Day out on Pico

The ferry from Horta to Madalena takes just 30 min and cost 5 euro each return (because we are old). We had a really good driver/guide, João was recommended by another yachtie. Pico is known as the black island, it is the youngest of the 9 Azores islands at only 300,000 years old, all black volcanic rock and no sand to speak of. The north west where we started off is given over to vineyards, apparently the best quality grapes grow nearest the sea, they are planted in little sheltering enclosures, the walls built of black rock of course without mortar like a dry stane wall.

It was a lovely day so we got great views of the eponymous mountain. Inland and on the other side of the island the land is more fertile and is given over to grazing and other crops. At Lajes on the S side we went to the whaling museum. The Azores now makes more money (in a normal year anyway) from whale watching than it ever did from whaling. Timshel might just fit in the small marina at Lajes assuming that we had booked. We had a great lunch of local dishes, visited a windmill and finished up with a tour of João’s family vineyard and winery, where we were treated to samples of white and red and local cheese. All too soon we were back in Madalena to get the ferry back to Horta.

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