Posted by: tim ellis | October 20, 2013

Azores – Friday 16th August 2013

Porto Pim

A Day off from Whale Watching – I take a leisurely breakfast, then stroll down to the beach, which is on a natural bay. It is not to busy at this time of the morning, although there are some people around. I follow this with a meander up through the town to take pictures of some of the architecture, (and because this is a nature-based holiday, the wagtails, pigeons and swans in the little park in the town centre), and also buy a couple of souvenir t-shirts. Lunch is taken in a little cafe close to the hotel. I order a beef sandwich, and get a very tasty hot steak roll!
Grey Wagtail

I have a taxi tour of the island booked for 2pm, booked (on recommendation from Lisa) with Terry. He arrives just before 2, but I am ready and waiting for him, and we set off for a circumnavigation of Faial while he tells of it’s history and points out various landmarks, including the large hilltop statue of our lady of conception, the Flemish style windmills, and, of course the volcanic caldera at the centre of the island.
Caldeira, Faial
There is evidence of more volcanic activity on the far side of the island where the 1957/8 eruptions added a square mile of new land beyond the lighthouse, (which was largely buried). A subterranean visitors centre has been built explaining about volcanoes in general and this one in particular, and includes the chance to climb the lighthouse. While here I bump into Ann and Kay who are on an all day jeep tour of the Island.
Capelinhos, Faial, The Azores

As we pass the beach again on the way back into Horta it is obviously a lot busier than it was this morning! We get back just in time for a quick change and a brisk walk back up to the restaurant, where Lisa is waiting with the seven newcomers (Chris, Theo, Chris, Fiona, Denise, Rhys and Jackie) who will be joining us on the next three trips.

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