August 11, 2008
Mid Atlantic Magic
We couldn’t have expected how beautifull it was in the Azores. The five Islands that we visited all contained natural wonders worth a visit. Our pack of friends had grown by the day and its became one social even to the next.
We had to see more of the Islands and time is always running out. We ventured off from Horta at midnight and to send us off the people of Pico lit the sky with fireworkds of yet another festival. We arrived off the beaten track at the Island of Graciosa the next day. On Graciosa with in a full days hike there was another volcano, but within its perfectly intact rim lay a hidden a valley filled with birds, old growth forests and green pastures with graizing cows. Inside the volcano valley is a beautifull cave with fresh water lake etc. soo we spend all day hiking upto the rim and circlling around trying to get in. After back tracking and getting rather frustrated we saw a truck driving around deep in the Volcano then suddenly dissapear into the wall. The road that lead from town and interested with the rim trail on our map was actually a tunnel and they neglected to mention that the crossing of these paths was actually separated by a thousand verticle feet of cold hard lava. My frustration with the cartographer only simmered when we found a lone human in the very bottom of the volcano selling ice cream, postcards and tickets to an enormous cavern. The ice cream was so good infact it was Magnum’s newly realeased double chocolate dipped in caramel then again in chocolate, yeah its the one that is on the advertisement board but they never actually have, well they had it, so all was redeemed. But as you can imagine the guy was so lonely that being next to him was like a vortex of human contact and I could feel him thinking of words he knew in English so the urge to leave was growing as he began to form a sentence and eating an ice cream cone in front of someone risks a feeling of guilt and with a cone this good and un explored by my taste buds I didn’t want to risk it. I had to cut short his one human interaction by walking away from his lonely and curious stare from the doorway of his commerce shed so this new cone could have a fair chance, and then again walk strategically slow enough away so that I remained far enough behind Morning Glory so that she wouldn’t be inspired to have a bite. No worries it all worked with the new flavor, its wonderfull, but I got caught with the wrapper in hand as I caught up with Glory again and had just enough chocolate on the stick to ward off any hints of guilt.
With so much to tell, and soo little readers attention span:
Pause for a hot chick photo:
we walked around some more, stood in aw, saw stuff, did stuff, and eventually set sail for Terceira. All in all Graciosa was good but I would not return until the Marina is finished.
Here´s a great story befor I loose you. Glory and I rent bikes, que with Photo:
We ride around the Island of Terceira,
begining with a cheese farm, peaking with a free Sangria flooded local food fest, pause for photo:
Stopped for a nicest hat contest:
View back from first place:
A view from everyones list of a hundred things to do...ride a bike through old rock walled european country side for 12 euros:
and ending with a free tent at a camp site with hot showers and a free personal dinnner at a small vinyard´s wine house. Which turned out to be just some guys personal home and how we got him to serve us dinner, taste wine and admire every last fixture all the way into the new bathroom was a blend of his general hospitality, the language barrior and my strong desire to get into what I though was some top notch invite only restaurant. The whole day was magic. We ate to our fill of exotic pleasures for free, the excersize on the bike felt great and the scenery again is more than I can describe.
Where we rode has some interesting features. We glazed in salt and adorned in sweaty clothes, glided into this town of Biscote, to find the most dramatic coastline, worked into wine country. The volcanic shores over hundreds of years have been converted by man into fertile wine country. Everyone wants to know something about wine well here we go. In northern Terceira (an Island in the mid Atlantic) they build four walls and within reserve a small pit with fertile soil.
The grape vines are protected from the harsh marine environment by the walls and the sun and earth are aloud to do their work. Here´s an active lot.