GI was really excited to return to Casa da Capelinha and the lovely Ponta Delgada in February 2016, especially as the flights and car hire were over 50% cheaper than in July last year. I had watched a documentary about the unique nature of the Laurisilva Forest by the BBC in January and so was determined to experience it for myself this time.
I was surprised it was so close when I Googled the directions, only a 19 minute drive along the coast and up the Sao Vicente valley, so I got my boots on and jumped into the car. As I drove, the surf pounding the coast was amazing and of course there was hardly any traffic so it was a very easy drive with no delays and the only sign of life was a few farmers tending their vines.
I had decided to do the Vereda do Chao do Louros as it seemed a nice circular route. I was soon lost in the rare remnant of Europe's primeval forest from before the last ice age and as I was now out of the wind, breathed in the fresh and fragrant air.
There were many birds flitting between the branches and as the sun came out, I could hear them chirping to each other softly. They moved so fast and were really small but I managed to get a picture of one of them. Unfortunately, I am not a bird watcher so am unable to tell you what kind they were, although they were very cute.
There were many sights of trees, bushes and even fungi that I had never seen before and it was a bit like walking through a tunnel with light dappling through the leaves onto the ground. As I was walking downhill, it was a very pleasant experience and within 30 minutes I reached the main road and the main car park
Eventually I made it to the Empty picnic area, and found the bridge and the right fork to go in the right direction. I left the path to photograph some interesting stones and nearly lost the way again. All I could hear was the sound of the birds, the wind and bubbling streams.