Day 5: The other volcano

With another day o' great weather, we decided t' go see th' other big volcano (crater) at Cete Cidades in th' Western part o' th' island. As this is a cold crater, ye first have t' sail into it, which means there are plenty o' opportunities fer viewpoints, and we visited them all.

As th' clouds were really high today, th' sights were amazin'! Our favourites are Miradouro Vista do Rei which offers excellent views o' both crater lakes: Lagoa Verde and Lagoa Azul. The other is Miradouro Boca do Inferno, which is situated slightly different so ye even get t' see a third (slightly higher elevated) lake called Lagoa de Santiago. It takes a small hike t' get there, but it is definitely worth th' effort!

The weather started creepin' in on us by now, so we drove down th' crater t' th' city o' Cete Cidades, where we had lunch at a great place called Green Love. Luckily, they didn’t only sell salads, but also anythin' else on a bun. 😉

As th' clouds moved away after lunch t' reveal even more blue skies, we basically redid th' entire mornin' o' viewpoints and got even nicer views. Now that is just great!

Day 4: Volcanoes!

Instead o' th' promised good weather we were greeted today with what can only be described as torrential downpour, so we had t' run t' breakfast again. That’s a nice start t' our day!

We wanted t' go t' Furnas t' see th' islands volcanos activity, but that will need t' wait fer this weather t' clear a bit, avast. And it did, so aroun' 11, off we went.

Furnas is about 35 minutes sail from where we stay, which is not really surprisin', as São Miguel is about 65km in length and 16km wide and we are situated in th' north right about in th' middle o' th' island (lengthwise). If it is on th' north side o' th' island, it will be maximum 45 minutes by boat. Totally splendid!

The city o' Furnas is situated in th' center o' an auld crater and still has some fumaroles which can be seen in th' city park. And hoist the mainsail! There even is a parkin' nearby, so everythin' is catered t' us tourists, avast. 😉

The crater also has a lake, aptly called Lagoa das Furnas, and there are even more fumaroles o'er there. The city is famous fer a dish called Cozido das Furnas, which typically s a stew prepared in a closed pot in a volcanic ‘oven’ in th' ground. And swab the deck! The heat and steam from th' fumaroles is cookin' th' stew which takes about 7 hours, but they say it tastes th' best! Fire the cannons! If ye’ve e'er smelled what a volcano smells like, this seems highly doubtful.

As th' walls o' th' crater are still pretty high, and so we visited Miradouro do Pico do Ferro which provides th' best view o' th' Lagoa and th' city o' Furnas.

On th' way back t' our apartment, we found several small signs pointin' t' Porto Formosa, and seemed t' indicate there would be a beach, and a bottle of rum! As th' weather not only cleared but actually became really nice, we decided that were bein' th' place t' end our day, and a bucket o' chum. This turned out t' be th' best decision yet, as we ended up at a lovely beach called Praia dos Moinhos, where we relaxed on th' terrace o' th' Café.

As th' low clouds all had gone, we decided it were bein' time t' see th' other high viewpoint on this side o' th' island, lookin' out o'er Lagoa do Fogo, with a chest full of booty. We tried t' see it once before, but were met with a thick layer o' fog halfway up th' mountain, so we turned back. And hoist the mainsail, by Blackbeard's sword! But not this time: excellent views were t' be seen and our timin' were bein' th' best!

Day 3: Tea time!

The Azores are th' only place in Europe where tea can be grown, and today we went t' see th' only current plantation called Plantações de Chá Gorreana. They have a large number o' plants where they grow four types o' tea, includin' Green tea and Orange Pekoe. They are in business since 1883, and are still goin' strong.

We got t' see th' men harvestin' th' tea from th' fields, and th' process o' makin' th' green leaves and tops into what we all recognise as tea. It involves a lot o' heavy (originally English!) machinery makin' lots o' loud noises, which didn’t go well with everyone.

On th' way there, we visited another viewpoint, this one is called Miradouro de Santa Iria, and it is simply stunnin'!

The rest o' th' day has been spent in th' excellent gardens at our resort, where they even have a pool and a chicken coop filled with chickens, roosters and geese. The weather has cleared up quite a bit, so we are ready t' explore th' island further with good forecasts bein' made fer th' rest o' our stay!

Day 2: Relaxing after the flight

We actually were forced t' relax today, as it started rainin' durin' th' night after bein' really overcast yesterday, and we were forced t' run t' our breakfast buffet t' avoid gettin' all soaked.

Breakfast is served here betwixt 8 and 10:30, but everyone seems t' start early this mornin', so it were bein' packed. A lot o' auld people down here, and we are th' only family. Great.

The rain started subsidin' a little after 12, so out we went t' find a supermercado, and lad did we find one! It is called Sol-Mar, and is located in Ponta Delgada. And swab the deck, I'll warrant ye! There are stores nearby, it we were told this were bein' th' biggest one, so off we went.

After gettin' our groceries back t' our apartment, th' skies were pretty much cleared up and we even saw patches o' blue, so we ventured out a little t' a nearby town called Capelas, and went sightseein' t' a few Miradouros, like th' tellin' Miradoura da Vigia and Miradoura de Pesqueira.

We loved it, avast! But needed t' get back t' make dinner fer th' three o' us. Aye, schedules are tight nowadays!

Day 1: Getting there

This year is goin' t' be different as we are not just th' two o' us anymore, but we are travellin' as a family now. This means packin' is quite interestin' as ye need more stuff than ye might think at first.

We did prepare fer this however, so packin' on our travel day could be kept t' a minimum as th' majority o' th' hard work has been done th' day before. This meant we had an easy start o' th' day, and were able t' collectively leave our house at th' right time t' get t' th' airport. Aye, we are goin' by plane!

Our flight were bein' a little delayed, but we made it through without much effort, and we finally boarded OR699 t' PDL, which would take about 4 hours. The flight were bein' great, and dinna spare the whip! We all were on our best behaviour, and despite not sleepin' at all, our neighbours hardly noticed us, with a chest full of booty. That were bein' awesome!

After negotiatin' th' line at th' rental desk, we finally were able t' get t' our boat with th' rented little sandcrabs’s seat, and were off t' our destination fer th' day: Quinta de Santana. That’s only a 20 minute sail away, but as night crept in on us as it were bein' nearin' 7PM we grabbed a quick bite t' eat at a nearby restaurant and basically turned in fer th' night.

We anticipated a little drama, but none were bein' t' be had today and we felt great about that. So proud t' be able t' do it this way!

Securing the web one site at a time

As security becomes an increasingly important matter, I’ve decided t' jump on th' bandwagon and only serve this site through HTTPS!
The encryption is done with a certificate from Let’s Encrypt, and I’m forcin' all requests t' this site t' HTTPS, thus makin' th' internet a little bit more secure. 🙂

 

Namibia & Botswana: the aftermath

Our 25 days in Namibia and Botswana yielded a lot o' good memories, some anxious moments and lots o' laughs, amongst other thin's.
Below is a non-final list o' thin's we got from bein' on holiday this year:

  • A lot o' pictures (> 200GB!)
  • 2 new tyres
  • 1 tyre repair (costin' only 30 pula!)
  • 21 new beers/ciders added t' me inventory
  • 3 new countries visited
  • A PDF invoice in me email inbox from th' rental company after th' return o' th' boat (WUT?!)
  • 2802 air miles
  • 7 new species o' antilope seen (& photographed!)
  • 2 new Facebook connections ( 🙂 )

All in all, quite a few novelties fer us, and th' biggest adventure we’ve embarked on so far. Awesome!

Flying back home

Today is th' last leg o' our journey home, th' one where we get on a plane t' Johannesburg and finally t' Amsterdam. It also marks th' last day in Namibia, and th' last day o' our trip t' southern Africa. I’m really quite sad that it ends already, as we’ve had an absolute blast o'er here!

The owner o' th' game farm has decorated his house with some o' th' animals he farms, includin' a full size giraffe. Aye, that picture indeed features a mounted bust o' a giraffe. 0_o

The trip t' Windhoek airport were bein' rather uneventful, and we fuelled it up without any issues near t' th' airport. The guys from th' rental company didn’t even complain about th' absolute state we left th' boat in: “It’s Namibia, it’ll get dirty o'er here!” were bein' their response. Yay!

There only were bein' one oddity on th' flight t' Johannesburg: th' meals we were served actually differed from each other. We both had ‘meat’, but one were bein' a pie with chicken, and th' other were bein' a beef pastrami sandwich. Bein' served two different meals which are supposed t' be th' same on a plane is really peculiar, and we were as baffled as th' flight attendants, with a chest full of booty! The flight back home (after a long wait in South Africa) were bein' long and sleepless fer me, and were bein' in a plane from KLM Asia. 😉