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Friday, June 29, 2012

Hike Santa Maria PR5 28 June 2012

14.30hrs 28 June left the boat for our first hike this year in the Azores. Since we were last here, a new hike (PR5) has been marked starting from the bottom of the town of Vila do Porto on the hill overlooking the harbour. We had been introduced to the first part of the hike by Cheila from the marina on our first visit to Santa Maria in 2010 (

The lower red line shows the route of the hike, 6.8 kms long, basically following the coast from Vila do Porto eastwards to Praia Formosa,
 Looking back towards the marina

 The town of Vila do Porto
 Yes, we are back in the land of cows
 of all colours
 The route took us past an old lime kiln
 which used to be feed with limestone from these mines 
 one of the mine roof supports
 Checking the route
and, of course , a bit of Yoga
 A few of these birds of prey were circling over the sea close to the cliffs.
We think they were the Milhafre (Buteo Buteo Rothschildi or Goshawk in English). Some historians consider the island group is named after this bird which is also known as Acor in Portuguese and is very commonly seen on the islands here and is to be seen on the Azorian Flag.
 Past a  new house with a commanding view over the bay
The house is just visible upper right of the below photo
 View towards Praia Formosa

 Admiring the views

 Fishermen on the rocks below the cliff
 one of whom proudly showed us his catch
 After a steep descent, made it to the rocks at the base of the clifs

 A very red rock caught our eye
 After 3 1/2 hours, made it to our destination, Praia Formosa, which has the best sandy beaches on the island
 J could not resist a quick refreshing dip
Had planned to return by the 18.30 bus only to find that the bus service only starts 1st July . 3 days wait was a bit too long so rang for a taxi, and 15 minutes later were on our way back to Vila do Porto - cost 10 Euros - very nice to have reasonably priced taxis

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