On Saturday we took a lazy morning hanging out by the pool and resting. But later in the afternoon we went out to explore. This time we traveled east up into the mountains again but going towards Furnas. Furnas must mean furnace as it is the center of the volcanic hot springs and sulpher sites. First we stopped at Caldieras. This is a place where they use the sulpher springs to cook. There is a closed off area where they dig holes in the ground, put in the food and it cooks from the heat from the ground. Very smelly also since it is a sulpher spring. There was also a bike race going on and we think that this was the end site. Lots of biking- more than I would do since the island is all hills and curves. The sulpher springs are also right at Lago da Furnas- a large lake that has different ducks and such. But no boats and not many people around it.
After spending time there we went into Furnas. There are 2 different hot spring places there in Furnas and we wanted to find them. We were able to find them but parking was a different issue. For anyone that has been to southern Europe you know about the narrow roads, fast driving, small cars and no parking. Same here. We drove around for awhile until we finally found a fairly decent parking spot on the street- not just pulling up onto the curb at the side of the road like so many do. Seems there are really no parking rules here. We were then able to walk to one of the Spring places. It is called Poca Da Beija.
It was crowded since it was a Saturday but there are a whole series of pools- 5 I think. Most are warm to hot- about 38 to 39 degrees C. One was cooler- 28 degrees. We enjoyed all of them. Some have waterfalls- well not really but like one in the pool. Everyone seemed to be really enjoying the pools, especially the children. Some with googles and learning to swim. After awhile it gets to you but then you can go to the cooler one to cool off.
After that we decided to walk around and we found the other pool area. This one is in a hotel- We had almost stayed there. The hotel is in a garden and there is a natural pool there. We didn't go in this one as it was already late but instead took an afternoon took afternoon cocktails and snacks at their cafe. Very nice but we decided that we like our hotel on the beach better. The sound of the waves makes it all worthwhile.
By this time it was starting to get later and we decided to head back towards our hotel and find a place for dinner. I don't think it would be too good to drive these roads at night. We had been told about a restaurant in the next town over- Vila Da Franco Campo and we decided to try to find it. We knew a little of the town but not where the place was, only that it was by the harbor. Again, small narrow roads, one ways, not knowing the language. Amazingly we came upon the place but then had to drive a bit more to try to find parking. It is like a maze to drive in these little villages with these very narrow streets. I remember when we were in Italy, we usually had to park at the start of the city and then walk. Here they let you drive but it would probably be better if you didn't.
Anyway, the dinner was good. A nice bottle of good red local wine, fish and steak. Beef is a hugh industry here- hence all the cows. And of course there are many fish, most of which I have not heard of. I had Rock Fish. It came grilled on a platter- a whole fish- head and all. Sorry but again we forgot to take a picture before eating.
We are enjoying the quiet of this island. People are friendly, most speak at least a little English. Very few Americans although we did meet a few yesterday. More tomorrow.
The food below was actually from the night before at our hotel...