After 5 days at sea, we have arrived in the Azores. We went exploring today on a four hour bus tour.
Our bus climbed towards the central mountain range taking us to the road that leads to Monte, a village notable for its many fine gardens. Next, we visited Pico do Arieiro, the third highest peak on the island with an altitude of almost 6,000 feet. The views were spectacular, on a clear day, it is even possible to see Porto Santo, the neighboring island, which is situated 30 nautical miles to the north.
Our next stop was Camacha, a beautiful small village on the hills east of Funchal. It is famous for its 'Apple Festival' and its very active folklore dance groups.
Camacha is also called 'the village of basket makers' which is actually not doing it any justice as it is much more than that; it represents the center of Madeira's willow craft industry. Nowadays they make furniture, hats, ornaments, kitchen utensils, wine holders and of course, baskets of all sizes and shapes.
The tour was incredible and we enjoyed it much. After the tour we were happy to get back on the ship for dinner and relaxation.