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Sunday, August 7, 2016

Sail Sao Miguel to Santa Maria 30 July 2016

Saturday 30 July 2016 left berth on I pontoon in new Ponta Delgada Marina at 0735 hrs

 

 

 
and set sail for the 53 nMile trip to Santa Maria
 
Leaving Ponta Delgada
 

 
The wind was a light NNEerly 2 to 3 Bft 
 
We tried to sail, rigging a strop to prevent the Genny sheet from shafing on the guard rail as, with such a light wind from aft of the beam, the Genny was flogging a bit
 

 
After 2 hours of sailing, we gave up as the wind became less and we motored the rest of the way
 
Leaving Sao Miguel behind
 

 
At 1340 hrs, Santa Maria appeared ahead of us, still some  25 nmiles away
 
Getting closer
 

 

 

 
Arrived in Vila do Porto at 1720 hrs and were lucky to be able to fill our diesel tanks before going to our berth on C pontoon close to the small crane
 
Dutch Link moored on C pontoon - close to Oasis 
 

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Hike Sao Miguel Lagoa das Furnas 28 July 2016

Took the 0900 hrs bus nr 318 from close to the Ponta Delgada Marina. 
 
Got off the bus at 1020hrs at the side of the Lagoa das Furnas just before the bus turns right to the town of Furnas.
 
The map below shows the hiking routes we followed as a yellow line. 

First we walked anticlockwise round the northern end of the lake to the fumerols. Then steeply up the PRC22SMI to the Miradouro do Pico do Ferro, returning to the main route , PRC6SMI, via a not very well marked shortcut, then continue anticlockwise around the lake following the PRC6SMI which eventually follows  one of the roads to the town of Furnas.
 
Lagoa das Furnas
 
Furnas and its lake are in a huge volcanic caldeira which still has signs of volcanic activity. There are many Fumerols in the caldeira and places where ther surface water is boiling. 
The area in the below photo is on the north side of the lake and has many fumerols
 
Various restuarants in Furnas use the fumerols to (slow - about 2 hours) cook meals for their guests in pots placed in holes in the ground  and covered with a small pile of earth - each spot is labelled by the restuarant 
 
Boiling water
 
Relaxing in some carved rocking chairs
 

 
The PR22SMI route to the Mirador Pico do Ferro
 
Many Ginger Lillies line the route
 
Climbing steeply through the forest, sometimes under fallen trees
 
Japonese Red Cedars
 

 
Views of Furnas town from the Mirador Pico do Ferro
 
Views of Lagoa das Furnas from the Mirador Pico do Ferro
 

 
Information board at the Mirador Pico do Ferro
 
The not-well-defined shortcut back to the main route around the lake
 

 
Super spot for our picnic lunch on our steep descent to the lake
 

 
Abandoned hunting lodge?
 
Back on the route around the lake
 

 

 

 
Several woodcarvings by Emmanual Courtot carved during a woodcarving event in August 2012
 
Very tall trees
 
Araucarias Tree - one of the tallest in the world
 
Couldn't resist having a swing in the hammock
 
Very modern Information/ research center where we watched a short film about the area here and the project to return the lake to its original healthy condition. It seems that the intense dairy farming around the lake has resulted in the water having too high a bacterial content. This is being resolved by agreements with the farmers not to graze their cattle on the pastures around the lake.
 
Church on the south side of the lake
 

 
Another fumerol
 

 
Here we left the shores of the lake and joined the road which took us steeply up to the Pico do Milho mirador from where there were good views of the town of Furnas and the surrounding countryside
 
Some of the many Montbrecia saw en route
 
View of Furnas from the Pico do Milho Mirador above the town
 

Arrived in Furnas town around 1600 hrs and walked to the Parque Terra Nostra where there is a swimming pool fed by hot natural springs and a botanical gardin. As there was an entrance fee for this and we did nt have much time before the bus left, we did not explore further.
Caught the nr 110 bus at 1710 hrs to Ponta Delgada via the northern coast - had to change buses in Ribeiro Grande ( the buses link up and park next to each other, so this was not an issue).

A very interesting and pleasant day.

Once back in Ponta Delgada, we had a pizza at the Donatela Pizza café.