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|Flores is the closest of the
Azores to Bermuda, and we felt the most beautiful. It is relatively
undeveloped, with only about 4,000 population. Everything is very well
kept, and the people friendly. Services are limited, but who cares?
The island was originally called Ilha de Thomas, but was renamed to a couple of hundred years ago because of the abundance of flowers.
There was no human habitation till about 1500, so it seems many of the flowers were natural.
This photo was taken on an old cobbled road on the cliff above the anchorage. It is ever provided with shady seats, and (not shown) a barbecue spot.
|Until about 15 years ago there
was no secure anchorage in Flores. In 1980 we had to anchor in 130
feet of water, using 690 feet of anchor line, and relied on calm weather.
Today, there is a breakwater sheltering a small beach at Lajes in the SE corner of the island. It is quite sheltered except in winds from N through east, when conditions may range from rolly to untenable.
|The old town of Lajes overlooks
the port. In the past, this was one of the few spots where attackers
could land on the steep shores, so it was fortified.
We are the closest boat under the gun, so were pleased that it is long past being workable.
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island has steep sides about 500 metres high, mostly dropping to the sea,
with some flatter valleys.
The steep sides have many high, thin waterfalls, even in the dry summer.
apparently flat fields in the photo above are heavily terraced as seen here.
The walls supporting the terracing are dry stone, often impressively high.
are dozens of old volcanic craters, mostly under 50 m diameter, but some
quite large and full of water, with no visible exit, like this one.
Most of the coast is too rough for landing, even in the settled summer weather when we took this shot.
build things to last, with all construction except the most recent being in
stone. Recent work is on concrete. No trailer parks, plastic shelters
or other temporary work.
Even this mailbox is in stone.
bridges are solid, and represent an impressive amount of work since they
predate major construction machinery.
Even the street signs are made to last.
|There are lots of festivals in
the Azores in summer, often a mix of religious activities, folk music and
This one was to celebrate that start of the fishing season, and ensure good catches. After church everyone was served a large meal of fish, wine etc. they refused a contribution to it from us, saying that they wished only for a good fishing season.
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