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Ponta Delgada, Azores

Saga Sapphire blog - Captains' blogs

25th November, 2014

Our first landfall after six relaxing and enjoyable days at sea was the island of Sao Miguel in the Azores. It was still dark when the pilot boarded, but by eight in the morning the sun was rising as we reversed towards the berth in the capital, Ponta Delgada.

The cold front, not necessarily great for us the day before, had brought perfect weather for our tours, and particularly up to Sete Cidades, an extinct volcano that rises to 1,900 feet. From the edge of the crater it was possible to look down upon two lakes, one green the other blue. Legend has it that they are the tears of a princess and a shepherd, forbidden love again. The return journey called in at a pineapple plantation where I was told that the folks were more interested in tasting the liqueur than checking cultivation techniques.

Other tours took in Ribeira Grande, the oldest and largest town on the north coast. Also Fire Lake and Furnas Valley where 23 mineral springs spout boiling water into a sulphur laden atmosphere. In previous times the locals would bury sealed pots filled with meat and vegetables into the ground, slow cooking the ‘green’ way.

By the time we were ready to leave this evening the cloud had come down and the offshore wind strengthened, enough to push us off the quayside and back on our way. Sadly there is  only one last port to go before our journey will be concluded.

Captain  Philip Rentell

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.