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Monday, 2 May 2016

PONTA DELGADA, SAO MIGUEL, AZORES is the transatlantic stop for many ships.


Ponta Delgada is situated on the volcanic Sao Miguel Island in the Azores. The amount of rainfall (a lot) means that the vegetation is lush. Be prepared for showers even if it looks bright because the weather can change in an instant. One moment hot sunshine. The next a downpour and cold wind.

Sao Miguel is nicknamed the Green Island because of its fertile soil, and this is due to the temperate climate.

We left the terminal at the ground level exit, and followed the pedestrian walkway to the town centre. There are many ways to explore. you can hire bikes, cars or even a tandem. The narrow streets are winding and cobbled. The town square is charming and on many of the streets you will find a church.

The mosaics on the cobbles are very pretty and in the middle of the square there is a pavement cafe. The tourists are catered for, there is a horse and cart ride almost constantly running around the town. I hope it's not the same one, otherwise those poor horses must be pretty tired.

The language spoken is Portuguese and Ponta Delgada puts you in mind of Lisbon.

Some of the churches are quite beautiful. The altar in Igreja do Colegio is definitely worth a look, as is the statue of St Sebastian on the high altar in the 16th century church of Sao Sebastiao . It definitely reminded me of Liberace!!

The sand is the black volcanic sand. The water is sparklingly clear. it is easy to see the fish. We went down to the waters edge and met Bruno who runs a company called Best Spot diving, He is friendly and enthusiastic about his trips. There are many interesting wrecks to see as well as the varied marine life. If you want a diving adventure contact him in advance at bestspotazores.com His team are qualified marine biologists so they know their stuff.

Another place that is well worth a visit is the botanical gardens. Full of bamboo trees, beautiful plants,caves, and even a play area for children. I had my jumper on and off so many times while we visited Jardim Antonio Borges because the temperature kept changing . This is why the vegetation is so abundant and colourful. There are many birds there, the bird song is beautiful.

There is an open top bus that leaves from the quayside. It is busy early on in the day but if you leave it quite late you practically have the bus to yourself. Make sure you don't miss the ship though!

When I revisit Ponta Delgada I plan to try out the 27 hole golf course. Although I must remember to put my brolly in my golf bag for the occasional shower.

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