Gordon:  During the last couple of days we have been doing a series of walks in the wilder, eastern portion of São Miguel.  Yesterday we went for a beautiful coastal walk before lunch, and then an excursion up a lush canyon afterwards.  On the return leg we passed through the tiny community of Sanguinho, which does not have road access.  There were clearly many more people living there in the past, but the community is clearly enjoying a bit of a renaissance.

Today we went on three shorter walks on the north coast.  The first was a ramble through farmland, the second was along a wild coast, and the third visited the “Blue Pool”, a quiet pool in a narrow canyon that really is an eerie shade of blue.  Once again we saw ample evidence that the land had at one time supported a higher population density.

We have been enjoying lunch at small local restaurants between hikes.  Today we had a delicious meal of beef ribs, taro and sweet potatoes.  The portions were huge, and served with a beer and an espresso the bill was 6.5 euros each.  I believe that in general the costs of food and accommodation are lower in the Azores than they are in continental Portugal, which has the best prices in Western Europe.  For the next couple of nights we have rented a century old, three bedroom house that has been beautifully restored.  It costs about 40 euros a night, a bit more in high season.

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