

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very summerly it was indeed

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Yet in winter with storms… There is a reason why the people lived down there – those were the cheapest places…

The way up was steep. Just imagine 160 m altitude within 1 km length. Sometimes you had 45° inclines… and then no wind, 31° and sun… A scorcher. I have no idea when I was sweating so much…

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The good thing is that liquids can easily be replenished Zwinkerndes Smiley

Kategorien:Azores, Hiking, Pico, Sao Miguel, Volcano

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