Over the half term break, a group of 46 students from Forms 4 and 5 and several members of staff, met very early one morning to fly to Lisbon and then on to our final destination, the beautiful Ponta Delgada, capital of São Miguel Island, which is the largest out of the nine islands that make up the Azores. Upon arrival at our accommodation, we unpacked quickly and then went out to explore the local area and the city of Ponta Delgada.
Over the next two days, we visited the beautiful Sete Cidades, a natural lake in a volcanic crater, saw the beaches of the Azores which are made up of black sand due to basalt (a volcanic rock) and explored some lava caves of Gruta do Carvao. We went to the viewing point of Lago do Fogo, which translates to “Fire lake”, and enjoyed a relaxing dip in a geothermally heated natural pool at Caldeira Velha. We then hiked up a gorge before spending time in the second biggest town on the island, Ribera Grande
On our final day on São Miguel we travelled to the area of Furnas, which is the only remaining part of the island that has volcanic action still present. We visited the botanical gardens and took a swim in a natural bath, a huge pool where the water was bright orange due to the iron in the water. Unfortunately, a pair of white swim shorts were dyed orange by the water and a student’s hair temporarily turned from blonde to orange! We left here all in good moods.
Our final visit on this trip was to the Azores tea factory where we learned how the local tea was made and we spent a long time tasting the various teas.
The experience we had on the trip was a once in a lifetime one and I can say that all of us left the Azores with great memories of this beautiful island in the middle of the Atlantic.
On behalf of all of the boys, I would like to personally thank Miss Brown for organising the trip, Miss Ellis Jones, Mr Morris, Mrs Gwynn and Mr Brown for coming on the trip and looking after us and providing us with an unforgettable experience.
Liam Purcell 5M