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It has been absolutely beautiful exploring this island. I will definitely miss its natural beauty and liveliness! Continue reading
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I realized there is an omission in my blog of last Sundays activities (7/13). Last Sunday we went to Sete Cidades to visit these beautiful connected lakes. From vista do rei you have a great vantage point to see the … Continue reading
Upon walking back from the festival, some of the AP fellows found a kitten in the field next to the cookie factory near to our residence. As expected, we decided to take her in. One of our colleagues has family on the island who will actually care for the cat. Until they arrived I housed/hid the kitten in my room after sneaking her past the security guard in my jacket. We bought her food, water and some milk. She was a very sweet and kind kitten who liked to cuddle. We named her Carina. She is already off to her new home, but she definitely brightened our day.
During the week, everything is hospital based, we call it going to work as if it were a job. Although AP setup the internships, in reality it is all individually arranged with the doctors and professionals we are shadowing and their schedules. The weekend, however, is dominated by events in order to ensure a well-rounded experience in São Miguel.
This weekend our coordinator, Daniel (also a tour guide on the side), took up up around the coast of the island to visit and see some scenic views of the coastline. We made a pitstop at Santa Iria for a great northern coast view (see picture). After the quick photo shoot, we headed to furnas. Furnas are naturally occurring hot springs and mineral waters. The beautiful lake is pictured below. We hiked through the jungle (quite literally) to reach the lake. I feel very lucky because São Miguel has an incredible amount of hydrangeas of a very blue color while also being the “Green Island” of the archipelago, which makes a beautiful contrast. After our hike we went to a local hot spring and went for a very relaxing swim. Unfortunately the water had high sulfur levels and my bathing suit is now a slightly orange color, but I digress. Anyway, I left the bath feeling very relaxed, which is an achievement since I normally find it difficult to relax. After the hot springs we went to a restaurant where they served us food cooked on the steam of the hot springs. It took 5 hours to cook. Delicious.
After visiting a beach, we went home, gladly, exhausted after a long day. That night we went to Vila Franca a neighboring town and saw a cultural festival. Funny enough, I had an amazing hot dog. Imagine the smallest shoestring french fries or mini french fries that taste like chips. I had a hot dog with those, mayo, olives, and maybe something else, I am not quite sure, but it was delicious. Note to self, Azoreans know what condiments truly belong on a hot dog.
Today, Sunday, we went to a church festival where they had many riding horses that were decorated in festive gear. It was really more of a parade, but the horses were confined to too small of a space for too long so they just seemed restless. Afterwards we went to a small waterfall in an area surrounded by hydrangeas. It was next to the beach so we were able to hike a bit and then lay on the sand. Tomorrow starts another day of work in the pediatric department. I just hope to go to bed early so I have energy for tomorrow and the week ahead!
São Miguel fun fact: People randomly shoot off fireworks on Sunday for the holy day, but they just sound like explosions.
There are so many cats that run through the streets of the island. There is not much wildlife other than domesticated animals, but these cuties pop up here and there from time to time. This cat was also appreciating the … Continue reading
The northern coast of São Miguel from the Santa Iria view point