The Azores Islands – and that includes its biggest and best, São Miguel Island – are, as mentioned, very volcanic. Rumblings, steamings, smokings, stones flyings, even sometimes lavas flowings. Re the latter though – it’s been a while since there’s been any of that – the last eruption was around 300 years ago (in the westernmost part of the island). Between the rare appearances of lava, the fumarole activity on the islands is constant and busy – just how we like it: bubbling mud and hot springs.
The largest fumarole site is at Furnas, which I mentioned earlier. Of course, these aren’t as grand as the fumaroles in Kamchatka (Mutnovka) or New Zealand or in fact many other places, but they are still gurglingly impressive.
The locals have an ingeniously simple way of exploiting the geothermality here for their gastronomic convenience: they bury a pack/bag of ingredients in the ground, and around six hours later – they fish out the nicely-slow-cooked ready meals! I’d only ever seen such a thing before in Japan (on the island of Aogashima).
// The cats in the pics – whether they were… – no: I won’t entertain such a thought ).
The yellow there isn’t the color of the highly-mineralized water – it’s from the corn-on-the-cobs they cook in there. Tasty they are too!
Besides the fumaroles – there are a full 22 natural water springs here, each producing their own particular tasting fresh water. Yum! I wanted to try all 22 – but after just a handful, we realized, physiologically, it was impossible ). We decided to shoot a short vid on the topic instead:
Next up: hot springs! At Terra Nostra the water is orange (!) and around 40°С (so it felt like), so you can only drink small amounts of it. The orange color comes from the high content of iron. It acts as a good clothing dye. In you go in your white cozzy – out you come in an orange one – and orange it will remain forever :).
So there you have it folks. Furnas – a must-visit on the Azores, if ever you’re here. Here’s the view of the whole caldera, and further back – the lake we walked around the previous day, In the foreground – the town with the 22 natural springs.
But that’s not all my reporting from the Azores! More soon! Meanwhile – all the pics from the islands are here.