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Clare
Clare

Day 13: Flores

With all the waiting around to pick up the hire car last night we arrived at our accommodation on Flores after the supermarket had closed. So Tim's first task when he got up this morning was to go into the nearby town of Fajã Grande and pick up some provisions for breakfast. There was not one but two rabbits in the garden outside when he set off!

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When he arrived in Fajã Grande he had to wait a while for the supermarket to open. Luckily there were plenty of waves to watch for distraction.

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And what incredible waves they were!

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Once Tim returned with the supplies we were able to sit outside in the garden to eat breakfast. The weather wasn't exactly sunny but it was quite warm and the main thing was that it wasn't actively raining. As we set off for our day's adventures, we walked past the row of cactuses outside our apartment. A bit reminiscent of Arizona, although Arizona wasn't this humid!

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We'd noticed this morning that our WiFi was down and thought it was just a problem with the router in our room. As we walked towards the car park we met the owner who explained that there was a bigger problem; something had been destroyed by a storm and he was waiting for the company to come and repair. When we got back to the apartment this evening the internet was back up again... but it's very, very slow. I guess we can't really complain when we're in such a remote location!

We got in the car and drove back into Fajã Grande.

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Now I was able to see the enormous waves too :) 

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And they really were crashing against the rocks here

This is the most westerly part of Europe - that is, if you don't disqualify it for being on the north American tectonic plate - and it certainly felt wild enough to believe that there's nothing else out there until you hit America itself.

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The actual technical most western point in Europe is the Ilhéu do Monchique, the pointy rock which you can just make out in the background of this photo!
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But impressive though the waves were, we'd come down here to see something else: waterfalls!
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There's an absolutely amazing coastline here, with multiple waterfalls coming down the steep cliffs.

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We've been to lots of beautiful places, but nowhere quite like this.

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We followed a trail towards one particular waterfall, Poço do Bacalhau.

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This one falls from a height of about 90m and apparently you can swim in the pool at the bottom of it, although that wasn't on our bucket list for the day!

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The path up to the waterfall was quite slippery and we were glad we were wearing our walking boots. At times it felt like a stream was running down the path itself.

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We made it though and it the effort was worth it for the view.

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When you've been to Iceland like we have it's hard to pick a favourite waterfall of all time, but I really liked this one :) 

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Once we'd finished admiring the views, we followed the trail back down to the coast and the car.

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There was another waterfall view which I was hoping to see today and so we drove a few miles up the road towards it. We parked the car and set off on what was supposed to be a short walk of just 600 metres, but a few steps into it we came across this sign.

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The first bit of the route was okay, just a slightly muddy forest path.

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But it soon turned into a steep path paved with rocks. These rocks were all wet and very slippery.

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I didn't get very far before I decided that I was going to turn around. It felt like the sort of path I might get up but would struggle to get back down without slipping.

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Tim was more adventurous and decided to carry on. The path didn't get much better though!

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At this point he thought he might be nearly there when he spotted a small stream running alongside the path, but there was still a way to go.

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The path became more gravelly and easier to walk on for a while...

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...but that relief was short-lived and it soon became steep and slippery again.

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There was just one final obstacle to overcome...

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...and there it was, the view!

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This place is called Poço da Ribeira do Ferreiro and is one of the most famous views on Flores, with multiple waterfalls cascading down green cliffs into the lake below.

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The surrounding forest and greenery makes it feel like a location from Jurassic Park; I could just imagine some velociraptors jumping out of the bushes :D 

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Seeing as I didn't manage the climb, Tim took a video of the scene for me. If you watch carefully towards the end, you'll be able to make out the reflection of the waterfall in the lake :) 

Tim made it back down the trail in one piece and we left the forest behind.azores_12_72.jpg

Clouds were starting to descend over the higher parts of the island now so we decided to drive around the southern coast of the island, stopping at some of the viewpoints there.

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This one was particularly pretty - we could look down to the little village of Fajazinha, complete with a blue and white church.

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After that things became really cloudy everywhere, so we didn't see a lot until we stopped in the town of Santa Cruz das Flores on the eastern coast of the island.

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This is the biggest settlement on Flores and the place we'd arrived to at the airport yesterday.

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We had lunch at a little cafe-bar here and then attempted a few other viewpoints.

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As you can see, it was a really sunny day at the coast now and the weather looked quite promising inland too.

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As we got to a higher viewpoint, things began to look a bit cloudier...

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...but still really pretty :)

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There are a series of crater lakes in the centre of Flores which we wanted to explore. We made it to the first one, Lagoa da Lomba, just before it was swallowed up by clouds.

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We could literally see the clouds moving across the lake in front of us.

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We drove to the next viewpoint and climbed up a scenic path.

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We should have been able to see two crater lakes from here.

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Instead all we could do was just about make out part of the green ridge in between them :D 

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The weather didn't look like it was going to improve over the higher ground any time soon, so we retreated back to the apartment, where I've had an evening of battling the WiFi to try and get some photos uploaded!




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