July 15, 2014

Day 14: Santa Cruz das Flores

After a really rough sleep last night, I woke this morning to the sounds of someone moving out of one of the rooms that faces the street. I asked the housekeeper if it might be possible for me to move into that room and she said she’d ask the boss. When I returned from the complimentary “breakfast” (some cheese on a dry roll + pineapple juice served by a surly woman at a cafe a few blocks from here) the key to the new room was waiting on my bed and I very happily moved my stuff from the Laundry Room to the Room with a View. Not a view of the ocean — though I can now hear it and even see it if I stick my head out the window and look down the street — but a view of the street through two windows looking out into the world instead of at the washing machine and drying linens. Given my recent experience elsewhere this would seem to be asking for noisy trouble, but this street is very quiet at night, and almost a dead end, so traffic noise is minimal. And the new bed seems to be at least a notch or two better than the other one, which felt rather like a wooden pallet with a sheet over it. It’s the little things.

By the way, this is the street where I am staying — a politician in the family?

It was kind of drizzling and windy all morning, and at the time when I was supposed to meet Roseanne and August at the port for the boat trip to Corvo it turned into a major downpour. I don’t know if they ended up going or not, but it didn’t strike me as the optimal conditions for an enjoyable outing, so I bailed. I hope they had a good time, whatever they did. Instead, I wandered around the town a bit more. Checked out the old church (1727) that is now part of the museum. They are building a fancy new museum down the street, still under construction, so the old museum is in a transitional state of disarray. No exhibitions up, but they did allow me inside to look around. Very nice. Then I went over to the big “new” church (19th century), which is much more “majestic" (see photo below).

Walked down to the harbor and recorded some nice gurgling sounds of waves coming up through the rocks. I then realized that the waterfront area at the end of my street is called Porto Velho (Old Port). This is of course significant, because it means that Caetano and Maria Isabel very possibly would have started their respective sea journeys to the US here. My efforts to record there were foiled by cars and people, so I’ll go back later.

Eventually the weather cleared somewhat and I went for a swim and made some more recordings at the natural pools as I had them almost to myself today.

In my wanderings I saw a flyer for the Festa do Espirito Santo that starts here on July 20. I will still be around, so may try to make it up from Lajes to record the opening rituals, which involve singing of hymns and solemn processions. That seems like it would be an important piece for me to have — much more interesting than the big party that will happen in the days that follow.