THE AZORES SERIES, DAY 6
Corvo and an insane Tinder story. With the lack of health care of some islands, The Azores had to setup extra protocols beyond those of mainland Portugal. Other than having the PCR upon arrival, you are also required to do another 5 days into your trip.
ANOTHER COTTON BUD UP THE NOSE
Although travelling between small islands with limited facilities, the process is actually very simple. A day or 2 before your 2nd test you’re contacted with details on where to go and then again once the results are out, or not as it proved to be for me.
Flores is one of the most isolated islands on the Azores and isn’t helped by the orientation of it’s runway. Most propeller planes cannot land during crosswinds and as the airport was built north to south, the common cross winds from the east often cause it to close. This was the case for the PCR tests which were delayed several days to get out to Terceira Island for testing! And with very limited accommodation, it’s not the best place to get stuck on.
- HOTEL – Casas Da Quinta (Flores), 7/10, £120
Not only will the airport shut down frequently but the ports also experience delays & closures. I was asked to delay my boat over to Corvo until tomorrow but being tight for time I dug my heels in and eventually the skipper opted to just delay it a few hours. A bit of chop hurt no one!
The trip was choppy alright but I could imagine it to every bit as special on a calm day. The boat adds in a few detours through some caves and alongside waterfalls on the north-east coast. I’ve not got the best sea legs but when it’s a rib boat going at decent speed, it’s never a problem.
Walking around Corvo, it was hard to understand what it offers the locals. With only 400 people, you don’t have many options in the way of friends and that’s if you can find someone who you aren’t related to, which is likely another problem! After a quick walk around the town I got the islands only taxi up to Caldeirão do Corvo, which is the crater of the island’s extinct volcano – every island seems to have one.
DAILY TRAVEL STATS….
- Steps – 14,100
It was clear (good word) that the weather wasn’t going to play ball again as the driver tried to actively encourage me not to go up, which considering he probably didn’t have a list of fares was nice of him.
Me being me and after coming so far I wanted to at least see it for myself, so I jumped in and made the 10 minute drive up to see absolutely nothing but the 10feet in front of me. Knowing what was actually right infront of me – one of the nicest views of the Azores – made it that little bit more difficult, it’s not like it’s convenient to get to 😬.
Anyway, I couldn’t fault the taxi driver (from Chicago of all places!) who stopped at a viewpoint of the town (slightly lower altitude thankfully) to talk me through it – didn’t take long mind you. Turns out there is 1 doctor, 1 dentist, 1 school, 1 bank, 1 retirement home and 1 post office, I wonder if Amazon do Prime deliveries? More than what 400 people need but still the bare minimum.
After another walk around the town I headed to the tourist office for a look at the whaling boat. Whaling was big business in the Azores and was probably the last place it was practiced before it was officially outlawed in 1986. The guide talked me through it but it was his story about his girlfriend that would put even the best of us to shame.
He matched with a girl from California over a year ago and has been keeping in touch through messaging, phone calls and facetime etc ever since. Although they have yet to meet, they decided about 11 months ago to commit to a relationship! Not hard for him as his choices are probably very limited here. And if that doesn’t show the eagerness of the girl she has now made plans to fly to Corvo to stay for 3 months 😬I can appreciate how some people can like Corvo but it’s no Cali! Fair play to both of them 🤞🏼.
- With a history of battling pirates, corsairs, and recurrent rough Atlantic storms, local corvinos are known for their history of resilience and courage.
- The population of Corvo is less than 500 people.
- Corvo means crow.
- Corvo is volcanic in origin, it is also the smallest island in the Azores, with an area of 7 square miles (17.5 Km2).
We bumped into a driver for the local tour operator who had his voice box removed. I was strangely asked in Flores if I met him – being a small island and that he’s quite distinguishable made it very likely. Turns out his son was driving the people carrier that tumbled down the cliff, killing a Portuguese lady and critically injuring 3 other tourists. It was claimed his dad was relentless in making him work and the crash was apparently down to a lack of rest.
After getting soaked on the boat back, it was back to Santa Cruz (Flores) where it still seems to be the only town In the Azores where the sun shines. A quick change before heading back into the mountains for the 5th time, in the hope that the weather has cleared. Again, wishful thinking.
I would love to come back in 6 months to see how this relationship ends up, best of luck to this gent!
Getting the moon boots on for a visit to Capelinhos, Faial, click to read.
SAFE TRAVELS, DS x
- Tell me about your Tinder exploits! Go on!!
Let me know in the comments below . . .