Azores: Lagoa Azul and Lagoa Verde
OK, this first photo isn’t from the Azores, but our kitchen the night before. Miss Mina is a Tran in so many ways, but don’t forget her James roots! She’s been tapping into them recently by practicing this move: arms folded across chest and lower lip stuck out to show disdain for whatever is happening. She’s rather good at it, I think. It’s probably pretty frustrating that all we can do is laugh.
We had one heck of a time getting to the Azores. It should have been a quick, direct flight of just 4.5 hours. Instead, it was delayed repeatedly (9pm to 2am to 4am to 6am to 7:30am), and we arrived 10 hours later than planned and with just two hours of sleep. Still, we were there and the place was beautiful. Yen bought the kids new hiking boots, and we decided to break them in immediately.
Yes, Mina’s boots are pink. Yen picked out a pair that looked just like Linus’s, but she wasn’t having it. The girl is particular, I’ll tell you that!
The weather requires some flexiblity. You can see that we’re all in light jackets, so that’s a very happy change from Boston in April. But the clouds hanging behind us meant that we needed to stay prepared, and (perhaps more important) that we couldn’t see the bright blue and green of the two lakes below us.
But we’re Trans! We don’t let a little thing like clouds bother us.
Here’s a better view of the lakes. These are famous for their colors: the one at the bottom is green, and the one on the top is blue. When the sun is shining, anyway.
The lakes are nestled in the crater of an inactive volcano, which is why you see that high wall all along the back. More about that in some of the other posts to come.
We tried hiking up to the rim of the crater, but the view just wasn’t there. Don’t worry: you’ll get to see it later.
We decided to drive on a bit, then, and check out a few other sites. Here’s an old aquaduct that used to bring water to Ponta Delgada. The Azores have been populated since the 1400s, so you’ll see that it’s quite cultivated.
At last we drove back down to the lakes and had a little walk. It only actually rained on us once, and that was for just five minutes. We hid under a tree and then got back to walking.
There are azaleas absolutely everywhere on the island. And hydrangeas, but they weren’t blooming yet.
There’s lush vegetation everywhere you look. Yen said it all reminded him very much of Hawaii, but without quite so much commercial development.
In the car again, and driving around to see the area.
And now we’re back at “home.” We rented a house in Varzea, a little town on the far west side of the island. Mina was very excited to find cats in residence.
We chose the house because we wanted something quiet and family friendly – you’ll see soon that friends joined us with their little boy, and the space turned out to be vital. We were in a quiet little village with a church bell tolling off and on throughout the day. Linus loved it all.
Our host was incredible. She stocked the kitchen with milk, yogurt, and local bread. She even bought little Easter eggs for the kids. She invited us to Easter lunch with her family, but we didn’t see the message in time. I would absolutely recommend that you find her if you want to visit – I’ll provide all the details.
Ah – there’s that church. And this is the back wall of the house’s garden. Next to the church was a very convenient playground.
The house has a wide porch that goes around the entire perimeter – perfect for little feet. The shutters you see at left swing closed at night to keep all of the light out. I must say I really enjoyed the act of opening the shutters each morning in an official start of the day.
Here’s a view from the kitchen into the bathroom. Aren’t the tiles stunning?
Mina made herself right at home!
So there’s Day 1 finished. I’ll post the next day just as soon as I can.