Location: Whitby, Ontario, Canada

Born in Malta but in Canada since age 5. Has written three books and presently does several columns about wine and food for various magazines.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Discovering The Azores Day 11: Last Morning at Terra Nostra, Driving To Livramento,,Whoa! Hold That Horse! Arrival At Talisman Hotel and Pizza On Display!

Final Morning At Terra Costa
I awoke early and finished my random packing for Ponta Delgada. We went for a final walk around the garden and of course a final dip in the sulfur pool then breakfast.  As usual breakfast was quite satisfying. Our bags were already to go so right after we were done breakfast we checked out and soon we were on our way to Livramento!
Located in the southwestern part of Sao Miguel, Livramento is known for its historical tradition. Apparently a family of English people were seeking refuge from the British government and set up house in Livramento. The area prospered during the 19th Century due to a mandatory stoppage by vessels going on long distance voyages in order to collect oranges!  Why? Think of Scurvy and vitamin c!  Many manor Houses were built around this time.
Quinta da Terca 
One of these manor houses that goes back to the 17th Century is Quinta da Terca. The estate was once one of these orange suppliers but as the years passed, the orange trade diminished in direct relation to the higher quality oranges being brought from other areas. Soon the orchards were gone.
The estate now serves as a hospitality depot for recreation and lodging. There are guest rooms with all the amenities for stays on the property as well as dinner facilities, golf courses, recreational diving and snorkeling and various tours. of course then there was Horseback Riding..
For God's Sake Whoa! .
Bruno was our guide and he selected the horses. Now I did tell him that I was not an expert. I also told him that I was uncomfortable in my last horse venture. He picked a clam horse for this two hour tour.
Here's how the tour went.
"The voyage started getting rough. The mighty hips were hurt. With a horse so wide and hips so old the venture would be lost! Now the guide was a mighty horseman and those around me were brave and true but I feared that in the two hour tour my body would be lost----body would be lost!"  
After an hour and a saddle that got loose on me ---causing me to hit the ground running! I was asked if I wanted to cut the time down to one hour. I was dying here but I would be damned to give them the pleasure of seeing me quit.
"Of course not!"I remarked---hating myself for not throwing in the towel.
We went on through lovely orchards,beautiful meadows and superb hills. We also went on paved roads whereby cars would go by us. One jerk passed us on a motorcycle and purposely revved his cycle as he passed. My horse jumped and my hips hurt even more. By the time we got to the barn, my body was praying---pleading for relief. On stopping I fell off my horse and tried to walk. It took at least twenty minutes to do so. "You did well," Bruno said! I smiled the smile of "Never More!". 
Ponta Delgada
Directions are a great thing but only if you are aware of the names you are being directed to and only if the street names are clear to be read from the roadway! I managed to get from Livramento to Ponta Delgada but once in Ponta Delgada everything became obscure. Road signs did not seem very helpful and I was more concerned not to become entangled in a car accident due to my concentration in looking at signs.
I eventually stopped and asked a man to direct me to the Talisman Hotel. He pondered a bit and then to my surprise he gave me a sign to follow him in his car. Within ten minutes through winding streets we came to the Talisman.
 His name was Edwardo and i am eternally grateful! We parked and made our way to the hotel and registered.
Returning the Car
Ironically, the vehicle was parked not far from the car rental property and we then made our way to the place. The patron was alone and busy so I brought the car in and advised him of some minor problems with the vehicles operation. He checked the car and thanked us.
Dinner---Guess What? It's Pizza!!.
I was hungry so looking for an obvious restaurant  would have to be quick. we went up and down several streets after asking the hotel day manager about nice places to eat. My patience was quite low however and when I came up to a restaurant called Italiano. The owner told us that he had emigrated from Pakistan and set up a business in  the city.
We ordered a superb beer and followed that up with a nice pizza. Now full, we payed our bill of only 10 Euros and off we went to the hotel.
Talisman Hotel 
The hotel is located in the older corridor of the Ponta Delgada area not far from the wharf and main business street. The location made it ideal to visit a number of stores and parks in the area. The hotel itself was a reconditioned 17th Century home that was expanded to include a very modern property. The main foyer and staircase were original but there was much in the form of additions.
Our  room was excellent. Spacious and had a balcony. The balcony oversaw a lovely small garden and park..
The whole scene was lovely and enchanting.
After our walk and dinner we decided it was time to end our day and get some rest. It was a very long day!
End of Day Eleven.