To Read on the Journey

Monday, August 13, 2007

Azores Part 4- A tour of the isla de Flores

On day 4 in Faja Grande my grandmother rented a van for the day to take us on a tour of the the island (or the isla de Flores).

All the lavender you see in this photograph is Hydrangeas. See how beautifully they climb the rock, the hillside, and frame the road around the isla de Flores.

The isla de Flores is about 30 miles around. It is lush with walls of hydrangeas, many waterfalls, caldedas (tops of volcanos, now filled with water and framed in hydrangeas). Farming and cattle land are divided by hydrangea or stone walls. The drive around the island was so beautiful that at many times I shouted at the driver to stop the car so I could jump out and take photos.
We stopped at a nursing home in one town to visit my grandfather's sister Tia Anna (we all refer to her as Tia Anina, Anina means little Anna). I met her 15yrs ago when she visited California. I was so fond of her then, as she was warm, friendly, and very pretty to me. She is the only one of my grandfather's siblings I have met. I was anxious to see her again. What a delight to find her to be just as I remembered her. Our visit was so quick. I sat close and hugged, and tried to soak up as much of her as I could. Tia Anina never married, and so she never had children, and before I left she said, "I never had a daughter, but if I had I'd want her to be you." Hmmmm- Belonging.

Next, stopped in the town of Santa Cruz, and had some pizza, did some shopping, and visited the beautiful jarden (garden pronounced jar deen). The jarden had animals, a park and a variety of beautiful flowers. At the jarden, we met a man named Moses who was visiting Flores from Oakdale Ca. As some of you know I am from Oakdale ("The Cowboy Capital of the World" and home of the Hershey factory- although my shpeel will soon have to change as the Hershey factory is moving to Mexico). It is crazy to be on the other side of the world and to meet people who are from your neck of the woods.

What a beautiful day. It was so generous of my grandmother to make this tour happen for us. She must have loved having 2 of her loves together at last, her isla de Flores and her grandaughters. Here grandma is with her sister Marianna at the Point of Mustarda.

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