Monday, February 12, 2018

February 11, 2018 Second day in Terciera

 We traveled the other end off the island today. First driving to a cave with volcanic activity in it only to find it wasn;t open on the days we are here. Pretty drive though.
After we passed the cave we drove the perimeter of the island. I don't have a direction because i got turned around and don'tknow north from south or east from west. I can look on google but why? I am on vacation.
Our entire drive was 100 kilometers. When we looked at the google maps we found that we were passed the won we thought we were driving towardds. That is a small distance that looks large on the map.
Not much to report on our trip. Many small towns. Lots of farms with milk cows. Milk is deleivered by pickup truck. We did see on horse drawn milk wagon but no music. (If i were a rich man...).Today(the 12th) we plan to retrace our steps and just hangout. I am sure there is much we have missed.
Bom Dia 

Sunday, February 11, 2018

February 10, 2018 Angra de Hermoismo, Ilha Terceira

Today we arrived in sleepy, tiny, natural Terciera. Wait an minute not so fast. Angra de Hermoismo is anything but sleepy. With a busy shopping area and harbor you can't really call this sleepy or tiny. They, even, have a Disco that started the beat at 10pm and lasted til 7:00am! I was tired just listening.
We drove the west end of the island geting lost many times. Seems Google Maps can find us but the roads and not quite where "G" tinks they are. Therefore, when she wants us to turn usually the turn is coming or has passed. The roads are one way affairs little more than paved cow paths. Not meant to insult the area just that the roads were built before modern designs. They were made for work.
We drove to an outlook 3200ft high stacked with transmission and cell towers. Clouds rolled in and out. Views came and went. i have pictures.
Mostly just drove. We hope find find so nice walks to day and other attractions.
Oh, i almost forgot. We, when i say we i mena i, keep "G" as a woman so i won't get lost following instructions from a guy.

Friday, February 9, 2018

February 9, 2018 The Azores

I guess i should tell you that we are on the island of Sao Miguel. The largest of the archipelago known as The Azores. We landed in the capital, Ponta Delgada. Our Quinta is in Santana and apply named Quinta De Santana. Santana is on the north shore about 8 miles from Ponta DelGada.
Today we traveled the east end of the island. We found a "restaurant" on the eastern most tip of the island and upon arrival bought our beers from a small trailer. Good enough weather to sit on the outdoor furniture and enjoy the view. I thought i saw a whale but that turned out to be wishful thinking. Only  a sunken rock formation that spouted when the waves were right.
We did make it to Furnas. This town is famous for the hot springs. It reminds us of the hot springs in Yellowstone. Not as big but just as hot and stinky.
Our total drive was 184 Km today. Just about the same as yesterday.
Our last stop was a walk on Ponta Delgada's esplanade. The waterfront. One British cruise ship was in town. It looked pretty old But then who am i to talk?
Tomorrow we leave for island number 2,Terciero. Some 150 miles to the west. It is more of a nature preserve than a habitat for humans. Should be restful.
Bom Noite.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

February 8, 2018 The Azores.

We woke early this morning. I went back to sleep. Deb stayed up. Finally, at 7:30am, i opened my baby blueish-greens and started my day.
At 8:00am we feasted on eggs and coffee and other breakfast goodies then jumped in the pueguot and off to the sightseeing.
The roads are mostly two lanes and very thin two lanes at that. The cars are all sub-compact models. Speed limits are around 80km/hr. If you don't keep up the residents will hang on your tail until they can pass you. Oh yes, they do not keep the speed limit either.
You, really, can't get lost on this island because, well, it is an island. One road runs around the perimeter of the island and then you have side roads going to the interior.  Tomorrow i will have some specifics but we must have traveled 150 to 200 km today. Quick math, half the KM distance and add a little for good luck, then you have miles. 100km = 60 miles, etc.
we drove the western half of the island and saw the extinct volcano caldera, the extinct 5 star hotel, the not so extinct ocean side and many little towns. I have some nice photos that will post later in the week.
We found a restaurant/bar/spa on Mosteriouso. The spa refers to hot springs which they have captured and piped to a swimming pool. Also, at this site was a lava field. Old and black. At one spot the lava had been hollowed out by the ocean and opened a hot spring. Swimmers come to this spot and swim in the warm water all the while hanging on to ropes. The surge from the ocean can draw the unsuspecting out to sea.
We lunched in a little town at Chico's restaurant. good food. good service. The menu was in Portuguese and English. Nothing special about the food. Tasted good and looked good. Just a restaurant!
If you have ever been in a mountainous area you know that the road is never straight. The rule applies here. On the west end, the one we drove today, you could not find a half kilometer of straight road. Try that with the natives barking at your back bumper! I have seen motor scooters but no big motorbikes. Too bad 'cause this would be paradise.
 We visited a 5 star hotel that never opened. It was built on a bluff with fantastic views of the island's caldera. Unfortunately, the owner thought he would have many sunny days. Seems the island receives 200 days of rain. oops. The shell of the hotel is amazing to walk through. Ignore the sign at the entrance saying, "DANGER". It is just dirty.
Tomorrow, we drive the eastern half and take a dip in a volcanic pool.
Bom Noite.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

February 7, 2018 - Azores

Today, we flew from Traverse City to The Azores. It did not go as originally Planned.
The first leg of our journey started with wheels up at 5:20am. We had signed up to get bumped since we had a layover of 12 hours in Boston and hoped to collect $300 dollars for our efforts. Since we arrived at 4:30am to check a bag we had a headstart on our day. Turns out, our flight crew had a scheduled flight arrive time of 5:30am.  We lost our $300 when we rebooked for later in the day.
I can't report any more issues for the remainder of the trip, save it was a long trip. It would have been longer if we had the layover in Boston for those 12 hours.
After arriving in Punta DelGado, we got our car and spent 2 hours driving to our hotel which was only 1/2 hour away. We got lost! The people here are very nice and the ones we met spoke some English. My lessons in Portueguese haven't gotten to directions yet.
The Quinta is very nice. Many apartments spread over a well manicured estate. Newer construction.  Very comfortable. Tomorrow we will see the volcanic crater and (maybe) take a dip in a volcanic pool.
The rest is up in the air.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Aug 3, 2017
Today promises a long drive. We have made a pact that the driver drives for 2 hours or when the gas gauge hits one half. We have found this to ease arguments and more that 2 hours driving can cause quite the argument! In practice this works. Today, however, it will not.
Today, we will visit Deb's family roots in South Dakota. I decided that she will navigate and look for lost memories. I didn't want her to drive and look for lost anything! No nice guy here just a preservationist.
The route we took led us onto gravel roads and endless fields of corn. Not to mention, we, also, traveled the entire state of Minnesota and half of South Dakota with endless fields of corn. When not corn, of course, we saw low green stuff. Couldn't tell what green stuff we saw but it did not have the appearance of corn.

We drove through Pickering, Webster, Watertown, Pierpont, and Grenville. Some towns had populations in the 10's. Some had no populations listed on their town sign. All these towns supported the farms that surround them. In Bristol, We stopped at a cemetery that had many of Deb's relatives headstones. She took many, many pictures.
On to the campsite and beer!

I had driven the entire trip, way over my two hour allotment and way over the ½ tank limit. At least a two beer compensation evening coming my way!
Aug 2,2017
We began our day as we always have, we woke up! Hahaha. Well, we did!
Breakfast, pack the vehicle and off to Granite Falls to see Brad Lershen if he is in town. He works for the Prairie Edge Casino which just happens to hold our reservations for this evening. Go figure!

On the way we passed by a road sign announcing "Chaska, Mn). I visited family there sixty years ago. (oh my gosh, did i write that?). We stopped, had lunch and had memories. Then on to Granite Falls. 
The Falls
We had no surprises in our journey and arrived in good time to the casino. We unpacked in a “normal” RV camping area with electric and wireless internet. The casino must have just put this park in because the trees did not reach high enough to block the sun, We counter with a beer. Touche'.
After said beer we took the people mover golf cart to the casino in search of Brad. Finally, a phone call from security found him and back to the campground to drive for a visit. I got directions from Brad, however, I can't read my writing so we got lost right away! Another call to Brad, a request for an address and Google led us to his doorstep. We use Google a lot on this trip. We had a nice visit and back to the campground we went. Our weather, up until now consisted of sun and more sun. The forecast for the evening called for rain. I packed everything into the road box for protection and had another beer.

Night ensued and so did the rain. Not van shaking rain but a good soaking rain. We slept to the tune of(sing along)  “raindrops keep falling on our van”.