Cabo da Praia

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    • Day 3–6

      Off to a New Island

      March 11 in Portugal ⋅ 🌬 16 °C

      We have enjoyed our mini visit to Terceira, 2 nights, and are looking forward to returning to it in a week’s time for a week. We’ll have a car then and will be able to explore the island.

      This morning, we went for a walk along the beach away from the town. There is a 3 km malecon (seaside walkway) and a boardwalk, perfect for some morning exercise before going to the airport for our flight to Faial Island. But man it was windy! 70 km winds! Chris kindly switch coats with me.

      Our prop plane was taking off at 2:50 pm so we had some time to just take it easy before leaving. Lajes airport is just a 10 minute taxi ride away so no rush.

      Surprisingly, there were a lot of people on the plane. I guess because it was going to Sao Miguel Island after we were dropped off and new passengers boarded in Faial. Anyways, it was supposed to be a 25 minute flight but ended up being close to 2 hours. Why? The weather is very unpredictable on the islands and a storm with winds and rain stopped the pilot from landing. The plane went round and round until the right moment. When we landed, there were lots of puddles but the sun was out.

      Earlier I had rented a car, Ibiza, from a recommended company called Ilha Verde. It was an easy pickup and a 10 minute drive to the house we have rented across from the harbour for 3 nights in the capital city of Horta.
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    • Day 52

      Praia Da Vitoria, Azores

      February 23, 2019 in Portugal ⋅ 🌧 14 °C

      We left Bermuda in sunshine and warmth but had a very rough crossing to the Azores. A lot of crockery and bottles of alcohol have been broken in the storm. Wet and windy day in prospect but determined to see something of the town. Now been advised that because of the high winds the port has been closed to all traffic and so nobody is able to leave the ship at present! As luck would have it, during the morning the wind changed direction and lessened and so off we went. We needed the walk on ground that did not move. Very pleasant town and attractive in the sun. Very reasonably priced coffee and pastries! We depart early this evening and although the sea will be quite turbulent to begin with, the forecast is for it to calm down during tomorrow.Read more

    • Day 41

      Travel Day - Malaga to Terceira

      February 9, 2018 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

      We had an 11:15 flight to the Azores and were up early enough to walk the 20 minutes to the train station, despite the frequent “there’s a taxi!” from the person trailing behind me. The train takes you directly to the main entrance of the Malaga Airport, the 3rd largest in Spain. All this for about $3.50 each. When we were in the check-in line I struck up a conversation with the couple behind us and learned that they were from Brandon. They were also flying to Lisbon and then on to Toronto and Winnipeg, expecting a 25 hour travel day! They were about our age and had spent a month near Malaga, unfortunately being sick with some GI illness for most of the holiday. When we got to Lisbon we visited for awhile and then parted ways to head for the lounge where we could use our free passes. We had a 5 hour layover so it was a nice way to relax, eat and drink.

      Our 2.5 hour flight was full and John had the dreaded middle seat. We arrived safely around 7:30 and that’s all that really matters. The house I rented was a referral from my friend Gailene, as someone in her quilting group owned a home in Terceira. The owner, Margarida, made arrangements for her brother to pick us up at the airport at less cost than a taxi. On arrival, there was the smiling 70ish couple who greeted us with the customary two-cheek kiss. Our luggage was thrown into the open back of Lucinda and Mateus’s 19 year old Nissan truck and off we went.

      The small home is on a main road about 1 km from the nearest town, Cabo do Praia. It was very clean but the first thing we noticed was the high humidity, coolness and musty odour. Lucinda explained that she had washed all the pots and towels because they tend to get moldy. She left us some traditional cookies that she had baked in a type of wood-burning oven so that they have a smoked flavour (not my favourite cookie!). She also bought us some pastries, bread, margarine, milk and tea & coffee. What a wonderful welcome to Terceira!
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    • Day 44


      February 12, 2018 in Portugal ⋅ 🌙 13 °C

      Marco and his parents recommended we experience Carnival Terceira-style. There are no parades or dancing in the streets. For 4 days before Lent the people gather in their local community centres. Non-professional theatre groups practice for weeks and then they travel to each community to perform their act, kind of like a Fringe Festival act that comes to you.. On our way home from Angra we stopped at the community centre to judge for ourselves. An unusual combination of brightly dressed musicians played and marched around the stage and the female band leader sang. This was followed by a 30 minute one act play, all in Portuguese of course, wrapping up with more band music and singing. These plays are usually comedy or political satire and we think this one was comedy with very few laughs from the audience of maybe 200 people. Before the next act performs, they shoot off a large and very loud firecracker to notify everyone of the next show, which can mean waiting anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours. The people take this very seriously as this goes on until 4 in the morning and then they start all over again around 5 pm. They do this for 4 straight days. Only in Terceira!Read more

    • Day 47

      Cabo da Praia

      February 15, 2018 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

      Our house was located at the top of a hill (seems to be a trend here!) about 1 km from Cabo, with a population of about 700. We had to walk to Cabo to catch the bus. I was always nervous to walk along the main road as the cars drove fast. It also seemed that almost every home had a large, vicious looking dog, some chained and some free. I learned to cross the road to avoid their frightening barking. The village also had free wifi and on our last two days I walked to town and sat on a bench to work on my blog. One day I made a new friend....a 9 year old boy who was sitting on his trike in the middle of the road facing on-coming traffic. The cars were just driving around him! I waved him over and I tried to have a conversation but he spoke no English. So I showed him photos on my iPad, which he was very interested in. When he left at least he didn’t return to the roadway. I felt sad for him.

      We had very good weather all week. Drizzled one day for about 5 minutes and it rained at night. It was 15-21 during the day with calm winds and 11-14 at night. Most days were partly sunny/cloudy. We dressed appropriately and were never cold. Now inside the house was another story. We estimated that the house temperature was at least 5 degrees colder than outside. Add the humidity and it was bone-chilling cold every evening. I would wrap myself in a lightweight, stuff-able down blanket I had brought with me just in case. With no TV (it stopped working on day 4) and no internet, we found our focus was on keeping warm. Actually the only time we were warm inside the house was when we were in bed, covered in multiple blankets. When I got up in the morning around 8 I would open the screened back door to let the warmth in. Mateus explained that none of their houses have heating but just every day cooking warms the house to about 18 degrees. Our home had been closed up for 6 months.

      I was warned by the owner that I may encounter the occasional cockroach, mouse or rat. I was so relieved that the only things I had to kill in the morning were 4 slugs and 1 cricket. We had to refrigerate all our food because of the high humidity in the house. For the first few days there was a very strong mildew smell. The humidity inside was so high that our towels never dried so I would hang them on the clothesline outside. It was so humid that it dissolved my vitamin pill, even though I had it in a sealed plastic container. In the evenings I made John the herbal tea that had been left for us. It wasn’t until the 4th evening that I discovered the tea inside the gauze pouches was full of mold! It’s a good thing that John doesn’t get too worried about things like that.

      On the positive side, every morning Mateus would be in the back yard working in his garden and would supply us with all the lettuce and cabbage that we wanted. I like the experience of staying in a community to see how the locals live day-to-day. If we hadn’t rented this house we never would have met Mateus, Lucinda and Marc who took us under their wings and treated us like family. . At $30 per night, the rental price was definitely a bonus. Would I stay there again? No thank you!
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    • Day 48


      February 16, 2018 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

      On our first day in Terceira I had an irritating cough. I thought it was an allergic reaction to the mildewy smell in the house. By day 3 I had a full-blown cold. Two days after that John caught it. I was feverish, which made the house seem that much colder. Marc said he had heard there was a bad virus going around the island but I’m sure I got mine on the plane ride over. Airplanes are just a cesspool of germs. So our last 2 days were spent with me going into Cabo to use the internet and John sitting on the front landing, warming up in the sunshine.

      Terceira was beautiful and we were glad we included it in our itinerary.
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    • Day 11

      Praia da Vitoria - Azoren

      March 6, 2022 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

      Heute sind wir dort, wo im Fernsehen immer das Wetter herkommt. Auf den Azoren. Wir haben eine laut Ankündigung "anspruchsvolle" Wanderung gebucht, die aber erst um 9.45 Uhr beginnen soll. Also gehen wir zum Aufwärmen in das Fitnessstudio, dann zum Frühstücken - und schließlich zum Bus, der uns von Praia da Vitoria in die Berge bringen soll. Die Berge freilich sehen wir erst gar nicht. Dichte Wolken umschließen sie, nur ein bunter Regenbogen durchbricht die Tristesse. Und unser Guide, das mit perfektem Englisch die Gäste unterhält. Ja, dann geht es auch schon los. Durch einen bizarren Märchenwald steil bergab und bergauf, über schmalste Wege und nasstriefenden Bäumen genießen wir die Strecke. Zwei Schweizer und wir dürfen voraus, weil die anderen unser Tempo nicht schaffen. Unter anderem läuft diese schwere Strecke auch ein blinder Nürnberger mit seiner Frau mit. Unfassbar, dass er die Tour schafft. Später reißt wie zur Belohnung die Wolkendecke auf und wir haben herrliche Ausblicke über die Insel. Ein Ausflug, der sich gelohnt hat. Wir belohnen uns mit lecker Essen und lecker trinken..Read more

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