Fajã dos Padres

The Natural History Group arranged to meet in the car park at 11:00. The weather was somewhat fickle and inclined to rain with wind blowing about.However, we all had anticipated poor weather. Twelve came for the visit.

We made our way down to the lift via steps, (easy!!).

The lift was waiting and we paid at the ticket office. Tickets purchased and warnings about the slippery, rain soaked floor, the immediate panoramic view from the top and the lift would not have suited those having even the slightest problem with vertigo! Some put their backs to the view.

The descent was slow and uneventful; views on the one side were of complex geological layers, gas bubble holes. On the other, we were overtaken by torrents of falling water.

Leaving the lift, we could see the restaurant below and we made our way carefully watching our footing over the steps and cobble path so as not to slip. We hardly noticed the cobweb of netting forming a tunnel to keep the stones off the path, and tourists.

The other lift, for service, nipped up and down frequently hanging precariously on cables.

Below the restaurant, the sea was in a bad mood. Swimmers decided there was too much turbulence on the top and too much undertow beneath for safety and so we all went for coffee. After this we went walkabout to explore the area, twelve of us disappearing at a breath into ones and twos until we met again for some lunch.

There is a blend of the historical and modern at Fajã dos Padres.

The historical bit is in the buildings with their doors, locks and windows and some pathways renovated with bigger, more comfortable and flat, cobbles.

The modern is seen in the facilities such as the restaurant and its kitchen and all the washing, and changing facilities for swimmers. Also the cottages for hire by holiday makers. Retro rebuilds were attractive especially some of the cobble stone paths.

Once away from the “base” it didn’t take long to appreciate the size of the area we were visiting – especially for fruit and the range of it amounting to nine sorts – just to begin. Support for cultivation by introduction of irrigation was a recent introduction.

Having had lunch and with the weather deteriorating to wind and rain once more we scaled the lower steps back to the lift, (less nice this time!).

Clambering into the lift; and after a quick head count we ascended once more. Rain and waterfalls very generous in impact visually.

Out of the lift and onto more steps to the car park. (Not at all nice this time!), so we huffed and puffed through the rain towards the top where we were induced to even more speed by claps of thunder with lightning bonus!! Returning through the ticket office we noticed the new employee was a tiny black kitten sat on the work top.

One had reached his car and had the tailgate open but before you could blink there was a small crowd there looking for shelter like sheep under a tree, while partners searched through soggy pockets for their car keys.

This is certainly a place for a visit in nicer weather. The area has a climate all of its own and there’s still more to see.

Fajã dos Padres website