After adventure over on Pico and Sao Jorge it was time to start exploring Sao Miguel. As with all the islands of the Azores, the ancient formation comes from volcanoes rising from the ocean. Each part of each island being born at different times. This causes a great change in landscape whilst travelling through one island never mind from one to another.
Standing on the rim, looking down into the crater and Parish of Furnas I got a view that is mesmerising to say the least. Created over hundreds of thousands of years of volcanic activity, laying before me was a marvel of raw nature.
Early portugese settlers came here in the 1400s, yes eruptions have occurred since, the last being 1630. But, the parish and village lives on.. A bustling lovely place in fact. The lake – Lagoa das Furnas – sat green and inviting, time for a closer look cycling round it.
The green colour as seen from above is deceptive. Many local nature, algae and plant sediments make the reflective light give this illusion. Get up close and place your hands in and you see the water is perfectly clear. The trail around it is a nice 6 km or so.. Good to walk or bike and there is a calm in the air that I kept thinking would never occur in a beauty spot like this in UK.
Reflections, sun, towering hills all around. Stunning is an honest word for this place. Truly stunning.
Right next to a corner of the lake or over by the village you get the signs of volcanic land with hot springs dotted around in abundance. The sulphur in the air, bubbling water coming out of the ground, the rainbow of colors in the soil caused by iron, copper etc. There are a couple of places where at some point the spring water comes out cold and naturally carbonated, was strange to drink straight from the land.
Right from back in the days of the early settlers these springs have been used to cook food… In the picture above you can see bags around a spring cooking big bags of corn… I had the pleasure of having lunch in a place that takes this eating speciality a step further, post coming soon