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Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Ponta Delgado, Saõ Miguel, Azores



Day one, and after a very long journey and a good nights sleep, I was keen to get out and see where we had landed.

The volcanic landscape was dramatic, with the morning skies bright everywhere except over the nearby volcanic hills where the top was clad in a dark thick cloud from which it failed to emerge all day.  

Common Tern
A wander along the promenade seemed the best introduction to this iconic destination.   Having Azores on my wish list for over 20 years (with a short intermission when Andy and Fergie honeymooned there) to finally arrive was a thrill in itself.

Along the lowlands and the coast blue skies appeared.  One of the first birds seen was Common Tern  feeding in the small rock pools.   House Sparrow and Common Starling were the most numerous birds, with Blackbird appearing as we continued along the coast.   Yellow-legged was the only Gull seen (without bins!).

Along the marina wall, Voyagers have their motifs painted and shoals of fish swam alongside the pontoons.

After a leisurely breakfast, the rest of the day was spent walking around the south and east of the town "being a tourist" enjoying stunning architecture and beautiful scenes.

Churches were either stunningly ornate and slathered in gold or simple and welcoming.   Colours abounded with buildings painted in all colours of the rainbow.   The pavements are patterned with nautical symbols, stripes and even stars.   Not just in the main thoroughfares, but the backstreets as well.
Harbour decorations

Shops sell everything from food to garden tools, and then others just cheese or meat.    With a strong link to Brazil, the similarities are endless.   I see where Brazil gets its idiosyncrasies from!

Blackcap seemed to be everywhere - with their calls ringing out along the seafront from almost every tree we passed.   Try as we might, they were a nightmare to see - flitting from branch to branch as males chased each
other.
The main square

Coffee stops by the sea and ice cream - swiftly followed by caipirinha - were great ways to soak up the atmosphere.   Seafood and salads are served in amazing combinations.   Tuna salad composing of chick peas, tomato, lettuce, Apple, egg, croutons, shredded tuna, topped off with copious amounts of toasted, flaked almonds.   Absolutely delicious!