We have a PAT answer for business and life – Plan, Act and Tweak. Hurricane Nadine swirled in the Atlantic, sending waves and rain to parts of the Azores islands. Whale watching was cancelled and so were all flights so our guides have been tweaking all day. Rather than fly to another island, Terceira for golf, we’ll stay in Sao Miguel at the Sao Miguel Hotel. Jeep rides were offered but we chose to catch our breath for the first time on the trip and enjoy storm watching from the Marina Atlantico’s harbor view. In the afternoon we toured different hotels around the island, traveling along the old street sea side where waves crashed, absent of swimmers even though the water temperature is in the 70s. Another thing absent every day is any sign of impoverishment that is evident in so many foreign islands. City streets are narrow with concentrated tenements and shops, flowers on balconies with wrought iron art. Rural homes have tropical landscaping. Mainly agriculture and tourism keep people gainfully employed and happy. If you were a cow, you would want to live here freely in the green pastures with ocean views. The farmers never herd them to stanchions, but bring the milking machines to them in the field. Thirty percent of the milk for all of Portugal is produced here along with cheeses that pair well with every robust bottle of fine Portuguese wine, all at moderate prices.
All agreed on the beauty of the island even in stormy conditions and in such a large group, no tempers flared as Murphy’s Law took effect for the day. The bus broke down and another one came shortly. The rain started and stopped and we all went on in a cajoling manner. This is a tribute to our guides as well as the natural soothing vibes the island emits.
The Bahia Palace Hotel is a great option for beach lovers with soft black lava sand leading to the normally small waves. The Caloura Hotel Resort was our favorite with panoramic sea cliff views. Lunch was served in a grand salon with floor to ceiling windows providing a 180 degree vista while dining on delicacies. The filet of steak au gratin with island fresh pineapple and shrimp we will try to recreate at home. A blend of cream cheese, condensed milk and whipped cream with dark chocolate crumb base passed the fabulous dessert test. Yummmm!
So now we are nestled in to the Sao Miguel Hotel for perhaps the evening, maybe for days, we will see what Nadine decides. There are far worse places to be stranded if that becomes the case. This is the first time in her seventeen year career here that our guide has witnessed such weather in October. Often it will rain a few minutes during the day and then be sunny. Rain or shine, the beauty of the island is more than a sight, it is a sense. We sense a definite return to explore more.