Gord: “It’s kind of edgy here; there seem to be a lot of 30 something men hanging around and many appear a bit twitchy. The guy that just came out of the washroom was gesturing that someone is shooting up in there. It reminds me of Victoria.”Ruth: “Do you want to finish our sandwich somewhere else?”Gord: “Sure.”
Today’s ride took us through the village of Rabo de Peixe; which translates into the poetic “fish tail”. Our guidebook describes it as one of the charming fishing villages, untouched by time and worthy of a visit. It was at one time the largest fishing port in the Azores and the harbour is still filled with brightly coloured boats. For the first time on this trip, however, we were confronted by an urban edginess, verging on menacing. This contrasts sharply with the walled villas that seem to be common in the nearby countryside. For example, we are staying in a bungalow on the grounds of a manor built for a Count.
This is not the first time we have encountered poverty in the Azores, but the disparities found on São Miguel seem more extreme and less easily managed than in the smaller island communities we have been visiting. 
Reading a bit more about economic conditions in the Azores, I learned that the archipelago is the poorest region in Portugal, with the biggest disparities found on São Miguel. The per capita GDP in the Azores is about half of that in Canada and it certainly is not evenly shared. We have always assumed that Portuguese immigrants from the Azores would be better off if they returned here, but from an economic perspective that might not be the case.

Ribiera Grande
Ribiera Grande
Finishing my sandwich in solitude.
The Duke’s House

Follow Our Journey

Don't want to miss a post?

Sign-up below to receive notifications whenever we add a new post to our blog.