Gordon: We have had some unsettled weather lately, with high winds and rain, some of biblical intensity. The rain seldom lasts all day, however, allowing us to walk for a few hours each day. And the temperatures remain ridiculously pleasant: it is always between 19 and 24 degrees, night or day, rain or shine.

We have been waiting for a particularly good day to walk around the rim of the caldeira, and today was the day. The caldeira on Faial is located at the middle of the Island, at an altitude of 900 to 1000 metres at the rim. 

There is an 8 km trail that runs around the circumference of the rim, and that was our walk today. It was endlessly beautiful. We had excellent views of Graciosa, São Jorge, and Pico Islands. The walk itself is like being on one of those revolving restaurants that allow you to see an entire city over a meal, in that we had a tour of the Island in a few hours. (It can be distinguished from a revolving restaurant, however, because it is quite a strenuous hike, and our lunch of bread and cheese wasn’t that notable.) Turning the other direction gave us views of the cliffs on the inside of the crater that drop 500 metres to the flat floor of the caldeira. There is a (restricted access) trail to the bottom of the crater, but it was hard to visualize where there could be a safe slope to descend.

It remained beautiful all afternoon, and we checked out another swimming area near our new accommodation on the northern side of the Island. Although the wind was light and the swimming area was beautiful, the surge and suck of the sea as the swells rolled in was frightening. It’s now been a few days since our last snorkeling session, but we are still hoping the season is not at a complete end.

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