Why São Jorge Island is so special

Why São Jorge Island is so special

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Hello, my name is Veronica, and welcome to the first episode of my adventures on the Portuguese islands - the Azores. I visited this place due to a strong urge to connect with nature which is breathtaking here. But not everything went accordingly to the plan. You need to see it yourself! Thank you for watching this video. It means the world to me.

Good morning! I'm in Sao Jorge which is theoretically my 4th island in the Azores. It's been raining for the past 3 days. What is actually the reason that I am here? I am here to climb Pico Mountain. I've encountered problems. I was driving to Casa da Montanha to climb Pico and guess what, there is no road. The road that Google Maps tells me to go is over there, through these bushes and mountains.

And I feel like this weather is challenging me. And I am trying to take this obstacle as an opportunity. But it's so freaking hard. I feel like because of the weather I am unable to explore the island. Like the weather is testing me. I feel like it's the 4th day and it's time to finally record. I am at the hostel right now, at the moment probably one of the 3 guests.

It's completely off season, I will show you the weather. And all the locals are saying that "Mmm, not the best time to come", you know. But I'm still trying not to lose faith. I need to make a plan. This is probably the best thing I've ever bought.

Hopefully, it's going to be rainproof. Turns out that my waterproof shoes are not that waterproof after all, as you can see. All the shoe inside is wet and here is the waterproof sign. Pretty cool, huh?

I think this is even worse. Look at this. My waterproof shoes are not waterproof, my waterproof coat is not waterproof. The only thing that is waterproof is the 4 Euro raincoat I bought today at the Chinese store. Oh irony.

So today I came to Sao Jorge. First, I went to the tourist store, that would sell me the raincoat, like a proper raincoat. Because I wanted something to cover my whole backpack, which is huge.

I didn't get anything. The guy told me "Sorry, we don't have anything, anymore". He told me to go to the Chinese store. So I went to the Chinese store. But I also saw that I would need one cable to fly the drone. I thought "Okay, I will ask for the cable." And I was like for 5-10 mins talking with the saleswoman that was there. It turned out that they didn't have the cable but they had a raincoat.

The next thing that I did, when she actually told me "Ciao", and I said "sorry, do you know where is the bus here?" She said "yeah, bus, there is one per day and it's going at 3:30 PM, so in 4h". I was like "okay, then I'll wait". "Where do you want to go?" she asked. I told her "To Urzelina". What she did, she was like "Hey, this lady will take you, she is very nice". She just framed some other woman to take me. Turns out that woman lives just right next to this hotel. She also took me around this little village, that we're right now. To show me where is the supermarket, where I can eat.

Yeah, that was the first positive thing about this very day. Then I checked in, and I went for a walk, and saw Pico for the first time. You will not believe what happened. We have the sun! And I'm drying now everything I have. I am walking today to Pico da Esperanca. It's so sunny, I feel like I am dreaming.

In this cave, you can see lizards. Like this one. I'm sure that many of us love monstera leaves. I don't know what's the real name of it, but here it grows completely wild. Mint, grows here just like that, by the road. So cool. I've never seen a piece of land, where mother nature wouldn't take such revenge on what human creates. There's plants everywhere, except for asfalt, roads and houses.

Once, when I was a little bit younger, I went to my garden and I found 33 of them (4-leaf clover). So that's why I always look for them and I always hope to find them, but no luck this time. I just got a ride. I was walking and I had like 5 km to the top, there was this nice man from Berlin. He took me to the beginning of the trail.

Look at this, look at the green. You have no idea how much happiness this gives me. Just being alone with nature. Nobody around, sun is shining, so good. I can tell you right away. This is one of the most beautiful trails I've walked in my life.

There were some small lakes on the top of it, but only one of them was visible. And apart from that, it's only fog. But it's okay. At least, I can say that I was on the top of this island. I've stopped for some food, cause I am starving.

I left my hostel where I spent the last 2 days. Now I am walking towards an adventure. I'm trying to hitchhike. Got a ride from the nicest man on this island to a town called Calheta. Now I'm going to walk to Cafe Nunes which is a coffee plantation. One of the two existing coffee plantations in the whole Europe. So from the place where I am at the moment, there is only 1 h walking to Cafe Nunes, which is in the middle of nowhere.

You know, you can say whatever you want about hitchhiking, that is dangerous, that is risky. The truth is that it's addictive. And am I saying that you should try hitchhiking? It's up to you. I'm not encouraging you to do that, because not everyone is comfortable with hitchhiking. And I don't think that anyone can do that. I don't always feel safe. Usually, when I don't feel safe, I just say no.

I had this one case when someone stopped and I didn't feel safe and that gave me a lesson for forever, probably. Since that time I decided to always trust my gut. I was trying to catch a ride and the man that stopped was the owner of the coffee plantation itself. Whaat? It started from a single tree that was brought here in the 19th century. It turned out that the unique, near-tropical climate is suitable for growing this kind of plant.

Because of the proximity of other citrus trees growing in the same garden and the closeness of the ocean, the coffee has a sweet taste and a salty finish. This small family coffee plantation began by accident as the result of offering coffee to the clients at this small traditional workshop creating carpets and other handmade goods, thoroughly fiber by fiber. Until today, the coffee is made by hand, from collecting the beans when they become red in May to packaging home-roasted products.

It's gonna take me around 4 h to go from Cafe Nunes to Faja da Caldeira, where is my guesthouse. There you go, banana trees, all over. And this is called: a proper trail! It's taking me so long because these trails are so slippery. It was raining at night. And they're kinda steep. So I'm using this stick to check if the trail is walkable or is just like this mud as you can that is completely deep. This is so mentally challenging to be careful not to fall. And I've walked only 1/3 of the whole trail (upper trail).

Welcome to paradise! I just needed to jump over the river. My whole shoes are muddy and wet, and they are not waterproof as we already established before. Oh my god, I made it, I made it till the end of this trail. I look with this stick like I just came out of the bushes. Which is kind of a true. Now I am going to the other trail, hopefully won't be that f***ed up.

Just wanted to let you know that this little guy... not that little, was my best friend on this road, got me out of mud many times. Now I'm walking all the time downhill to another Faja, Faja da Caldeira. This trail is more pleasant than the other one. Seriously, this thinking about getting myself out of mud, oh f*ck, I got my myself into mud. I can't even think anymore, I can't put words into one meaningful sentence.

Sorry about it. The map is showing me that it's only 300 m to the guesthouse, so I'm walking because it's getting so dark. It's already after sunset. So I will show you when I get there. Good morning! Today, 4 km hike along the ocean, and then going to the airport. The end of adventure on Sao Jorge.

I had the weirdest ride in my whole life. The guy stopped, in the middle of kinda nowhere. He said he was going to Velas. When we were approaching Velas, he said "actually, I am going near the airport. So I can you give a ride near there". And I said:

"Yeah, actually I'm going to my hostel which is in Urzelina, so yeah that'd be ideal" "Okay, so if you're going to the hostel then I can give you a ride to the hostel, but it's gonna take me a little bit of time. Because I need to do some stuff". And he asked me if I am in a hurry. And I said: "Nooo" First, we went to his farm, to pick up some hay.

He picked up the hay, we drove to his another field to leave the hay over there. And when we left the hay, instead of turning right, he turned left. So I asked: "Why did you just turn right?" right? And he told me: "oh yeah, I still have to go deliver wine that is right next to you" And there was like 5L of wine. "Because we are having a party today, because it's a day of someone, and we drink wine and eat chestnuts."

And I said "ok, then let's go there". So instead of going to my hostel, we continued in the direction that was far away from my hostel. And we stopped at this place where his friend was supposed to wait for him to pick up that wine. And the friend wasn't there. So he called that friend and it turned out the friend was in Velas.

So he told me: "Okay, now we are going to Velas" And I told him that it's a little bit inconvenient for me. He gave me a lift to some cafe near airport, from where I had 5,5 km to walk. But that guy was acting like I had the whole time in the world, just to be driven around the island.

I must sadly admit that my adventure in Sao Jorge is coming to an end. And I can honestly admit that I have seen this island, not every inch of it but most of it. I have felt this island. I have felt the vibes. I have met people, local people, and travellers. We could share the experience together, and that's beautiful. Going to an airport very soon. Going first to Terceira, and then to Sao Miguel. So hard to leave here. It's not enough. 4 days is not enough for this island.

Even though YouTube is my main focus, you can also catch me on my new IG account. I've been trying to maintain a healthy relationship with social media, so I won't be publishing in there all the time. See you in the next episode.

2021-12-04 17:40

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