Mountains in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean

Somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean. A few small Islands. And then some young people come along with their tall ship Thor Heyerdahl and want to explore these islands called the Azores.

Divided into three groups with eleven or twelve teens and two staff members they went along and walked through the nature of the two islands Pico and Faial. The nature resembles that of Europe but still has tropical parts like palms and bamboo – which is perfect for hiking sticks. Most of the time we had beautiful weather. Only the first evening it rained a lot. We built our tents between two small hills and did our best to make it quick so that our tents stayed as dry as possible, because on us there was nothing that had a chance to stay dry. We had little lakes in our shoes, and our jackets – which should be resistant against rain – were soaked with water. Once the tents were standing, we changed into something dry. With our sleep bags we tried to get warm as fast as possible. But as we woke up the next morning and could see the sun shining, we felt it had been worth it: Our view was magnificent. The sky was clear, and we could see all the way down to the ocean. The heavy clouds from yesterday couldn’t be seen anymore. We dried our clothes in the sun and after our breakfast we packed our stuff and started our second day of hiking.

We walked across the highlands and on some points we had a perfect view of the ocean. In front, on the right and on the left side and even behind us. All around us we could see the beautiful blue Atlantic Ocean. On our way over the mountains there were cows and they looked at us and were always wondering what the hell we are doing. With great motivation and a few songs on our lips we walked through incredible landscapes. We came across little trees which seemed burnt, but were not. They are typical for the Azores and grow only on Pico. On every hill the grass has a different shade of green, sometimes it was light and sometimes it was darker.

We filled our bottles with filtered water from cow troughs and plucked mint for our tea in the morning.

Our second night we spent on a hill on a cow pasture and our view crossed the ocean between Pico and Sao Jorge another island of the Azores. We had a beautiful sunset with a spectacular sky. Its colours went from pink and orange to dark blue, and as the sun went down, we sat down in our tents and Lulu read aloud a story from „Die letzten Segelschiffe“.

The next morning wasn’t as sunny as the first one. Overnight light fog came across the mountains and the temperature went down. Even though the night was cold and the morning misty, the sun began to shine as soon as we started our last day on the mountains. We crossed a nature reserve on our way down and had a phenomenal view of the sea. We spent our last night in the comfort of a local event hall, where the kind owners let us stay for free, playing games and enjoying our last cookies. And reminiscing about the adventures and sights of those last days.

I think that’s what impressed me the most! The magical views down the mountains with the blue Ocean beneath us, the green mountains around us and the – most of the times – clear sky above us!

To my lovely Dad and my dear Aunt! I wish you two a Happy Birthday! Enjoy your day and I love you!