Transamerica 2021 STOP 12 

October 14, 2021

Liberia, Costa Rica – Bermuda 

Flight distance: 2036 nm (Fuel stop in Turks and Caicos)
Hours in the air: 4:48


October 15, 2021

Bermuda – Pico, Azores

Flight distance: 1880 nm
Hours in the air: 4:54

Azores – a word everybody knows yet a place hardly anybody has been to

So we have been in the air quite a bit over the last 2 days flying from Liberia in Costa Rica to Bermuda with a fuel stop on the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Unfortunately Bermuda was just a stop to fuel and sleep. We spent a very nice evening and a just as perfect early morning on this pleasant island. It’s worth a longer visit would it not for the next point.🤣

Didn’t I write about this impossible handler in Bermuda on the way down to the Caribbean. Well, we had the please with her again. As we had our longest flight the next day we wanted to still fuel the same evening, but it was clear that she had plans to go home early and was pursuing us to fuel tomorrow morning, albeit without success, what a b…

So yesterday we did this epic leg from Bermuda to the Azores, 4:36 hours in one stretch and the pilots were a bit more relaxed when we landed in Terceira, one of the Azores Island. We had to fuel before hoping over to Pico, our island of choice.

And surely nice was the early evening flight over Sao Jorge (another island) and landing right next to the hallmark of Pico, its volcano. Everything when swiftly and we were driven to Pocinhobay where we are staying at this surely special hotel. It’s mainly built from lava stone and one can clearly tell that the owner put a lot of special effort in it. That actually mostly meant to much in this case as all the details don’t feel special but merely the wrong way around!

We then had a great dinner in Madalena, the main village on the island, with the best wines on this trip at incredible values.

The weather forecast for our last day touring was miserable to say the least, but it actually turned out just fine. We rented a car and drove around the volcano and island. Everything looks neat, nice and orderly. There are a lot of interesting things and features to see about and around the Pico mountain, a volcano which last erupted in the 18th century. Pico also has a long whale hunting history having taken the last one out in 1973. Since then things have shifted to grape growing and wine production as well as meat and dairy production. Both are not to be overseen with the abundant vineyards fenced by lava walls and the furry friends along and on the streets across the island.

We finished our last day with another nice meal at our favorite! Restaurant in town, you guessed it, where they have the ultimate local wine selection.

Facts & figures

The Azores, officially the Autonomous Region of the Azores, is one of the two autonomous regions of Portugal (along with Madeira). It is an archipelago composed of nine volcanic islands in the Macaronesia region of the North Atlantic Ocean, about 1’400 km west of Lisbon, about 1’500 km northwest of Morocco, and about 1’930 km southeast of Newfoundland, Canada.

Its main industries are agriculture, dairy farming, livestock, fishing, and tourism, which is becoming the major service activity in the region. The government of the Azores employs a large percentage of the population directly or indirectly in the service and tertiary sectors.

There are nine major Azorean islands and an islet cluster, in three main groups. These are Flores and Corvo, to the west; Graciosa, Terceira, São Jorge, Pico, and Faial in the centre; and São Miguel, Santa Maria, and the Formigas Reef to the east. They extend for more than 600 km and lie in a northwest–southeast direction. All of the islands have volcanic origins. Mount Pico, on the island of Pico, is the highest point in Portugal, at 2’351 m. If measured from their base at the bottom of the ocean to their peaks, which thrust high above the surface of the Atlantic, the Azores are among the tallest mountains on the planet.

A captain sailing for Prince Henry the Navigator, possibly Gonçalo Velho, may have rediscovered the Azores, but this is not certain. The settlement of the unoccupied islands started in 1439 with people mainly from the continental provinces of Algarve and Alentejo. In 1583, Philip II of Spain, as king of Portugal, sent his fleet to clear the Azores of a combined multinational force of adventurers, mercenaries, volunteers and soldiers who were attempting to establish the Azores as a staging post for a rival pretender to the Portuguese throne. An English raid of the Azores in 1589 successfully plundered some harbouring ships and islands; a repeat eight years later, the Islands Voyage, failed. Spain held the Azores under the “Babylonian captivity” of 1580 – 1642. In the late 16th century, the Azores and Madeira began to face problems of overpopulation. The Azores remained under the control of Portugal over the centuries, mostly functioning as a bridge between Europe and the Americas.

In 1976, the Azores became the Autonomous Region of the Azores, one of the autonomous regions of Portugal, and the subdistricts of the Azores were eliminated. While being neglected for a long time by people from the mainland, the Azores have seen a lot more attention over the last 2 decades with affordable tourism and more younger people moving to the islands.

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