So after an exhausting 10 days at sea, having departed from Florida, we had finally arrived in the Azores. And boy was I ready to get off this boat! I had mentally prepared myself for potential seasickness, scary-big ocean swells and the constant hum-drum of the ship as it rose and fell with each passing wave, gliding forever forward towards our destination. What I hadn’t prepared myself for was the constant exhaustion, and the headaches and boredom that follows. The movement means you’re always balancing, even when you don’t realize, to walk straight or even just to stand there. So you feel tired even if you don’t feel like you should be! I hadn’t exercised since day 4 – all I did was work, eat and sleep. Not even sorry ’bout it.
When I saw the coastline of Faial Island in the Azores, all I was thinking about was setting foot on land and going for a big ol’ walk. We ended up being stopped for 3 days which was so nice as we got a little time off! And the azores being a group of Portuguese islands, the first thing we sunk our teeth into were Portuguese tarts. Delicious! Creamy goodness with that crumbly pastry… I wish I bought a few to take with me for the next leg of the trip!
That night our guide Rui (who was an absolute legend might I add, I would recommend his services a thousand times over!) took us to the only restaurant worth talking about in Horta, Atletico. Being on an island, the seafood here is prime and a staple in local diets! We went a little crazy here with the crew and maybe ordered a little too much… you only live once, right?
I had never had limpets before and found them similar to mussels but creamier and meatier. These were smothered in hot melted garlic butter and were delicious!
After this came a couple of whole octopus. These were served whole with garlic and lemon.
We also had some wreckfish which I had never had before – just grilled in butter with some lemon on top. It’s a white fish thats quite meaty, reminded me a lot of grouper!
The squid was exquisite, lachie’s favourite.
We also ordered an absurd amount of lobsters! I think that was some of the best lobster I have ever had. There was so much meat on them! Just incredible really.
Another place we HAD to check out is the famous Peter’s Cafe. This place is possible the most well-known sailor’s bar in the world. The azores have served as a stopover for Atlantic crossing for centuries and this place has welcomed them all with rum and a warm place to drink the night away since 1986.
The next day, we hired a van and went on an expedition around the island, to finish up on top of the volcano, looking down into the crater! The island is so remote, with very little construction beyond the town of Horta and abundant greenery and dramatic cliffs rising from the ocean. It was not the sunniest of day when we set out, which I think made it even more beautiful. I hope to have captured some of its beauty in the following snapshots.
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