Hello folks who were traveling with us vicariously in the Azores~
We’ve been home now for ten days, faced with temperatures dropping below freezing every night. We have had time to readjust to life in the mountains of Northern California, to go through the photographs, and incorporate all the wonderful experiences of our month in the Azores. The ending occurred in steps taking three days and two nights in different cities, and three plane rides plus a five-hour drive home. I felt like I didn’t put closure on the trip and blog, so here I am again sharing some of the photos, answering a few questions, and just generally unpacking memories from the trip.
You’ll be hearing from me again soon.
Location of the Azores in relation to Europe, 900 miles away
Of the nine islands in the archipelago, we’ve now visited four.
Ricardo, who has designed four beautiful guest houses on the northeast side of Sao Miguel.
Joao and Helena, our friends from Pico who introduced us wonderful food, a large group of their friends, ocean fishing, traditional crafts, and their love of the Azorean lifestyle.
On the ferry from Sao Jorge to Pico
Still thinking about all of those gorgeous hikes
We have had glorious weather for our time on Pico. We have hiked in the highland lakes, sinking into a foot of bog lichen and sphagnum, visited the tide pools, and walked through the villages. One morning we went down to the natural swimming area, which is affected by the waves but protected from the open ocean. In the summer, there are ladders and diving boards, and we assume the area is visited by locals and visitors alike. We shared the pool with only one German couple, but most of our hikes have been solitary at this time of the season.
After Mitchell and Joao fished, we were invited to their home for a traditional fish stew served on toasted bread to soak up the delicious juices of all the different fish, clams, and vegetables. Of course, there was homemade wine and good company.
Yesterday on our hike, we wandered into a dusty shop Pulsar, which was stuffed full of Portuguese made clothes, many of which looked like they had been there for decades. Mitch had a great time trying on 1980 style clothes and leaving with two coats and two hats. Very European and eccentric.
For our last night on Pico, we went back to the home of Joao and Helena for more of his tasty traditional dishes. This time he made a special rice dish with beans and fried pork liver. I remember my mother’s calf liver with onions; however, this dish was much more tender and subtle in flavor. We have thoroughly enjoyed the company of this couple and learned so much from them about life in the Azores.
One of the local parks
Preparing the fish stew
There’s always a place to fish, but there aren’t always fish caught.
Mitch’s new look