Showing posts from October, 2023

4-day Terceira itinerary. Day 4. Rocha do Chambre, Queijada da Dona Amélia and a sweet shepherd dog

Day 4 Before our boots touched Terceira’s soil, we sought our host’s advice on the island’s best hikes. Without any hesitation, she suggested Alagoa da Fajãzinha ( Baías da Agualva ) and Rocha do Chambre . We decided to hike to Rocha do Chambre on our last day, despite the cloudy and humid weather. We grabbed some sandwiches, put on waterproof socks and trail runners, and headed for an adventure. Little did we know how tough a challenge that would be! We definitely don’t recommend this trail after rainfall, as it can be quite risky. Not as dangerous as Arbel mountain in Israel , but still unwise. The trail was circular and could be walked either clockwise or counterclockwise. We chose the latter, following numbered signs. Our journey began gently — a flat dirt road, volcanic formations, and a valley adorned with green peaks. Then the trail climbed up to 700 meters and we reached the Miradouro da Rocha do Chambre , the highlight of the hike. In front of us stood a colossal cliff

4-day Terceira itinerary. Day 3. Local fruits and skinny dipping

Day 3 On that day, the weather decided to show its wet and windy face, which forced us to stay indoors or almost indoors. During the morning drizzle, we ventured out into the garden to forage for some local fruits. We found tiny sweet strawberry guavas, which are widespread in the Azores. They would serve as our only dessert if we didn’t get an opportunity to join our host for breakfast again in the local bakery. That time we opted for a cheesecake as compensation for the gray gloomy weather. And it was not simply delicious, it was divine! The rest of the morning and early afternoon we spent in the house of our hosts waiting for the rain to stop or at least pause. As soon as it happened, one of us braved the wet slippery roads and walked down to the natural pools. This time, she chose the secluded ones with not a human soul around but with colorful rainha fish in the water. It was a lovely wild place for skinny dipping against a backdrop of the roaring stormy ocean. >>>

4-day Terceira itinerary. Day 2. Monte Brasil, casa de pasto and a vocal class

Day 2 Our host kindly offered to drive us to Angra do Heroismo on her way to work. We left the house at eight, armed with sandwiches, fruits, and water, for a long hike on Monte Brasil . This extinct volcano dominates the landscape of the city, and offers spectacular views of the bay and the ocean. She dropped us off at a viewpoint called Miradouro do Pico das Cruzinhas. The sun was just rising, and everything around us was sparkling with golden light. We could see the whole city below us, with its colorful houses and churches. From there, we followed the trail to all the peaks of Monte Brasil, discovering its natural and historical treasures. We walked around an emerald-green caldera of an ancient dormant volcano. Along the forest path we noticed a family of timid deer who ran away as soon as they saw us. We climbed up to a whale lookout, where a sign informed us of all the marine life that can be spotted around the island. We scanned the horizon, hoping to catch a glimpse of a blue

4-day Terceira itinerary. Day 1. Couchsurfing and hiking.

When we started planning this trip it looked like a typical getaway, a break from the routine and the news. We initially even booked a double room in a hostel for the whole duration of our stay on the island. It had a kitchen, of course, as we like to be self-sufficient and budget-friendly. We are independent travelers, after all, and we enjoy doing things our own way. Since I started working two years ago, I have limited time to travel. So I had to squeeze in four days on Terceira, one of the nine islands of the Azores in Portugal. We took advantage of a cheap Ryanair deal that we booked two months in advance. However, three weeks before the flight, we had a stroke of luck: we found a Couchsurfing host on the island! We were going to stay with a local couple. This was a huge surprise, because we had not been able to find hosts on most of the islands we had visited before, like Madeira or Gran Canaria. We quickly canceled our hostel reservation and got ready for an adventure. For us th

Ermida de Nossa Senhora das Brótas. Hike to Palmela. Portugal

Distance 9.3 km (gpx) , Elevation gain 280 m, Elevation loss 214 m According to the parish priest who in 1758 reported the disastrous consequences of the 1755 earthquake, there was a chapel near Cabanas that suffered significant damage. This was Ermida de Nossa Senhora das Brótas, located on a hill above the trail that today runs between Azeitão and Palmela. Several short but steep and narrow paths lead up the slope to the ruin. Nature is gradually taking over the space around and inside the chapel. Tall pine trees provide shade and soon might replace the missing ceiling. Plastered brick walls and part of the dome are what remains of the time-worn structure. Traces of blue paint are still visible on the vault. Arched windows reveal sprawling vistas to the north as far as the eye can see. From the bottom of the hill you can continue to Palmela along the zigzagging road. The route will take you up the ridge with fascinating views over the land of Arrábida and São Luís.