I have just one more walk to share on Faial, before moving on to the island of Pico. Porto Pim is a strip of sand and pellucid bay, tucked between Monte Queimado and Monte da Guia, to the west of the town of Horta, where we walked last week. At least, it was, the day we took this stroll. Pretty as it is, there’s a dark side to this story. Take note of the factory on the far shore.
The beach is a conservation area, and is the first part of the island of Faial to have been settled, back in 1460. The ruins of a fortress guard the entrance to the bay, and there was once a thriving port here.
Today all is peaceful, though we did note that a lone yachtsman, moored and enjoying the serenity, was asked to move on by the maritime police. He wasn’t exactly disturbing the peace, and communications were friendly, but he very quickly upped anchor and away.
The shoreline is ragged with rocks and it’s easy to imagine volcanic activity here. A straggle of houses line half of the bay.
I can dawdle by reflections and shimmering water all day, but eventually I tore myself away and continued around the bay. I had half a mind to climb up to the Senhora da Guia, but had already been to the top previously, by taxi. Clouds were scudding about and when the sun disappeared it was cool. Against my better judgement I headed towards the whaling factory.
It’s a sad fact of life that man and beast often struggle to live side by side. In the 19th century these islands were the base for a titanic battle between man and whale. With often averted gaze, I observed the tiny craft which the islanders used to corral the whales and harpoon them to death. Horrifying though I find it, it was a way of life and a means of survival for islands that were poor and isolated. I can’t bring myself to share details of the industry but the Fabrica da Baleia (Whaling Factory) explains it for you. From as young as 13, the men of the islands took to sea, rowing these flimsy vessels in pursuit of their victims.
Whaling was outlawed just 70 years ago. I’m so happy that leisure boats have replaced the whalers. The 20th century brought submarine cables to the islands, ensuring telegraphic communications between America and Europe, and now tourism is thriving.
Peace has been restored. I found this bay oddly disturbing. Perhaps because of the carnage that once took place here. I was happy to move on, and we returned to Horta for a meal at Peter’s Sport Café, famous in these parts and full of flags and souvenirs from passing sailors. You’ll be happy to know that I had a wonderfully healthy hummus salad. The other half didn’t even have space for cake after his bumper burger. How sad!
Lots of walks again this week. Thank you all, and please find time to visit- especially any blog you don’t know. Details over on Jo’s Monday walk.
Debbie has me discombobulated in old Valencia this week :
Jackie is a terrible temptress, with a love of art :
Amazing what you can do with corn! Just ask Janet :
Toronto looks to have some nice suburbs. Pay a visit with Indra :
A few clouds, a bench or two and some lovely old stonework- that’s Anabel in Scotland :
While Rosemay revives a few memories for me :
And Drake is, as always, at home by the water :
Ulli takes us to a place I know quite well from my days with Polish family :
Coffee and cake with Irene, but that’s not all!
Ruth took a stroll yesterday. I never mind what day we walk, so long as we do :
Or even linger a little while, like Carol :
But if it’s a long walk you want, Cathy’s your expert :
And finally, let me introduce Anne. Please do pop over and say hello :
Feeling quite virtuous with no cake in sight. This week I’ll be taking you across the water to Pico. You’ll love it! Have a happy one!