(I found the solution on the next house)
Angra by night and some restaurant recommendations
Just a short hike along dirt roads, because it rained and it was our last day on Pico. But the colors! And the waves! I could stare at the sea forever during this kind of weather.
Our hotel had its own old whale watching tower. I sat there for a while, starred at the sea and tried to imagine how the vigias (the whale watchers) did do their work with only some normal low-tech binoculars. But I came to only this insight: The ocean is fucking big!
Pico, the island, has the same name as its mountain. With 2531m, Pico Mountain is the highest mountain in Portugal and one of the biggest European volcanoes. The last eruption has been in 1720. One of the former eruptions created another tiny mountain inside of the caldera (I’m quite sure that geologists would chose different words for this outcome :-), which gives Pico its characteristic appearance. It looks like the mountain would wear a too small party hat. Despite this funny exterior, Pico has a diginfied and wise aura.
This trail was clearly one of our hiking highlights on the Azores. It follows an old water channel (Levada) through dense jungle-like forests and grasslands. As there was a hurricane just some weeks earlier, we had to climb over fallen trees a lot and there was even a bridge which was hit by a tree. On time we had to pass trough a tunnel.
As we have parked our car at the beginning of the trail we had to take a taxi to bring us back to our initial point. I guess it would have been much more exhausting if we hadn’t found one because the climb to the start was rather steep.
The underground documentation center architecturally is a great building. The museum (8€ pP) itself is ok but not great. The most important part (the eruption) is only documented on one wall, the festivity and marketing of 60 years of eruption is a huge room.
We started the hike with the intention to make the tour around the caldeira but after the first 1000 meters we turned around. It was already late, the weather was very unstable and above all there were some of those vertigo places and we didn’t know how this would continue.
Vila Franca Do Campo is the oldest city on San Miguel and its former capital. It was founded by the first settlers in the 15th century. But after an earthquake in 1522 the city was destroyed and most of the inhabitants died. Ponte Delgada then became the capital of the Azores.
Unfortunately you can’t make a complete tour around Lagoa do Fogo. We tried to go back another way that we found on our map, but after the first 200 meters it became more and more unpassable so we turned around and walked back the same way we came from.