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Evening 6: Ponta Delgada

Today was our final day on the island of São Miguel. It's been a hectic one but very satisfying in that we finished it having achieved everything we wanted to do during our stay.

I was in a fairly good mood because we'd got back our deposit left with the apartment owner. That was never really in doubt but the second deposit -- for the rental car -- was. Every car on this island has scuffs on its alloys. It's not possible not to clip curbs when you're driving down very narrow streets in old towns and another car is coming the other way. Our car had gained two sets of scuffs since I took over. Worse that that, it had gained mirror-image scratches on each side's rear doors. The cause of those scratches is very simple; there's a lot of wild flowers here and sometimes they grow overshooting the curb. If you happen to be on a mountain road with a bus coming the other way, the car drives through them.

The upshot was that I was convinced that these new marks would be pointed out and mysteriously the cost of repairs would equal the excess. That's not to be sniffed at when it amounts to 800€ which has already been taken as a deposit.

I was in luck, though. The man collecting the car wasn't the one who had dropped it off so he didn't have the same knowledge of which scratches were already in place. He checked that I had left sufficient petrol then asked me to sign to say I'd handed it back without a mark! He didn't even query the orange warning light being on on the dashboard. He then cancelled the transaction which had been pre-authorised for my deposit. Result!

That just left us with the very pleasant job of going out for an evening meal. We took one last walk through Ponta Delgada and headed to the restaurant we'd had a quick and cheap lunch in on Sunday. I'd noticed that though everything else was cheap, there was one particular steak which wasn't. It was clearly a local speciality, so that's what we had. It was delicious, as were the desserts: chocolate mousse for Clare, and a local cake for me. Wonderful stuff.

We exited and walked for the final time across the main square:


Lovely, isn't it?

It's now time for bed, since our flight leaves early tomorrow and we'll be carrying out a first of walking to the airport. We've reviewed this holiday over dinner and are clear that it's one of the top ones we've ever had with no day whatsoever being wasted. It seems that we'll be coming back on another occasion, only for a two-week break and with the intention of doing some island-hopping too :)

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