July - August 2007
We enjoyed exploring Faial immensely. We hired a car and explored the island. You can drive the island in a day. We went on a bit of a coffee crawl as we love the Portuguese coffee and it gave us a reason to stop in each town to walk around. We also visited the caldera which was really awesome. Justin walked down a narrow path a pretty good ways to the center of the volcano crater to get some of the cool pics above. We found a lot of houses that were abandoned. They don't seem to knock them down here and the growth of the weeds takes over. It makes for pretty scenery. Hydrangeas lined most every road on the island. Just beautiful. We finished our tour of the island at the rock pools. A series of 3 or 4 pools filled with sea water. The kiddie pool is totally filtered of fish but the others allow fish through, really neat to swim in those.
I put in a photo of Aaron when he was sick with gastroenteritis. We think (the doctor said maybe) he picked it up at the beach. He had a fever varying between 102*f and 105*f for 13 hours and we just couldn't bring it down. We had to take him to the hospital in Faial. We wanted to add here that the hospital was very clean, friendly, efficient, caring and cheaper than the U.S. Something we were unaccustomed to! Aaron was very well looked after and after they ran blood tests and put him on a drip he was able to come home after 8 hrs. His fever continued for a few more days home on the boat but we had been given suppositories by the hospital so were able to keep it under control. We took a cab to the hospital but when Aaron was discharged one of the nurses happily gave us a lift home. Gross but we were also told to get de-worming meds for the whole fam. (I only put this in in case anyone reading this ends up sailing through the Azores). Apparently many people do get ill at their beach and it's a case of stray dogs hanging out there and feces on the beach. Just be careful and take your de-worming meds I guess. Aaron has eventually recovered from whatever he got. He couldn't have dairy products however for many months and we had to very gradually introduce them back into his diet again.