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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Hike Flores PR4FLO Porto das Lajes to Faja do Lopo Vaz 16 July 2012

1145hrs on 16 July we left Dutch Link in the Lajes marina and walked up the main road to the village of Morros
 At Morros we turned left into the village as indicated by the sign to Faja do Lomo Vaz, our objective

Walked past the Casa do Espirito Santo

 The route out of the village is clearly marked
 At the next crossroads it is not that obvious - there is some  vague writing on the road suggesting one should keep straight on and not turn right - this proved to be correct
 The cliff top above Faja do Lomo Vaz comes into view
 Another unmarked road junction - we guessed keep left - this proved to be correct
 More hydrangeas
 The car park at the real start of the hike with information boards

 Picnic spot close by
Checking the route at the start of the descent from the clifftop
 View from the start of the hike
The trail is a combination of almost horizontal sections and , where it steepens, stone steps. The steps are thought to have been built by Lomo Vaz and his men around 1508 when he came over from the other Azorean  island of Terceira to settle the island

 Wonderful views as we descended to the Faja

 A shrine in a hollow in the cliff face

 more views

 Our objective in view - the Faja - a small strip of cultivated land below the almost vertical cliffs

 There were several Ginger Lily flowers (Hedychium gardnerianum ) along the track

 Almost at the Faja
 The Faja, being south facing and at the bottom of 300 meter high almost vertical cliffs has a microclimate - almost tropical. Here plants usually associated with more tropical climes used to be grown - such as bananas, Strawberry Guavas, Pinapples, Figs etc. There are still some small Banana plantations. This microclimate is thought to be the reason why so much effort was put into creating an access to it way back in the 16th century

 Now the small irregular stone wall-separated fields are used mainly for grazing cattle - amazingly, the cattle are herded from the clifftop down the same narrow often steep trail which we used  as this is the only access to the Faja - we saw cow pats in the fields but no cattle - we would not have been too happy meeting a herd on the narrow path!
 Time for a picnic lunch
 the flattish land in the background is a Faja which was created by an unexpected major landslide which occurred 22 May 1980. The sudden landslide caused a mini tsunami which submerged some of the boats on the hard on the pier at Porto das Lajes - where we are docked at the moment.

 Time to return

 but first a refreshing dip
 Mike was going to join Jeannette but, being a whimp, was put off by the extreem heat of the black sand. Jeannette cools her feet down under a convenient, highly unexpected , shower
climbing back up the cliff trail
 Made it back to the top 
 View over Lajes on the way back
 zooming into Lajes Lighthouse
 We were back on Dutch Link by 1730hrs having had another superb hike

1 comment:

gerschok said...

Inderdaad een superbe hike en wat een heerlijk weer.Ook heel interessant was het micro-klimaat maar wel goed dat jullie de kudde koeien niet hebben ontmoet!Wij zijn nog steeds jaloers op dat heerlijke weer want hier waait het windkracht 5/6 met buien maar morgen is ons eindelijk mooier weer beloofd ,we blijven optimistisch.Grtjs LNG