By admin on February 23, 2012 in Blogs

The sea is perfect for swimming, the cobbled stone pathways great for walks. Less so are the basalt rocks lining the sea at Ponta dos Caetanos. I was trying to walk along the seashore clambering over spongiform rocks that look like a moonscape when my knee decided to let me know that she was unhappy with such misadventures. But we were only halfway through the area, and limped along past a limpet pirate, who smiled at me cheerfully but wouldn’t move a muscle as soon as I was within a fifty metre radius. He used a wide flat blade to scrape them off rocks but like a child, hid it behind his back as I passed him. Finally I reached Lagoa and made my way back along the road to the beach at Sao Roque. There I let my feet hang out in the ocean for hours in the afternoon.

Now I am in my apartment in Ponta Delgada. A quick trip to the supermercado reveals that some things that are expensive in North America are dirt cheap here. Wine can be had for a couple of euros, cheese for a little more. But forget about tofu at 4.40 euros for 200g. Fortunately, there is “Rotas de Ilha Verde” the only vegan/veggie restaurant on the island which is about 500 m from my apartment and serves delicious lunches for 5 euros. Today’s meal consisted of a tomato and black olive quiche in a pie crust, a salad, curried veggies on rice and the island’s own green tea. Oh yes, apparently the Portuguese make tea on the island, having smuggled the plants along with several hundred Chinese workers in the heyday of the empire. On the north coast of the island, they still make tea at Gorreana, and my Landlady’s husband Joao is apparently from the grand tea making families of the region. More on that later.

About a hundred meters from Rotas de Ilha Verde is the Biblioteca Publica. It’s a grand building with old stuccoed buildings connected to a new metal and glass structure. The ground floor is laid out like a museum with tea rooms and exhibitions. The lady at the front desk told me to go to the second floor to settle in for work, and trained in North American building semantics, I walked up a flight of stairs into the children’s reading room. Then I realized that for the rest of the world, the first floor is one flight up and the second two flights of stairs. Now I am happily set up with my computer able to download articles and upload blogs amid the serious work of editing my second book and working on my collection of stories. Wish me luck!

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