Friday, June 22, 2012

Furnas - the hot spring town

Oh Furnas! Loved this town, next time I am coming to the Azores I will definitely spend some time here. The town has everything a small island town would need. A hot spring pools, botanical gardens, a lake, a natural hot steam kitchen, and much more. 

Po├ža da Beija  

If anyone ever plans to go to the Azores, Poca da Beija is definitely a necessary place to stop by. There are three naturally warm pools with different water levels. l recommend coming here early as it fills up during the day, while in the morning we had one of the pools all to ourselves. It costs 2, and don't have anything white, as a little bit of white will naturally turn orange. Well unless you are going for the natural orange color on your clothes. 





Lagoa das Furnas - and the hot steams

Furnas lake is one of the three major lakes on the island. The walk from the town to the lake is about half hour, maybe even less depending where you start. By the northern tip of the lake there is a naturally boiling water location. This is where a lot of restaurants cook their 'stew' that they later serve at different restaurants across town. We went to Tony's as it was widely praised by all the residents of the island as well as visitors. You can see the way they prepare the pot on their restaurant website. 



Careful it's hot!
The stew pot is in there!
Naturally boiling water


The meal - of pork, potatoes, and veggies






 

 


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Villa Franco do Compo

Used to be the capital, now it is just a small town on the coast of the Atlantic. The weather wasn't what we expected, but we still made the best of it.

There is two things the city is famous for Sra da Paz and Ilheu de Villa Franco do Compo. And one other thing ... Franco the dog, well at least we named him that as he was following us the entire hike up the mountain to the Sra da Paz.





 

















The hike us was interesting as we did not know where we were going, and somehow failed to be informed that it will take us half hour of a constant mountain climb to get to Sra da Paz. And once we got there we were just in the clouds. Still very cool considering the entire church is designed as a way to step up to the heavens.



As for Franco the dog he pretty much followed us the entire way. We did not know what to expect from him, but still managed to name him.




 Stumbled upon bananas on the way ...


And here is Ilheu de Villa Franco do Campo, a gorgeous small island off the coast of an island. The ferry only started working the day before, so the season starts at the end of June. Since the weather wasn't cooperating we couldn't swim, but it is still a great natural wonder. 











Saturday, June 16, 2012

Canyoning!

It would not have been a complete vacation if we did not try something new. Well than new thing ended up being canyoning, yeah .. because rocks and water sounded like a great combination. But at least the water killed all the humidity in the air. The company that does it is Picos de Adventura, I believe the only one that has a right to do so on the island. Well and it was obvious the canyon was all to ourselves, and we lucked out the group was small. Only us, another couple and two instructor. Fun guaranteed, everything rocked, lol. Oh and watch out for the crocodiles, just kidding .... no really.








Coastal Bike Ride!

Fun activity, a 7km bike ride in one direction along the coast, and than back! From Ponta Delgada to a small coastal city Lagoa. The coast presented all kinds of cliffs, beaches and stones. As well as some pretty challenging terrain, but we made it back in one piece! Well minus the sunburn.