We explored more of the island of San Miguel today. Starting off early in the morning, we drove by van to the volcanic lake known as Lagoa do Fogo. It’s a very scenic drive from the city of Ponta Delgada, and I was impressed with how organized and well-planned the agricultural efforts are here.
From there we drove to a liqueur factory named Mulher de Capote, which bottles all types of flavored liquors. I bought a bottle of ginja (a cherry-flavored liquor popular in Lisbon). We then moved on to a tea plantation (or “factory” as they call it) named Cha Gorreana. I’m not a big tea-drinker, but I can say that nothing can compare to the experience of consuming fresh “produce” on the spot. It was extremely good.
Another scenic view visited was Santa Iria, which provides a stunning view of San Migue’s coastal cliffs. We then drove on to the small town of Furnas and the Lagoa das Furnas, a place famous for its geothermal activity, produced by the area’s underground vulcanism. One of the attractions is to see workers placing parcels of food in the geothermal vents (a privilege for which restaurants and individuals pay a small fee of 3 euros). We then moved on to a restaurant that actually served us a meal from the meats, blood sausage, potato, and cabbage cooked in the vents. There are some very interesting things here: one vent offered potable water that was naturally carbonated. Our guide also showed us something equally unexpected: cigarette smoke wafted in the direction of the geothermal, sulfurous steam increased the steam’s visibility. I am not sure how the interaction of the gases and the steam caused this effect, but it was demonstrated repeatedly.
We drove from there to a park that offered visitors the chance to bathe in the hot, sulfurous springs. This was a relaxing experience; and I was surprised to find sulfur deposits all over my bathing suit after I had left. It isn’t the type of thing that happens often. All in all, it was a lot of activity for one day. The photos are below:
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