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Photographer's Note

This photo was taken in the roof of Portugal: the top of Pico Mountain. To get there you have to do a 4 hours walk with fantastic views. I recomend to start it at 4 am to enjoy the fantastic view of Pico's shadow in the ocean.

Pico is the second largest island of the Archipelago with a surface area of 448 km2. It is home to the highest mountain in Portugal which reaches an altitude of 2351 meters.

The volcano is in the south-west of the island, at 38.47 N, 28.40 W. It is a basaltic stratocone 2,350 m high with steep sides. The last eruption was in 1963; prior major eruptions were in 1562-64, 1718 and 1720. The paths of the lava flows are still visible, those of the 16th century and 1718 were particularly substantial, extending for over 10 km.

While passing through Lajes, a stop at the “Baleeiros” (whale) Museum is necessary. All that pertains to the glorious whaling tradition is available to the public. Displayed are biographies, whaling canoes and every article needed for the activity. Due to present day concerns whaling has been halted but the spirit and the memory of the “sea-wolves” still lives. Of growing popularity is the parctice of whale watching. A growing number of enterprises offer spectacular expeditions to the interested tourist.

The vineyards of Pico are very distinctive. A maze of stone walls form corrals in which the grapevines are found. In this way the farmers were able to rid the soil of the many rocks and form shelter for their crops. The “maroiças” or pyramids were also built for the same reason and add an interesting aspect to Pico’s landscape. The product of these grapevines is the famous wine known as “Verdelho do Pico”, a superb aperitif.

Completing your tour of Pico at Madalena’s pier, a daily ferry to Faial is available. From the ocean the sightseer is left with a final portrait of the mountain island which includes the islets “Deitado” (lying down) and “Em-pé” (standing up) overshadowed by the magnificent mountain.

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Additional Photos by Thiago Figueiredo (tjfigueiredo) Silver Note Writer [C: 2 W: 0 N: 45] (169)
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