Saturday, April 6, 2024

Azores 2024 - Exploring Feteiras, Sausage Factory, Sunshine

The weather has turned and the sun has appeared. It’s only 13 degrees when I leave at 7:30 for a walk, but it’s bright and beautiful. I walk for ninety minutes, down ancient pathways to the water and along the coastal road, dipping down dead-end streets to get to the rocky coastline and admire the ocean without getting blown off my feet and covered in salty spray. I walk west and pass by Sunset Beach and its beach volleyball nets and oceanside restaurant, then through a beautiful public park with a full basketball court, playgrounds, and public seating. I continue along the expansive Populo Beach and the ocean here is peppered with surfers and paddleboarders, riding the swells which are consistent and decent, likely a spillover from the previous days of vicious south winds. There are a series of restaurants and snack bars across from here, and several are already open, serving morning espressos and pastries to the many patrons enjoying this beautiful day.

I return to the house, have breakfast with Ana, then we take off for Feteiras to have another look at our land, a better look around the town, and to see if we can meet any of the neighbours. The town itself hangs off a steep hill and consists of one main road that runs parallel to the coastline for two kilometres with a few cross-streets left and right. There are a few small “old man” cafes (open to the public, but really a place for local men to smoke, drink coffee and moonshine and talk football) along the road, the town church in the main square, a small grocery store which also has a nice café and snack bar, and a Salsicor sausage factory and butcher shop. We drive slowly by these places then park near our lot, which is on the western end of town. Ana rings the bell at our neighbour’s house, and a young lady who introduces herself at Bianca appears. They have a long chat and she tells Ana all about the town, the area, and how there are always realtors sniffing around trying to find out who owns our lot. She tells us it was the municipality who cut down all the cane and bamboo on our lot and cleaned it up as people has started dumping junk in there. They exchange contact details and we’re thrilled to have finally met somebody here.


We walk over to the Salsicor factory to investigate the butcher shop. We’ve tried to do this in the past but never been able to find it, but today we do and it’s fantastic – they have a bunch of frozen seafood, meats, and other stuff plus a butcher counter where I see all sorts of cuts of beef and pork, plus a bunch of different kinds of sausages. We pick up a big bag of mini-chorizos which will be perfect for the birthday party we’re hosting for John tomorrow.

From here we drive the couple hundred metres up to the highway to check out the grocery store we didn’t know was there. It’s called Casa Cheia and has a good grocery selection plus a small bakery and deli counter, and also several rows of hardware and dollar-store type items. There’s also a gas station next door. After these discoveries I am feeling much more optimistic about Feteiras and I like it much more than I did yesterday.


We return to Livramento at one to pick up the folks and drive to Ana Margarida and her husband Pedro’s house. She had arranged to pick Tia Ana up from the care home and bring her back so we could visit with her again. Ana doesn’t remember seeing us the week before, but is not as totally surprised as she was the first time so I think there is a glimmer of memory. We have a long visit and long, delicious lunch and don’t leave until after six, then from here we head over to Paulo Fernando and Natercia’s house for more food and drinking.

This vacation stuff is exhausting.

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