Yesterday after spending the morning by the pool we ventured out to explore areas yet unknown by us. We have been trying to get a good overview of the island knowing that a week is hardly enough time to really explore in depth so by getting a good overview we can see what areas we like the most for the next time.
We had not yet traveled the east and north shores so that was our plan for the day. We started out going a familiar route since there are not that many road choices. We headed out to Furnas which we had gone to before. The road winds up into the mountains. Then it winds down back to the sea to our first stop of the day- Povoação. A very nice small city I would say, a little bigger from some of the other villages but charming all the same. It has a large harbor and of course the square. We sat and had pizza there in the square and then walked around a bit.
Leaving Povoação we continued along the coast east and although we did not go to any more villages we continued to stop along the way at lovely vistas. These were Agau Retorta, Ponta Da Madrugada, Ponta Do Sassego, and along up to the top of the east coast. We have noticed that all over the island along the roads there are little parks. In the parks there are always these stone grills and they all have cats roaming around. They are fairly well maintained. On the east side at a few of these ponta's the parks were beautiful. We spent a lot of time at Sassego- the park and gardens were big and very clean. At Madrugada before the views also were breathtaking. See pictures below.
We continued on our journey reaching the north shore just above Vila De Nordeste. This is also a larger town at the north eastern point of the island. Going around the tip we chose to continue for a bit on the local road running on the north shore going through the villages off Sao Pedro, Santo Antonio and Algarvia. Then we chose to get on the highway there which goes past the towns. By this time it was getting late and the local road takes twice a long.
Our goal was to get to Ribeira Grande- a city on the north shore that we were told to check out. Along the way we did come upon a Tea Plantation and stopped briefly to sample, buy and walk among the tea. We arrived in Rib Grande and went to a restaurant that we had heard about. It was all about the beef and was located in the agricultural association building, A little weird but the food was pretty good. Beef is the next largest thing here to fish. After dinner we headed back home.