Our guide book says that parts of this island look like Switzerland – and they do – but that’s nothing. On Monday’s drive we saw tea plantations, ‘Scottish’ highlands, ‘Nordic’ forests, a farmstead straight out of a western and geysers to rival Iceland’s (hot water + country not blokes + shop). Yesterday, on our walk around one of the many beautiful lakes, I could have sworn we were fighting our way through the rain forest of Borneo.
The Azores are a haven for birds; blackbirds, sea birds of all descriptions and the native Azorean Bullfinch. And the wildflowers! Azaleas, camellias, hydrangea bushes lining the hedgerows, wild roses and beautiful yellow meadow flowers on the heather strewn plateau. It is an island studded with jewels in the spring and, no doubt, will be completely encrusted by summer.