Thursday, July 6, 2017

Pico, Azores - Walk 5: A Stroll on the Island of Pico

Pico is home to the highest point in Portugal. Pico is the youngest Island in the Azores. The human population stands at about 15,000; cattle at about 60000. ,Pico stands out in several areas. But our walk, more a ramble through countryside wouldn't announce those facts to you.  Our ferry ride from Faial went as easily as you could wish arriving at a ferry dock that is more developed than Sao Jorge. We grabbed a taxi, another driver with US ties to California and this time the NYC area as well. When he dropped us off the morning had clouded over and it felt pretty quiet except for traffic on the tarmac road. 

We started by checking out the entrance to a lava tube but  didn't see much. It's more proof , if you need it, that volcanos made the Azores. In the distance a cow would moo, frogs croaked near by, and a few workers were doing something on a pole. Otherwise nothing. We struck out on the tarmac road for several hundred meters before turning onto a dirt lane, a bit more than a two-track,  with low stone walls and roses. Views of the shore came and went; views of fields broken by a stand of trees now and then were a constant feature. 

We descended the dirt and gravel lane past homes. Birds sang. Cows mooed. Dogs as seem to be routine excitedly barked as we went by. We continued to descend. 

It wasn't a terribly exciting walk. Maybe that explains why we goofed along the way. I think we zigged when we should have zagged by the supposed picnic spot. We ended up on paved roads that we figured we're going the right way.  Around 12:30 we found a cafe we could get drinks at and stopped for lunch. We were in the heart of Setes Cidades. Between the paper and digital maps we figured out where to go and continued on. Within a half hour we were seeing definite signs we had rejoined the "official" walk as we entered the port town of Madalena. by 13:30 we had reached the ferry and got the 14:00 back to Faial. One last easy walk back along the coastal sidewalk to our ivy coated hotel and our day was pretty much done. 

For what it's worth if you stay at the hotel we did you can't expect much from the bar.  If you want a reasonably decent coffee go across the street. The gelato shop just north is also nice. 

About the Photos

Approaching Pico we passed my these rock formations. The ferry takes about 30 minutes to go between Pico and Faial. 

This dirt lane is lined with rose bushes and farm fields. The stroll down towards Madalena was mostly on lanes likely this

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