Gordon: Over the last few days we have had the pleasure of walking the Levada trail. This 8 km path follows a concrete lined ditch (the Levada) that collected and transported water to a pool for use in a hydroelectric generating station. The literature describes the project as one of the premier engineering achievements of the Azores – seven years in design and four in construction. The result is a concrete lined ditch about a foot deep and a foot wide that originally ran for 10 kms.
While a project of this type may be of some interest to engineering geeks (full disclosure: I have an electrical engineering degree and worked on several B.C. Hydro projects) the Levada walk is a great outing for the broader public because it is a flat, narrow track that wends its way around the central volcano. It is located at the 700 metre level, passing through dark cryptomeria forests, open pastures (with amazing views), over small canal bridges, and even through a 30 metre tunnel. Conditions were rather muddy due to the recent storms we have had on the Island, but apart from that the Levada walk is one of the best hikes we have had in the Azores.
Ruth: Whaaaaaattt??????? Seriously? “Vicki did you see what he wrote about this morning’s hike?” “Whaaattt?!? Did you include photos of your muddy feet?” Vicki and I would like it known that, although this would be a fantastic hike on a dry day, this was certainly not our favourite hike with the mud and our wet feet. We much preferred our walk to Capelinhos from Varadouro along a lovely dry track.
The sun reappeared mid day and we were finally able to swim in the sea again. I got in first at the western tip of the island at Porto do Comprido and then we all finished off the afternoon jumping in the waves at Praia do Almoxarife. The beach is a black sand beauty facing Pico. What a great way to spend our last full day on Faial, and with Vicki. Tomorrow we leave our darling little house in Cedros on northern Faial. Gord and I fly on to Santa Maria Island and Vicki flies home.