Time to say Good-Bye from Sao Miguel


Yes, we made it… We are back in BCN. After one hour delay in Sao Miguel and two in Lisboa, we finally arrived at our flat around 02:45 in the morning. Let’s assume we were at a good party… Smiley 

Today everything is a bit slow and unsteady, but we are getting back to our feet. The worst part was the search for some green food as all supermarkets are closed (normally they would be open – just not in August); fortunately the one in the filling station has loads of good stuff and after a nice Indian curry and some real green salad, which can be considered more than decoration on bread, we feel quite wholesome again!

But back to Sao Miguel where we tried to enjoy the last full day as much as possible by taking a more “tourist like” approach.

Lake Fogoa (yes, you got it – it’s a caldera Zwinkerndes Smiley) on a sunny day

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And some overgrown trees

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Beautiful Smiley

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We have never seen something like this before – interesting… Yet when you drive, you do get headache quite soon…

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Afterwards we visited one of the two still existing tea plantations in Europe – both next to each other. This one is Gorreana (http://www.gorreanatea.com/) and a fully organic producer (no herbicides, pesticides or anything else – just pure tea). The other good thing is that their factory is completely open, so you can look everywhere and just enjoy Zwinkerndes Smiley 

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Artificial panorama

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Tea

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Inside they use the old machines from 1883

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from a time (fortunately) long gone

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turners

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the sampling room

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packaging tea bags

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and larger units. There is a nice pat-pat-pat-pat-pat (5 times) sound as each bag gets a pat at the bottom Zwinkerndes Smiley

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and quality control of the leaves

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The tea is dried in huge ovens

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At quite high temperatures

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The raw produce

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is collected in boxes

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and then stored in rooms

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in bags

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plain tea Smiley

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Electricity is produced on-site by a water-stream power generator (since the 1920s) and I assume the mainboard is from the same time

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Pretty arcane Zwinkerndes Smiley

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On the 2nd floor the fresh tea is spread out for drying

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in several banks

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and constantly shifted around – temperatures are around 45° and humidity at 90%

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As green tea must not oxidize they cover the windows as well (otherwise too much light enters)

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After seeing all there can be seen of the plantation our next stop was one of the best parks in the Azores – Terra Nostra Gardens (http://www.parqueterranostra.com/).

Before we actually entered we had to visit some Yam-plantation on the way in Furnas set alongside a warm river. You eat the root (up to 2m length) which tastes very, very good (if made properly – otherwise you could eat cardboard as well)

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The flowers are beautiful

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The park, originally the residence of the American ambassador in the 18th century, who created the basis of the park, then owned by some nobleman and in the mid 19th century bought by the still owning family Bensaude who create the accompanying Terra Nostra Park hotel as well.

Nowadays the park (with thermal pool) is open for a small fee and contains thousands of amazing species

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Victoria & Ginger

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“Yam in the park”

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The water is not only volcanic, but contains loads of iron as well

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Mighty nobly trees

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and beautiful lotus

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A pure pleasure

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The paths are starting to be re-claimed

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by nature

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Ginger – variety 20010 (or was it 20011?)

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Another creeper

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mixed mode Zwinkerndes Smiley

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A passion fruit flower

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“no idea” flower Zwinkerndes Smiley

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mighty

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leaves

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Unknown 1 & 2

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Colourful Smiley

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Unknown 3

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Sweet chestnut

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just loads of them

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In the bromelia section

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Very pink, red, all colours you want Zwinkerndes Smiley

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And always some play with light, shadow and water

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sedate walks

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old stone

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Age needs support Smiley

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A view from the grotto

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Another tree we didn’t know…

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Reflections the other way round

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Green & peaceful

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Black beauty

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Family gathering

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Tarzan & Friday? No – just stupid locals trying to impress the lasses Erstauntes Smiley

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The iron water rivers around the volcanic areas

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One of the nicest bridges in the park

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The “claw-flower”

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After so much beauty we retired to our balcony to enjoy a pick-nick (we started to purchase our own food as otherwise vegetables would be only mere decoration) with a beautiful evening sky

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And even got some entertainment when local people performed dances

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You have to start early…

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Kategorien:Azores, Nature, Park, Sao Miguel

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