Flores in the Azores
Terry/ Nicola Flinn
Wed 1 Aug 2012 19:28
The 142 mile passage from Sao Jorge to Vila das Lajes Flores took 26 hours. We managed to sail most of the way there, only resorting to the engine for the last 4 hours when the wind died.
We are now at the most westerly point of this voyage and we have now visited 6 of the 9 islands that make up the Azores. Just 12 miles north lies Corvo, the smallest island in the Azores. There is no useable harbour for yachts and it’s impossible to anchor there safely; it does have a small airfield and the ferry from Flores calls 3 times a week. So we took the ferry trip on the 19 seat Ariel, an absolute bargain at 20 euros for the round trip, and it afforded us 3 hours to explore the island. Initially the island was obscured in low cloud and drizzle, but by the time we landed, the whole place was basking in sunshine. You can walk just about everywhere and we took a short trip on a minibus up to the top of the island to look down into the caldera. People are extremely friendly, indeed we left our camera in a little cafe while we were waiting for the return ferry and someone took the trouble to walk down to the harbour and give it back to us. We had excellent views of the whole east coast of Flores as we made our way back to Lajes.
Flores is another beautiful, rugged island with lots of cliffs and waterfalls, but everywhere is so steep. We were certainly are out of breath when we hiked up from the harbour to the 2 shops and 3 little cafes. We spent only 3 nights on Flores, rather curtailing our stay; later in the week, the winds are forecast to swing round to the east and then strengthen, which will make getting back to Horta much more difficult. So prudence dictates a premature departure, even so, we will probably have to motor all the 130 miles.