Day 6: A day at the park

Yet another day of good weather, while it was forecast to be overcast all day, gave us a good reason to go to a park with three waterfalls called Parque Natural dos Caldeirões. It is conveniently located in a small canyon just off the main highway in the northeast of the island adjacent to the river Caldeirões. Who would’ve guessed!

The park is neatly organised, well maintained and even outfitted with pre-stocked barbecues, where you only need to bring family, friends and whatever food you want to cook on the grill. Unfortunately, this time of year seems to be the dry season, so the waterfalls were quite underwhelming. It might also be just our bad luck, we didn’t check.

What did not disappoint at all was the café, located near the entrance of the park. They make really great Tosta’s, and serve a wide selection of other homemade foods at really decent prices. After hiking through the very steep park, this is a very welcome treat for visitors like us.

On the way home, we found another scenic lookout, this one is called Miradoura do Salto da Farinha and should be a view of a waterfall. But, as you might’ve guessed by now, there was no water to be seen, but the view was scenic nonetheless.

Our last stop on today’s trip was the beach at Capelas, where you can follow the signs to the Piscinas Naturalis or Natural Swimming pools. They are naturally occurring sheltered rock pools where you can more or less safely swim in the otherwise gnarly ocean. As you can see, the beaches here are all black, and the majority is filled to the brim with volcanic rocks and pebbles without any sand to be seen. Luckily, all beaches we’ve found so far are guarded, so at least we definitively know whether it is safe to swim or not. Spoiler: mostly not.

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