Sunday, 26 June 2016

AN ISLAND DRESSED FOR A WEDDING. 24th June


 
The whole island has fences overflowing with Hydrangea and wild roses. Magic.

The  nine Azores islands are volcanic in origin and approaching Flores the coast line looks very formidable with a high hinterland where the major industry is farming. We are tucked into a tiny marina for our stay in Flores.

One of the many crater lakes.
After a rudimentary attempt to bring order to the disorder and disarray aboard Taipan after the passage, we were delighted to be invited by the intrepid trekkers Gerda and Sven of Safari Njema fame, to join them for a "medium difficulty" trek in the high country. Being Swiss, and part mountain goat, we were also somewhat skeptical of the term "medium difficulty"; however, undeterred, we ventured forth with enthusiasm.

Sven Gerda Kris and David.

Christian, a local German guy picked us up in the morning and we drove through glorious sunshine ever higher to the caldera. The scenery is spectacular and its all framed by hydrangea draped in pink wild roses. The rock walls are testament to generations of tenacious Portuguese settlers who have cleared them from the small fields to create rich fertile farmland.

Just before we dropped over the edge!

We commenced walking at the top of the island where several beautiful lakes cluster in the base of the caldera. Low scrubby vegetation interspersed with flowers and moss threaded with sometimes boggy, but predominantly grassy track, provided pleasant strolling for the first few kilometers. Gradually we climbed up to the rim and over the edge where we lunched, overlooking the Atlantic all the way to USA. The next section of the trek was indescribable!! The track suddenly disappeared over a vertical wall and fell several thousand feet to the rock walled fields below.

That is steep!

By the time we had made the decent both David and I were feeling very much in need of a horse or two. Legs were wobbly. Sven and Gerda showed no sign of the ordeal!. Confirming my previous speculation that they are indeed half mountain goat! Upon reflection, it was a fabulous trek however had I know what was involved I would not have gone! 

Thats the cliff we climbed down!

Fortified with coffee and cake at the small restaurant at the base we were collected by Christian and had a "cooks tour" home to the boat to be greeted by Hunda crew and several new boats arriving from Bermuda. Wine o'clock at the neat little cafe overlooking the marina finished the day off nicely.



We hired a small car from Christian to complete our exploration of the island. Weather was not so good. Very foggy but it has a charm of its own the fog!. We managed to get hopelessly lost in it adding excitement to the day. It was only a mile or so from the marina that we realized where we were again. The villages and road verge displays made it totally worthwhile and we wouldn't have missed it for the world.

Another of the stunning little villages.
Its so unspoiled here. No pollution. The water from the taps is pure fresh rain water!  We have even sourced fresh eggs from the chicken!... and fresh milk, straight from the cow and I cant begin to describe the coffee we make with that.  And to top it off.... its unbelievably cheap!  Great little marina with a good price and a terrific little cafe overlooking the boats.

Christians home on Flores.
Christian and Honee took us too a local German Restaurant on the hill and then to their beautiful home overlooking the sea. They have 2 lovely chalets for rent so if you are visiting Flores they are a good recommendation as hosts and have accommodation.  
Christian's contact is :   christian.pfeiffer53@web.de. 
Ph. 00351 292 593 101
Farewell beautiful Flores.

However its time to move on. Another 140nm to the east to Horta a small city on Faial Island.