On on our first full day on Sao Miguel island, we were ambitious and tackled a couple of lengthy hikes sandwiched between visits to the hot springs in Furnas (See my post on the caldeiras of Sao Miguel).
I was admittedly a bit nervous tackling double digit km hikes, since it had only been 8 months since I broke my ankle and had not done a hike with elevation since the surgery. Thankfully I had my pack mule/human GPS/boyfriend who was very aware of my limitations and basically carried all of my belongings. (You the best!)
In terms of the trails, the paths on Sao Miguel island were extremely well documented with the clearest and simplest trail signage I've encountered. The weather and atmosphere was the epitome of moodiness, with the air getting mistier and colder as you approach the peaks, even though you have just left a sunshine filled road at the bottom of the trail.
This hike winds through striking green hills and forests which left us amazed at the diversity of terrain all within a 30 minute walk from each other.
At the base of the trail, you can see and SMELL the boiling hot springs. Trust me, you will not miss it and the putrid smell and billowing clouds of steam will lead you here. In the last photo of this section, you can often see locals bury meals (Cozido das Furnas) that stew underground and cook in the extremely ground temperature.
This has got to be my favorite hike of the trip, with throngs of lush greenery, interesting sights, and very high payoff for the relative ease of the trail.
To be fair, I did not complete this particular hike and only Andrew did. I sunk into the mud almost up to my ankle so I decided It was far too muddy for me and I ended up taking a nap in the car. It was a fabulous nap, by the way.
Pro Tips for Hiking in Sao Miguel
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