July 9, 2014

Day 8: Cedros & elsewhere

Faial is a much smaller island than São Miguel, so I decided to rent a scooter for a few days to get around and see things. The first trip was to go all the way around the island on the coastal road which, if you were driving in a car and didn't stop much, might take two hours. I of course had to stop for some scenic vistas, especially since I can't really enjoy them while riding a scooter. (Must. Watch. Road.) In this first one, you can see a bit of the island of Pico across the water on the right, and behind it under the clouds, the island of São Jorge. At another point further up the road I was also able to briefly see the island of Graciosa.

I also stopped on a whim at Porto da Eira and made some recordings near a natural swimming pool.

My first intentional destination was Cedros, a small town on the north coast about a 45-minute ride from Horta. I was going to visit Angie Reed, an interesting musician/actress/performance/multimedia artist who was born in Missouri but lived in the Azores (on Terceira) as a young kid, and finally made her way back after many years of living in Berlin and elsewhere on the continent. I had found her ad on Facebook for a cottage she rents out at a low price to artists. Turns out the last renters were a couple of guys from Santa Fe who I don't know personally, but who are friends of friends. Too far out of town for my needs, but we made a plan to meet up. Somehow we'd never crossed paths, though we do know some people in common.

We had lunch and an enjoyable getting-to-know-each other conversation at a little local place, and hit it off right away. Then she took me to meet her friend Jürg (not sure about spelling), a nice German guy who has a place here, an artist who is also very interested in whales since he was a little kid and sometimes makes artwork about them. As we arrived he was entertaining two visitors, both named Christine, who soon left us to sit on his deck and chat and watch the light change on the water. As one does here. After a bit they thought we should go check out the beach at Fajã. Not really swimming weather, but a very pretty spot all the same.

Then they took me to a tiny little bar and package store called O Fim do Mundo (The End of the World). It's run by Manny, a guy who was born here, moved to the Boston area as a kid after the Capelinhos volcano erupted in 1957, grew up in the Portuguese community there, then moved back here later. A great local character and enthusiastic storyteller. After we each had a glass of something, I went on my way back to Horta with an invitation to return to Cedros the next night for Movie Night.