It was a very foggy day in the crater of Sete Cidades which unfortunately obstructed a lot of our view of the surrounding landscape. However, the group were determined not to be put off and briskly set off on a 2 and half hour walk around the volcanic crater towards the town also named Sete Cidades. The walk was nice, and although there wasn't anything to see further away from us, we could still get up close with, and learn about, the different plants and rocks along the trail as well as seeing many dairy cows and wild birds.
We stopped at the town for a little while to eat lunch and drink coffee as well as having an independent wander around the town to look at the beautiful buildings and the church. After this we set off in the bus to the area of Ferraria which is situated on the far west side of the São Miguel island. Ferraria is a natural hot spring at the bottom of the volcano, right next to the sea. When the tide is out, the pool is very warm - around 30°C. The rock is made from lava which flowed from the volcano and cooled and hardened very quickly once it met the sea. The patterns from the lava flow can be seen in the rock.
We finished off our trip at the Arruda Pinapple Plantation where we learned about how the pineapples are grown and how they are the iconic fruit of the Azores. We were able to sample the products made on site from the pineapples such as pineapple liquor, chutney and marmalade.
|Ilex azorica - Azorean holly / Azevinho|
Laurus azoricus - Azores Laurel / Louro
Erica azorica - Azorean heather / Urze
Myrsine africana - African boxwood / Tamujo
|A foggy trail|
São Nicolau / St Nicholas Church
Farol de Ferreria - Lighthouse of Ferreria
Pineapples growing in the greenhouse