Exploring Terceira

Date: 19.03.2021
Position: Praia da Victoria, Terceira  

I knew that we would have a daylong expedition on the island of Terceira. But I really had no clue how it would really turn out to be…

Well, the day before, Ruth told us that we would explore that foreign island in four different groups. Each group would have to explore one specific part of the island, bring something special and take a photo with one of the natives. We were allowed to take public transport services, hitchhike, visit museums or simply enjoy the pristine landscapes of the island. Twenty euros per person would be given to each group for the day. By the time we got the information, the group members were still unknown. Now was the time to choose one’s destiny. Everyone was very excited. The box with notes including the different parts of the island was going around. So, I picked one paper and looked at it. It said Northwest. I looked around and asked for future group members. After we all got to know with whom we would spend our time for the next day, we had to meet in our new groups and plan and prepare the next day. My companions, Keana, Lisa, Kailun, Luis, Carlo, Eva, Clara, Melli, Josh and me had the simple plan to not have any plan at all. We just researched for a bus that would bring us to the village Biscoitos in the Northwest and we would simply ask the people if there were interesting locations to visit. I think we felt kind of unorganized because most of the other groups had plans which sounded quite solid and organized. But anyway, all of us went to bed and the next we would swarm out to discover new KUS-territory.

 After we had enjoyed breakfast we packed our backpacks and waited for our transport to the pier. As soon as our group was in the dinghy, Kailun noticed that he had forgotten his mobile phone with all the information about the bus-lines. So, we had to wait again. After twenty minutes we ran to the bus station and almost missed it. So, we were happy when we sat down. Some time later, we arrived in Biscoitos without a specific plan. After gathering information about our destination from local people we we decided to have a look at an old wine factory museum. While heading towards the museum, we asked ourselves if we really wanted to check it out because we also wanted to go to some kind lava caves located in the hills of Terceira. We knew that we couldn’t do both because of our time limit. The groups had to be back on the Thor Heyerdahl at 6:30 pm. So, we decided to walk a bit further until Josh saw a bakery in one of the little streets. All of us were a little bit hungry and so we wanted to make a break. We came closer and recognized that it was a cookie factory. It smelled so delicious and we entered inside and we all bought and ate way too many cookies.

 After our hunger was stilled we still had no idea how to get to the caves, but then we saw a man with a pick-up truck and asked him if he could give us a ride to the caves. He was very friendly and so we jumped on the cargo area. He drove us to the caves and then moved on. Unfortunately, we hadn’t checked out the opening times so we stood in front of a closed cave. Even though it would take two hours until it would be opened we wanted kill some time with a little hike to a beautiful lake. It was so amazing just to walk through the forest and to listen to the birds singing in the trees. Our quietness didn’t stay long because we noticed that there was a woman behind us asking for help. She explained that she just followed us because she thought that we knew where we were walking. She was very interested in our project and after a break at the lake, she had to go and we said goodbye. For us, it was time to visit the caves.

 The caves were quite impressive because they were built by a former volcano and had an underwater lake. We spent half an hour walking through the twilight until we decided to go back to Biscoitos. Immediately, we had to face the next problem: We didn’t plan our way back. My group discussed a lot and decided to walk down the highway and try to tramp one more time. Since we were so many (10 people), nobody had the capacity and time to give us a ride. We had to hurry up a lot to get our bus back home. Luckily, we arrived at the bus station on time. In the bus our group met one of the other groups and we had a lot to tell to each other. It was a great day.

 We arrived at the pier where Detlef asked one of us to go shopping food in the supermarket for the ship. I said I would like to help and one second later I was in the car. In the supermarket Celine – our provisioning master- gave me a list of products we needed and so I started my work. I was surprised how much we had to buy for a crew of 50 hungry sailors. When we finished we transported all the provisions to the Thor. After dinner each group presented their experiences of the day. Even though we were all very tired we listened interested and laughed at each other’s stories.

 It was an exciting and funny day. I think we all learned a lot – for example that having no plan is sometimes exhausting but mostly an amusing experience – even though it was only one day.