Cruise, Sydney to Southampton – Ponta Delgada

Sunday 19 April – Ponta Delgarda

Abbey Road crossing by The Beatles recreated - Ponta Delgada style
Abbey Road crossing by The Beatles recreated – Ponta Delgada style

Our last port of call on this mammoth cruise home is a stop off port on the way back from the West Indies and part of Portugal although sort of self governing bearing in mind it is just under 1000 miles away from the “motherland” in the Atlantic Ocean. It is also a Sunday, so most shops are shut!

Black and white buildings in town centre
Black and white buildings in town centre

We had been warned that the weather here could be a bit iffy and certainly cooler than the West Indies so no tours booked as the most interesting one was up into the mountains and if it was cloudy we wouldn’t see anything so it would be a waste of money.

Botanical gardens archway
Botanical gardens archway

So, aiming at the tropical gardens, the four of us walked to the town square where there was a marathon starting and ending, a cycle race and a kids running event spoiling the view of the archway and bell tower!

bit of a British influence?
bit of a British influence?

Going inland along streets neatly kept with white tiles forming patterns with the dark stone work, past an old telephone box and British style post boxes and up hills to the road that led to the botanical gardens.

British style Post Boxes
British style Post Boxes

These are lovely gardens taking advantage of the mild atlantic climate with trees from many places, including NZ and Australia.

Internet is free in the town and surrounds although not good speed everywhere.  We found a bench where internet was free and managed to download some e-mails and SKYPE Flic whilst John & Deirdre were able to SKYPE both granddaughter, Lizzie in Bromham as well as Alex, Natasha and Ben in HK.

Sharon & Deirdre on the i-pads in the Botanical gardens
Sharon & Deirdre on the i-pads in the Botanical gardens

It is such a long time since we were in HK with Alex, Natasha and Ben.  Sharon also had managed to find the spot which made for an interesting moment when both Sharon and Deirdre were slightly away from the bench Skyping.

Black and White tiles on road
Black and White tiles on road

Back down, we stopped at a harbour side cafe for a cappuccino each for €2.90 between us, very cheap and lovely with ice cream before returning for a rest and a sail away in the setting sun.

 

Ponta Delgada from Aurora on the Sailaway
Ponta Delgada from Aurora on the Sailaway

I think that if we ever get back here, and this is quite likely if you cruise to or from South America and / or the Caribbean as most cruise ships call here on the way out or back, hiring a car seems to be relatively cheap (at about € 25 a day) and certainly a visit to the lakes area is something that is a great day out if the weather is good.

So that is the last port of call on our half world tour, next stop Southampton. Tonight’s entertainment was from Berni Flint who won Opportunity Knocks so many years ago. Not bad but it wasn’t to Deirdre’s taste.

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