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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Hike Sao Miguel to Lagoa do Fogo, Sao Miguel, Azores 23 July 2011

Caught the 0800hrs bus towards Villa Franco on Saturday 23 July. At 0845hrs we were at Praia ready to start our first hike of 2011 in the Azores, from the Ponte de Ribeira de Praia to Lagoa do Fogo, the lake in the central caldera of Sao Miguel.
After 30 minutes boring walk up a steep concrete road we reached the proper start of the hike.
The walk was a steady climb on a farm track, initially through farmland and later through a pine forest

There were still many flowers to please the eye
although many of the many hydrangers had seen there best
Glimpses of the coast far below

Eventually, the track arrived at the end of a Madeira-like Levada water channel. This Levada used to feed a hydroelectric power station (built 1927) situated with a fall of some 290 meters which used to produce 600hp. Now the water is used for farming.
For the next couple of kilometers, the trail followed the Levada

eventually arriving at a dam and small pool
The high valley floor had been carefully developed into a complex of concrete water collection channels feeding the pool and hence the Levada.

The track then continued through a low pass
until finally reaching the beautiful lake in the Fogo caldera at an altitude of 610 meters. The Caldera is thought to have been created 5000 years ago, the last eruption was in 1563.
Time for lunch

More views of the lake

The return route passed fields with cows and Hydrangers, typical of the Azores Islands

The last part of the hike was reversing the steep initial concrete road - indeed to preserve our complaining knees we walked backwards down the slope - a highly recc0mended technique for anyone with knee problems!
Just missed the 1506 hrs bus. However there was a pleasant beach cafe by the bus stop which made the wait for the 1736 bus a pleasant interlude. Jeannette even went for a swim off the beach while Mike did some Sudoku over a cold Coke.

1 comment:

gerschok said...

Leuk om weer iets van jullie te horen en ik moest even denken wat Hydrangers waren maar de foto verklaarde alles , wij zeggen Hortensia's.Over knieën gesproken, morgen ga ik voor de laatste van de drie injecties in mijn knie weer naar het ziekenhuis en hoop er dan weer een tijdje geen last van te hebben , dus wees zuinig op die knieën.Verder hier vandaan geen nieuws , hoop dat jullie mooi weer hebben en dat jullie kunnnen genieten.Lieve groeten LNG