Faial - 11 July

Wed 12 Jul 2006 14:19

We hired a car and drove around the island, first stopping at the site of a volcanic eruption that took place 50 years ago.  A derelict lighthouse shows where the coastline used to end - it is now some 2 miles inland.  The volcano was originally beneath the sea, and gradually created and island which then joined onto the mainland. We saw quite a few houses that had been engulfed by the ash - apparently around 300 were devastated by the volcano, which is now thankfully dormant.
Lighthouse - now inland.  White figure in doorway is Pip
Charlie at the top of an ash cliff
We stopped for a picnic at a natural swimming pool nearby.  We swam - the water was extremely refreshing.
Alice takes the plunge
Mark enjoys some blue water
We drove around the coast to Faja, where a ship went aground last December.  They are still removing the containers (which they expect to have finished by September) and will then attempt to refloat the ship and take it out to sea, where it will be sunk.
We drove up to the caldera in the centre of the island.  The size of it was overwhelming - around 1500 metres from rim to rim.  We saw two people walking at the bottom of the crater, but they are too small to be seen in the picture below.  It made a great echo when we shouted.
The view from the rim, across to Pico, was great (see below).
Pip is very excited as it is her seventh birthday tomorrow.