One of the traditions in Horta is for boats to paint their boat name on the sea walls in the marina, for good luck. There are some really amazing and intricate designs, its just cool to see all the boats that have come through the town and what you see represents only the past few years, as they erode pretty quickly.
Carol painted our boat name for us, using paint she found around the Marina, so happens she found green paint, like Dolphins' hull. Pretty sweet. Thanks Carol!
On our second to last day we finally rented a car and got to see some of the island. The climate here in the Azores is very changeable, you can wake to fog and overcast skies and then it moves to bright sunshine and back to cloud cover at the end of the day. On our day out it was all of the above. We drove around the exterior shoreline of the island and then went to the center to see the giant Caldera, which is the hollow bowl where a volcano erupted about 400 years ago, all the islands have these, as they are all volcanic, like the Hawaii of the Atlantic. Unfortunately the cloud cover so so dense we couldn't see anything. This is what is it looks like (taken from the internet):
The Caldera is in the center of the island and we were able to see the beautiful scenery and typical farms with a few cows and vegetables.
I loved all the cows, these two were particularly cute.
This old gal wouldn't get out of the road until we slowed way down and let her amble over to her farm gate.
The island is so fertile, it must be the volcanic infused soil, the wild flowers were really gorgeous and the roads and farms were lined with hedges of hydrangea.
Here are some pix of the volcano that erupted 60 odd years ago. The call the volcanic rocks "black gold" and make everything from jewelry to flagstones to park benches out of the stuff.
Some volcanic swimming holes at the edge of the sea.
GOOD BYE HORTA :(
We could have stayed another 2 weeks at least, but we were excited to get to Sao Miguel (pix from here tomorrow).
Horta harbor from above.
Pico Mountain, on the neighboring island of Pico, its huge - 7,713 feet high and dominates the view from the harbor, its peak is often hidden in the clouds, but on our last day I was able to get a shot of peak uncloaked.
Our last meal in one of the many seaside cafes.
Mathias indulging in his 5th order of blood sausage - yuk!
Next stop LISBON!