Miradouro do Cabeço do Geraldo

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
Pico, Azores
Cabeço do Geraldo

-Ryan Q

An Afternoon Getaway to Madalena: Ilha do Pico’s Main Port Town and Home of the Cella Bar

Madalena, located north-west of Lajes do Pico, is home to the main port which connects the neighbouring islands. The town acts as a centre for tourism, commercial shopping, communications, trading and basically everything else the smaller villas lack. For example, I wanted to buy a tripod for my camera but I couldn’t find one in Lajes so I asked around. Where did everyone tell me to go? Madalena.

If you’re arriving on Pico Island the chances are you’ll want to stay in Madalena for at least a night considering it’s the closest town to the airport and has the best options for lodging, food, and touristic activities like hiking, sailing, cave exploring, scuba diving, snorkelling, wine tasting, or if you just want to chill by the ocean. Whatever you want just name it, Madalena has it.

It was my day off from work when I looked through a travel guide magazine and came across the “Where to eat” section. The top pick was an architectural award- winning bar/restaurant called the “Cella Bar.” The front image was enough for me to decide to go.

Image taken from Cella Bar’s Facebook page

An hour bus ride later, I arrived in Madalena. I didn’t have a plan except to find the Cella Bar, nor much time to spend before the last bus left back to Lajes so I walked around snapping photos along the way to my destination.

The following images are from my afternoon getaway to Madalena. I hope you enjoy them.

Running away from Karma
I ordered a gin and tonic for my afternoon relaxation
caixa de pão/biscoito tradicional + degustação de azeite + gin and tonic = muito bom!

Look at these awesome photos from Pico, Azores!

Hey guys,

I just passed the one month mark since arriving in Lajes do Pico, a small village on the south coast of Pico Island in Portugal’s archipelago. The last four weeks have been great. I picked up a job at a local restaurant, reconnected with friends, and on my free time I take photos.

Down below are a collection of photos I took on my second and third week. If you like these photos and are interested in seeing more, you can check out the photo collection from my first week and stay tuned for what’s to come!

Pico Island, Azores, Portugal

Day 1

I arrived in Lajes do Pico last night around nine.

I was here two summers ago with my family and before that I lived here for a little more than six months after I graduated . Coming back to this island for the third time feels normal now.

My first visit was unlike anything I experienced in the past. When I stepped outside the airport doors I felt a profound sense of adventure. I heard stories about this island growing up but now that I was here in the flesh it was completely surreal.

Everything was a subject to my curiosity those first few weeks. The simplest of things were fascinating to me. For one, I couldn’t get enough of the fact I was on an island and at anytime of my choosing I could look out and view the seemingly infinite sea. I spent a large portion of my time walking along the wall (the locals here call it ”o muro”) listening to the ocean and watching the sunset behind mount Pico.

A montanha do Pico at sunset
Lajes Do Pico

At first I was totally enveloped by the natural beauty and as time passed I eventually became conditioned to routinely sight seeing. It wasn’t that my surroundings were any less beautiful, no, definitely not. It was more so that I was familiar and less intrigued with them.

When I stepped out of the airport doors last night I wasn’t filled with the same profound sense of adventure I experienced say, the first time I arrived more than three years ago, or when I arrived in Cartagena, Colombia last summer. Instead I just felt normal ,which isn’t a bad thing but it isn’t as exciting.

This time around I know the landmarks, I know the town names, the bakeries, the restaurants, the architecture, the roads, the street names, the people, the language. I know this because I’ve spent close to a year here and after awhile an unknown place becomes home.

As a traveler I seek that sense of adventure or “wanderlust” but I also understand that constantly seeking adventure elsewhere greatly limits our ability to notice it right here. With that said, there’s an abundance of opportunities here for me that I can’t wait to experience and share with you!