terça-feira, 10 de outubro de 2017

Trip around Pico Island (Azores)

Pico Island, located in the Azores archipelago, Central Group, is the second largest island in the archipelago (first one is São Miguel). And it is known because of two main points:
- Island of the vineyards, with a lot of wine production, with high quality, exported to many countries;
- Pico Mountain, which is the highest mountain in Portugal, with 2351 meters.

We decided to go there on holidays, during one week.
Arrived on Pico, we stayed in Pousada de Juventude (a kind of hostel, translating for a general word), located in São Roque do Pico, because we had good references about that place, so, the decision was easy! Unfortunately, if wasn't like we were expecting, starting with the basics (bed/mattresses), with bad quality!

The first day, because we arrived in the evening, we explored São Roque do Pico on foot, a village called the Capital of Rural Tourism, located in the North side of the island and, with a good weather, we experience the proximity between Pico island and São Jorge island (15 km of distance). With a few hours in the island, we only had to choose a place for our first dinner, and if possible, with a good food a good view.

Well, because the village is turned to the ocean, it was the easy part. The other part, to find a place to eat. We arrived at Cais de São Roque do Pico (translating Sea Pier of São Roque do Pico) and we found a good restaurant (the next post will be about our experience at the restaurants in the island!!!).

We decided to rent a car for 4 days of our stays and, in the first day, because the weather wasn't good (with a light rain), we went for a ride around the entire island, like a recognition of the field, in the main road, stopping by some viewpoints, but without something special, because of the lack of visibility (in normal conditions, we would be able to see other islands).

And the first photos started to be taken! The first two, in a viewpoint in the Parque Florestal da Praínha (forest park), with a phenomenon called by Mistério da Praínha (Praínha Mistery), because of the lava fan formed during the historical eruption in 1562/64.

In the same park, we found this house, with an "atafona" (a mill, moved by animal force).

Resuming, in the first day we were a bit disappointed because of the weather conditions, because of the rain and the low visibility. In the next few days, the weather turned completly and we had, finally, the opportunity to enjoy the sensational views from the mountains and to feel the proximity between the islands.
The second day with car, we decided to go to Faial island, in the ferry and enjoy the day there (I will talk about that in another post).
The third day, we had another great weather to explore the island and the views from the mountains around the island.
In the next photo, you can see the São Jorge island lenght.

Below, the Lagoa do Peixinho (Little Fish Lake), with a little view of São Jorge Island (and, in the right end of São Jorge, we see a litle bit of Terceira Island!!).

Here, we were on the road to the Casa da Montanha (Mountain’s House), which is the place where people make registration to climb the Pico’s Mountain. In the background, the Faial Island (where we were) with two islets, with names “Ilhéu em Pé” (Standing islet) and Ilhéu Deitado” (Lying down islet), translating its names just to understand their names (related to their positions).

Already in the top, near the Casa da Montanha, na adventurous group were finishing their descent. As you can see, it’s not easy to find the mountain total uncovered… and here, it’s another proof of that.

São Jorge Island in the background, viewed from another place in Pico.

The mountain, finally uncovered, in the penultimate day we had the car.

A place prepared for sea baths, called the Pocinho, with a special view to the Faial Island.

Below, Cella Bar, located in Madalena do Pico (village), which was the Winner of the Building of the Year 2016. And we had a dinner there, so stay tuned for the next post about the food during our trip!