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Sunday, June 26, 2016

Hike Santa Maria Maia to Espiritos Santos

On Friday 24 June 2016 we phoned our taxi driver to collect us from the Vila do Porto marina at 1000 hrs to take us to the Whaling lookout station overlooking the Ponta do Castelo Lighthouse at the SE corner of Santa Maria.
 Due to problems with mobile reception the last time we did this walk, plus the weather forecast indicating beter weather in the morning, we decided to walk this trail in the opposite direction to the normal trail description - we found this to have been a good decision.
We arrived at around 1030 hrs and walked down the steps to the 
observation point

Below one can see the ruins of the old whaling station
Looking north , one can see the the coastal village of Maia
We retraced our steps back to the road and then walked down the 
road towards Maia
Just above the village, our trail markers indicated we should turn 
off the road and meander steeply down a rocky path between the 
terrassed vineyards

Looking back towards the Punta do Castelo Lighthouse
Maia village
The trail markers led us down to the stony beach
And to the seawater swimming pool where we stopped for coffee
The trail continued along the promenade
Past the fishing harbour - no water at low tide so all boats have to 
be lifted in and out at high water.

Here the trail markers indicate we should turn left, however, we carried on to the detour to admire the waterfall
The waterfall just coming into view

The waterfall. Our trail would bring us to the top of ths waterfall

Retraced our steps to the start of the climb to the top of the cliff
The trail climbed steeply between the terrassed vineyards


Some sort of marker device

A necessary rest stop
With a super view down to Maia

Up, up up!




Approaching the top of the waterfall


The top of the waterfall


Crossing the small stream which becomes the waterfall
Looking back at the waterfall gap


Traditional corn on the cob drying frame
Lunchbreak in the field - good 3G so Wordfeuded and emailed from here!

Ruins of an old windmill
Espiritos Santos, our destination in view
1425 hrs we reached the Espiritos Santos Church. We called our taxi from the cafe close to here.
A thoroughly enjoyable hike.




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