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.