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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

2017 Hike Sao Miguel Lagoa do Fogo

Monday 7 August 2017, Mike drove Ana & João's car the 30 minute ride to the start of the PRC2SMI hike to the Lagoa do Fogo arriving at the start at 1030hrs. I used the very handy WalkMe Azores app to get me there.
The previous time we did this hike was 23 July 2011 - see blog link 
We did not have the luxury of a car then and took the bus to the Ponte de Ribeira de Praia and had to walk 30 minutes up the steep boring concrete road to the start of the hike.

Place to park the car at the start of the hike

The first hour of the hike was up this steep mainly shaded farm track
And through a forest of Crytomeria japonica, the Japonese Cedar
At 1130hrs arrived at the Levada and followed this for the next 30 minutes

At 1200 hrs reached the extentisive highly organised catchment area for the Levada

At 1225 hrs arrived at the Lagoa do Fogo, the end point of the PRC2 SMI hike to find many other hikers picnicing and swimming in the lake

The return route I followed was not part of the official hike as this just reverses the route up. The return route I used climbs ESE along the crater edge for a while before turning south - see "WalkMe Azores " App map below
Views ofthe Lagoa do Fogo from the return track

Views of the south coast through the extensive Tree Heather

Hydrangers and cows - very Azorean!
The end of the track

Looking back at the track - the route would be difficult to find in reverse as it does not look as though it would be allowed - indeed, I was told the track is a private track and hikers are tolerated but not particularly welcomed to use it.
On the link road to the start of the hike is another car park close to the start of the PR39SMI along a Levada - the Quatro Fabricas da Luz hike

Had to wait for a passing herd of cows + 2 sheep
Arrived back at the start at 1530 hrs - total time taken 5 hours - distance covered 11 kms, height climbed 481 m from 192 to 673 m - a very enjoyable hike.
Most cars seemed to have left - presumably their owners had taken the official route back.

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