Azores: Day 7 (Pico and São Miguel)

Our flight was around 4 p.m., so we had some time to visit Gruta das Torres. I have sent an email there earlier saying that I wish to reserve two spots for the 10:30 tour, but as with any email communication on Azores, I didn’t receive any answer. So we arrived there around 10:15 thinking if the 10:30 tour is booked, we could still go on the noon tour and still be at the airport on time. Luckily there weren’t that many people and we had no issues buying tickets for the 10:30 tour.

Gruta das Torres

The guide at Gruta das Torres was much better than at Gruta do Carvão and we had an interesting tour, which took about an hour and a half including the video in the beginning. Gruta das Torres is the largest lavic tunnel known in Portugal. It originated from lava flows (pahoehoe type) released by Cabeço Bravo.

Gruta das Torres

It is not difficult to walk in the cave and the guide made sure that we knew where to step. The cave had a lot of the same things as Gruta do Carvão, but the tour guide was entertaining and told that they have even had meditation tours, where people just sit and meditate in a dark cave, because it’s so peaceful.

Gruta das Torres
Gruta das Torres
Gruta das Torres
Gruta das Torres
Gruta das Torres
Gruta das Torres
Gruta das Torres

After the visit, we decided to get some lunch before heading to the airport and we chose Caffe 5, which was rated very high on Tripadvisor. There were a lot of people eating, which is generally a good sign. We ordered hamburgers and unfortunately those were the worst hamburgers I’ve had in quite some time. Very dry and tasteless. In hindsight sweet dishes looked delicious, so maybe we just chose the wrong things, because otherwise I have no idea why people like the food so much at this cafe.

Caffe 5

Then we returned the keys to our Airbnb host and headed towards the airport. We reserved some extra time to get fuel and for the inspection when we returned the rental car. It turned out that there was nobody at the airport, who would inspect our car at return and on top of that the airport was basically closed. 😀 So the security check was closed and the car rental desks were all closed. So we called the three phone numbers stated on the car rental desk and at the last one somebody answered that don’t panic, somebody will come. So we sat down in the waiting area and waited for about half an hour for somebody to show up. They just took the car keys and documents back and that was it. Then we sat for another half an hour waiting for security control to open its doors. 😀 So yeah, if the airport gets 2 flights per day it is really not necessary to show up two hours before the flight. 😀

So finally we took the flight back to São Miguel and this time we didn’t rent a car, but took a cab back to Porta Delgada to our old Airbnb. Nobody was staying there during our absence, so we agreed with the owner that we keep the keys. After arriving in our apartment we decided to get the breakfast supplies and when walking to the grocery shop we noticed that the airport bus stops at  the end of our street. We just haven’t noticed it before because we were driving. The airport roundtrip cost 5€ per person and taxi 9-10€ one way, so the bus of course is cheaper, but we “lost” only about 10€.

In the evening we had booked a table at A Tasca, which was supposed to be a great restaurant. The food was actually pretty good and the price-quality ratio at this restaurant is unbeatable. But all in all this is more of a night out with friends and family type of place rather than a peaceful romantic restaurant. The waiting staff are really busy, the phone keeps ringing and people keep showing up trying their luck with available tables (no, there aren’t any). So it was quite a good restaurant, but I was expecting something more fancy from the best restaurant in town. 🙂

A Tasca

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