|SIx days across and finally made it to Azores! This is a lovely place. The island of Faial is at once reminiscent of Saba Dutch West Indies and...North Bend!
The adorable white houses with green trim and barrel tile roofs combined with the cooler, wetter, foggier climate, cows, terraces, and the occasional rooster gave us a flood of familiar feelings. The fact that the language is Portuguese doesn't make it less familiar. The ground is volcanic. In a month, the island will be blue with hydrangeas, hence the name, Isla Azul (or similar) or Blue Island. There are four dormant volcanos, a caldera, and one that blew in 57 that covered its lighthouse. Erosion has since uncovered it, pero, no workee no mas. The island grew several square kilometers but that has since been reduced by wind and rain. The island is so attractive and I didn't miss the commercial aspects that globalism can donate one iota. Those things will not be mentioned here.
I find it amusing that an island this small has a smaller town of summer homes for the people who live in town. But what do I know? The island across the way, Pico, 7700 ft, has a mountain that has snow on it...one can ply the channels on a ferry for less than 4 euros. This may bear closer inspection sometime, especially as this is one of the great whale watching spots of the world. The sei whale as well as the blues and sperm whales are frequent fliers here. Fortunately, we didn't opt to try the trip as it was cancelled ostensibly for rain? What, that would scare them off? Whales don't like it wet? Just as well I didn't try to make the girlies turn chartreuse. Maybe next stop. I just hope it doesn't take me another 34 years to get here because I think that was the last time Ba and I flew through on a MAC flight back from Europe.
Suffering from poor self inflicted hair karma, I decided to try to get some follicular damage control done by a local. Happened by an unassuming shop run by Lucy (nee, Lucia) a youngish grandma type running her solo show. Lucy insists she can't speak English. I am pretty sure otherwise. In between chewing gum, she keeps telling me "Wait a Minute" while she is checking for symmetry. I manage to determine she is a local who has in fact lived in...Massachusetts for many years. We had heard earlier that there is a triangular relationship between Azores, Mass/Rhode Island, and California thanks to Kennedy visiting and signing an immigration agreement in 59.
Her two sons were born in the States and are still there.
"Auntie, why did you come back?"
"Too cold," the succinct reply.