Four volcanos make up the island of Terceira in the Azores archipelago where I’ve been living for the past month. One is reassuringly dormant, three are less reassuringly active.
Just across the water in Sao Jorge, residents wait with packed rucksacks for instructions to leave in case the thousands of earthquakes they’ve been experiencing this week mean a volcano is about to erupt.
Life here is close to the earth. People live their lives on ancient lava spills: beautiful, green, fertile land that is constantly being shunted around by seismic shifts, and which in some places visibly steams. A striking reminder that we are living on top of an intricate plumbing system of bubbling molten rock.
Outside my Airbnb window the village’s animals, including dogs, cows, donkeys and cockerels, make their usual morning cacophony to indicate the start of the day.
There is a notable interest in cows. Walking around, you’ll notice statues, murals and other reminders that cows are the island’s bread and butter (mainly butter). Here, cows live like kings in luscious grassy meadows overlooking the sapphire blue Atlantic: not a barn or factory farm to be seen. It’s common while driving to be confronted by a herd of cows plodding obediently from one verdant meadow to another. And the freedom pays off: Azores cheese is delicious, especially when paired with bolos levedos, a regional mildly sweet muffin-type bread, and jam made from local passion fruit.
We’ve yet to experience the bull runs Portugal is famous for, but we’ve heard from our friends that the island goes mad for them every summer, with each village hosting its own fight – which involves setting a bunch of testosterone-fuelled bulls loose in the streets and then trying not to get gored. Not really my cup of tea.
So far, our stay in Terceira has been mainly wonderful. As this blog is one follower away from 500, I thought this would be a good time to share some photos with you.
As always, thanks for reading and feel free to ask any questions in the comments. Thanks 🙂
Oh and the really cool thing is that you can reach Terceira in less than 4 hours from London Stansted, for about £20.
That’s all folks!