Sunday, May 19, 2013

Day 3 - Around Sao Miguel Island

Well so much for that morning run. As soon as my alarm went off at 6:15am, I knew that wasn't happening. I got up and opened the curtains...barely light out, cloudy, cold. And I had a headache. No thank you. I set my alarm for 7:30 and tried to go back to bed, but it was too late. I was already awake. Might as well of gotten up to run. I didn't go back to sleep!

Up at 7:30, showered in the tiny European shower (literally did not touch my hair this morning) and went down for more free breakfast. They don't refrigerate their milk or eggs here. So weird. And they were out of spoons because there is a soccer team staying here that beat us in. So we had cereal with warm milk with a fork, and warm yogurt with a knife. 

We went back up to the room to brush teeth and grab some vitamin C drops before meeting Victor in the lobby at 9am. As soon as we gor down there, he was walking in. "You got your swimsuits and towels?" was the first thing he said. We both looked at him like he was crazy. "For the hot springs pool in Furnas!" Hmmm, we didn't realize we were going to be in any water, but we happily obliged to go get them. The hotel lady wouldn't let us take towels with us - the sulfur in the water turns them yellow - so victor drove us to his house and his wife brought out two towels in a cute little basket for us. So sweet!


I havent written anything else all day. It was 9 hours of stopping at lakes, view points, numerous natural hot springs (Matt's favorite), ate cozido cooked underground in the volcanic natural springs, tea plantations, waterfalls in the jungle (my favorite), and shops. It was such an awesome day. Perfect sunny weather. Victor was the best guide ever. I'll just upload a few pics for now and try to write about the rest of the day later. But seriously, it was all awesome. We loved it and are so glad we stopped here for the weekend. (And would definitely return for some hiking!)

For some videos from today, click on my YouTube page on the right bar. I can't update links from here, but I just uploaded all of them there. 

Victor dropped us off back at our hotel around 6:30. We came straight up to the room, changed clothes, and went for a nice little 5.5 mile jog along the sea. I could get used to views like that every day. (We were actually going to keep going for six miles but our nice path ended and we were in a sketchy neighborhood.)

Thanks for my watch, mom! (early birthday present) It's going to be great for running internationally! 

I think Matt wins best boyfriend ever award for the day for running with me. He's not a runner (that's what he says) and definitely wanted to take a nap instead of run. But he came along - and kept up - anyways. He's the best. :)

There is a great running and biking path all along the ocean , which is about two blocks from our hotel. But people certainly don't use it for that. Everyone looked at us like we were completely crazy. They were all walking along eating ice cream and smoking, haha. Matt mentioned we might be the two most fit people in the Azores. (Joking. Kind of.)

Sweaty. Very sweaty. 

Towards the end of the run, every one along the streets was just going nuts - screaming and honking and waving hints out the car. Fireworks, everything. We couldn't figure out what was going on. Maybe because the big festival was officially tomorrow? But when we got back up to the room, we saw this on every channel: 

No idea what exactly happened, but pretty sure some Portuguese soccer team won something big. Either something really big or people here are just nuts about soccer. 

We tried and tried to find the Spurs game somewhere on tv or on our phones. No such luck. They're in the finals and Matt is kind of a big fan. So we showered and set out to find some food for dinner. (The not cool thing about the motion senseless lights is that they go off when you're in the shower. And then you're in the dark.)

I found this cool little pop-up soft plastic hair diffuser that I brought with me. For the rare occasion that I actually wash my hair. It takes up way less space and I figured there would be hair dryers here. Worked like a charm. Would highly recommend it for curly haired travelers. :)

Wearing my new necklace I bought today in Furnas!

Anyways, we hung our sweaty clothes over a chair on the balcony (gorgeous weather and sunset from there) and went out for food. Still can't believe it's very light out after 9pm here. Which is when we left. Who eats dinner that late?! Well, apparently all of Europe. 

We walked back to a restaurant we saw last night. It ended up being a little farther away than we remembered, but it was a nice night and we wanted a little walk. But it was closed! I swear nothing is ever open at night around here. The little streets are always so quiet and dead. So we started walking back to the hotel and saw a little cafe just off a square with lights on and went for it. It was perfect. Palm Terrace Cafe. AND they had wifi so Matt could stare at his phone hitting refresh every couple of minutes for score updates! (Spurs won by 20.)

We ordered bread and fresh cheese just like we had for lunch. The bread wasn't quite as good, but the cheese with red pepper sauce was! We have a new favorite appetizer in Portugal. 

Matt ordered some sort of delicious chicken with fruit and I had some tomato soup. I wanted bed more than food. 

We got back to the hotel around 10:30 and packed up and went to bed. 

Had an amazing two days in the Azores, but It's off to Lisbon tomorrow morning! (Hopefully we don't have too much of an issue with returning the slightly damaged rental car!)

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