The Portuguese word “miradouro” literally translates to “golden sight.”
There are hundreds of these golden sights located across the Azores. Some of them are right alongside the road and others at the end of long, worn-down farming paths. Usually the harder they are to find the better the view, but maybe that’s just been my experience.
I found the miradouro “Cabeço do Geraldo” by accident. It was four years ago when I first arrived in the Azores. I just wanted to climb as high up as I could without having to summit Mount Pico. I went up the main road in Lajes towards Terras and turned onto a secondary street that the more I traversed the less houses and people there were. Eventually I came to a steep slope of loose rocks and I thought If I climbed it I would be able to find another incline to take me even higher.
So up I went.
At the top, red gravel paths lead left and right. I went left until I found another slope. At the top of that slope I found a marker that read “Miradouro do Geraldo.” I followed the sign through the farm gates, past the two tall antennas and found myself in the clouds overlooking the Island. The best part about it wasn’t the view, as tremendous as it was, the noise was what attracted me most. Everything grew quiet. I was sweating and breathing hard, my legs hurt, I could hear my heart beating, the sound against my chest. The wind blew, the crickets sang, the cows moo’d from ways down the mountainside but I was there in solitary. All the external noise was gone. My mind cleared without outside distraction. It was quite a beautiful moment if I may say.
Four years have passed since my first visit and when a co worker showed me photos of sunset at the miradouro I knew I had to make another trip. I knew more or less how to get there; so again I went up the main road towards Terras, turned onto the secondary street and walked until I came by a few farmers harvesting a cornfield. I asked them if they knew the best way to get there. We shared a few words and one of the guys offered to give me a ride.
By the time we made it to Cabeço do Geraldo the sun was beginning to set. The green hills were tinted with sunset hues, Mount Pico appeared as brilliant as ever with the blazing sun to the left of its peak. And the sound-There I was in solitary again.
The wind was soft this time,
the cows yawned,
the crickets creaked.
It was just as beautiful, just as peaceful as I remembered it; except this time the light shifted from a warm spectrum of colours to a tranquil, cool blend of blues and purples. There I was witnessing it, experiencing it as if it were for the first time.
Photos taken on September 9, 2019
Cabeço do Geraldo