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travel blog

a poorly kept travel journal

Flying out

I woke up, still pretty tired from the previous day’s babysitting adventures, but managed to repack a bit and reduce my pack sails further. It’s only 5 days on the ground and our Airbnb has laundry, so we’re covered.

I got early notifications that my flight was delayed 45 minutes, so I used the time to grab a coffee and muffin from Pinhole before getting a ride to the airport. The woman driving is studying anthropology, so we had a good chat about that.

From there, things were pretty low key. I was assigned a window seat in an exit row, there was no one in the middle seat, and the person seated in the aisle worked for Harvad doing women’s health work in Uganda. The flight attendant seated in the jump seat in front of me was cool, too, so the flight was easy. Good conversation, a bit of a nap, and a few chapters from How The Economy Works. Easy.

Once we landed in Boston, I headed over to terminal E to meet Tiff and Wade. I got there with plenty of time to spare, grabbed dinner, and then we boarded. Though objectively shorter, the regular prodding by my 8 year old seat mate, the back of my seat kicked consistently, and the hubub surrounding the poor girl in the row ahead of me getting sick, the flight felt twice as long.

Day 1

After we landed, we breezed through customs and picked up our rental car. We lucked into a free upgrade, a Renault Megane, so we got to cruise around the island in station-wagon style. Luckily, Wade was far better at driving stick than I, and he took over after I stalled out in the parking lot repeatedly.

We grabbed a quick bite at a local spot (a bare bones roasted ham sandwich on a bun with fries and a pretty good coffee) then drove around Ponta Delgada getting a lay of the city before our Airbnb was ready. After we dropped out stuff, we headed over to Lagoa do Fogo and caught some amazing views.

We driver back, and bummed around looking for dinner. Everything was packed. Note for next time: make reservations. We ended up eating at the well rated Mascote, but the food took the better part of an hour to arrive and was mediocre at best. Either way, it was calories, and after being awake most of the least 48 hours, it was enough to call it a day.

Day 2

Wade woke me up with a cup of coffee at 9:30. what a guy.

We ate breakfast and headed out towards Nordeste, stopping along the wayyy….to something

We looped back to Lagoa do Fogo for photos and caught some amazing light. There was a paraglider playing in the currents from the hillside, coming extremely close to the ground. It was so cool to see.

We high tailed it back to our apartment, showered, and got dinner at Forneria São Dinis, a local pizza joint on the edge of town. The food was great! For an appetizer we split some calamari and some local cheese, then some sort of pizza. They seem to have a bit of trouble with service, as we saw many tables get something other than what they ordered, but the food more than made up for it. Tiff ordered a steak that came out perfect. The brownie and ice cream for dessert was perfect, as was Wade’s pineapple and Tiff’s crepe.

After dinner I stayed up reading for a bit before crashing.

Day 3

I woke up before Wade and Tiff, put a pot of coffee on, then read for a while. When wade and tiff got up, we put down some breakfast, then headed west to Sete Cidades. Holy. Shit. Beautiful.

We then hiked Atalho Dos Vermelhos, an incredibly gorgeous 5k? Loop along the coast overlooking Ponta Mosteiros.

We got a quick dinner at O Americo. Neither Tiff nor I were totally impressed with ours (fried fish sandwich and ham and cheese sandwich, respectively) but wade had an incredibly tender and flavorful Polvo something (octopus and potatoes) that so far topped the list for him.

After dinner, we hung out and watched the sunset before packing it in for the night.

Day 4

Slow morning. Drove out to Cha Gorreana for some tea. Really nice. Beautiful landscape, grecloudy mountain tops rolling down to sunny coastlines. Saw some cows.

Sat out, had a few cups of tea.

Drove out to Furnas, got lunch at Terra Nostra. Got the price fixed menu.

After lunch we walked around the adorable town, had a cup of coffee at a local bakery along with a queijo de vila (a baked custard) before heading back to Ponta Delgada.

We got back, showered, and walked around a bit, then ate dinner at (Taberna Açor)[], a tapas place around the corner from our place. Realistically, it was pretty much cheese with cheese and some cheese:

Then bed.

Day 5

We woke up and got out slightly earlier than usual to drive out to the Mata do Canarios trailhead towards Sete Cidades. The trail starts at the south east end of the caldera, then wraps around to follows its rim before curling in to the city of Sete Cidades. We figured it would be a fairly easy hike with a few hundred meters of elevation loss and great views of the lakes. The plan was to hike down to Sete Cidades, eat lunch there, and then hike the 12km back to the car, with a backup plan of trying to find a taxi to take us back to the car if we weren’t super stoked on hiking back.

How it actually went down was that there was 50’ of visibility and rain, so no views and flagging morale. Additionally, the elevation map we used to judge the map didn’t sufficiently convey the variability that was there, so while the overall tendency was down, there were more than a few climbs. At around the ¾ mark, Wade made the sage call that continuing on together wasn’t worth the risk of not finding a taxi in Sete Cidades, so he turned back to pick up the car while Tiffany and I continued down the trail. We met up for tea, coffee, and Lemmon cake at Tea House O Poejo and warmed up.

On the drive back, we stopped at Miradou de Reis, a gorgeous point overlooking Sete Cidades. In the 70s, someone had the ill-fated idea of building a hotel there, but construction was never completed.

After that, we came back, checked out the art exhibit upstairs, then Wade was kind enough to let me practice driving stick.

Dinner was tapas at A Tosca

we walked around a bit to observe the local wildlife, then bed.

Day 6

Who knows?! We did stuff, though. And it was fun.

Day 7

Woke up, packed and wandered around Ponta Delgada. We got lunch at Conversa à ???.

Though the airport only has ten gates, we used every minute of the two and a half hours the airline recommended we allow at the airport. Returning the rental car alone took almost an hour with the jovial agent inspecting every inch of the car inside and out. Check in took nearly an hour. Passport control crawled. The agent was kind enough to get contiguous seats for Wade and me (meaning Tiffany), and was flexible with the 8kg carry on limit for my bag. Once on the plane, a family traveling together asked if I’d trade seats from row 33 to 6 so that they could sit together. So that was cool. Helped with my connection, not that it was necessary. CBP took all of two minutes. I spent more time waiting for Wade and Tiff to catch up from the back of the plane than we collectively spent getting through customs. Meanwhile, the non-Global Entry line looked to be about two hours long. So, also cool.

I made it to my next gate and killed time walking around the terminal. Everything else about the flight home was super easy. Slept the last few hours.