Search This Blog

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Flores - car trip round island 9 July 2012

Around 0900hrs Ocidental Car Rental (tel 292 592 012) collected us from the marina in Porto das Lajes (SE cornser of Flores)  and drove us a few kms to where our rental car was waiting - (cost /24hrs 50 Euros including full insurance ).
We (Mike, Jeannette and Flint from S/V Brenda. Flint has just sailed singlehanded from Bermuda) then drove north towards the capital, Santa Cruz.

Throughout our trip, we were treated to an almost continual floral display of Hydrangeas.
Unfortunately, I have not got used to my new camera (Casio EX-ZS100) and most of the photos are over-exposed.
some intermingled wiith wild roses

We stopped to view the best anchorage on the east coast, Baia da Ribeira da Silva
The weather was not too good - some low cloud and occasional drizzle, but still quite warm

We stopped in the town of \Santa Cruz, the island's capital and originally its main port.

The Old Harbour looks pretty tricky to enter

with the entrance channel between rocks

The Porto das Pocas which is where the ferry to the tiny island just north of Flores, Corvo, leaves from and has a few fishing boats looks even trickier to access
Porto das Pocas towards the top of the picture
Porto das Pocas

Porto das Pocas
The old Whaling Station to the north of the town looks tricky too

The old Whaling Station showing the stone ramp up which the whales used to be winched

another view of the long ramp
The old Whaling Station dock

Luckily the port of Vila das Lajes has been constructed complete with a new marina - the marina was only opened last year - before then one had to anchor off - OK in calm weather but Flores is the most prone to bad weather of all the Azores Islands as it is in the path of many of the depressions heading for northern Europe.
At the top of the long ramp there is a whaling museum complete with life size model whale

Church with more hydrangeas

zooming in
First view of the tiny island of Corvo a few mile north of Flores

more hydrangeas

View to the NW of the town of Ponta Delgada

Lighthouse Farol do Albarnaz at the NW tip of Flores
Ilheu de Maria Vaz just south of the Lighthouse

A rocky stream
Driving across SW across the centre of Flores there are several crater lakes

Each crater has different coloured water , reminds us of the coulered lakes on the Indonesian Flores island. 

Approaching Faja Grande on the west coast

Looking north Faja Grande with its black basalt lava flow extending into the sea

Some of the many waterfalls falling down the steep cliffs behind Faja Grande

Ponta da Faja
We visted a unique Hotel just south of Faja Grande at Cuada - the Aldeia da Cuada.
This owners bought a whole small rurakl village of old stone cottages each with its own gardens/fields separated by stone walls - Flint, Jeannette, Mike
The cottages are spread out over quite an area and are all self catering
There is a reception cottage and small bar/cafe for snacks. This hotel is amazingly popular - they are fully booked until the end of September
another waterfall
Coastal scene near Lajedo in the SE
Rocha dos Bordoes

zooming in to the Rocha dos Bordoes - sometimes refered to as the organ pipes

zooming in more
more hydrangeas

a mobile milking installation

Another crater lake

Scenary as we approach Porto das Lajes along the road at the south of Flores
Overall impression - Flores is a very quiet, very picturesque island with a huge number of hydrangeas lining he roads and separating the fields. We have never seen so many rabits in one day - they seem to be everywhere and several were lying dead on the road run over by cars.
This was reputed to be high season for tourism yet we only met a handfull of other tourists - so if you feel like getting away from the hustle and bustle, this must be the place.
Looking forward to some good hikes in the next few days.


No comments: