Hello dear followers, this year a new trip was something calling me to go out again and Azores was once again my preference.
Not only because is one of the most natural and traditional kept places in Europe, not also because it has the highest point of Portugal of 2351 meters above visible sea level, not only because the isolation of being away of everyone in a extreme friendly place where we can engage a conversation with the locals without any fear from both parties as unfortunately we are becoming to be used to, because of all this an a way more.
Adventure started home, 4:30 while attaching my bicycle's bag to my backpack and then putting them both on me, climbing on my motorbike and drive 100km to the airport, arriving there 7 to fly at 8 on a new version of the SATA Airline that become the new AZORES Airline.
The engagement with people started way before arriving to the island, was even before having a seat while a another passenger tell me to pass because I was a pilgrim, I have on my backpack a pin that gave him a clue but when I look at him, Filipe, he was also wearing a "Camino de Santiago" shirt. The 2 hours flight were a non stop of exchanging experience, once he was also a solitaire traveler on a bike and we knew by heart similar trails. While this his colleague, Afonso, also from mainland Portugal but willing to change his life to Pico permanently said in a no negotiation way, "tonight you will eat fish with us for you to see what is live in this island".
Landing in Pico with a Airbus 320 would be softer if the runway was bigger, the pilot had to use the brakes more then normal, while this Filipe was already showing that the village aside was where he was planning to build a small shelter for his vacations and perhaps one day stay here. Terminal was super small and confy, the security was so discrete just to comply with the minimum regulation once for people here is normal to park the car and leave the keys inside, the security hazard is none. We stepping out they insisted they would take me to the youth hostel, "it's on the way".
Pico is also the second biggest of the 9 Azorian Islands, and the name of the third one is called Terceira, right aside and very visible Horta and São Jorge easily possibly to travel by daily Ferries, so the distance that looked very small between the airport and was at least 8 km, they dropped me and we dealed to meet later.
Check in in the albergue done, bike mounted and went out for a small tour out of São Roque once is not the main village of the island, headed west to Madalena and noticed that here life goes by really slow, almost no tourist and started to absorb the local energy, small villages by the ocean with renewed houses probably from all the emigrants that were forced to leave the place in the past to earn their lives either West to America or East to Europe.
Cycling on the road, 3 hours later, a car stopped by my side, was Afonso, it's surely a small island I told him we passed a bit together at Cachorro, a place where a dog shape volcanic rock was found and gave the name to the place.
Continued to the hostel to have a shower and waited them to go for the special dinner in Ribeiras, on the other side of the island where a group of locals were waiting with a huge pot full of "Caldeirada" (slow boiled with tomato sauce and unions) and local wine that taste like strawberries... delicious, came back home with feed to the soul.