Wednesday – Furnas & Ribeira Quente
The day began wet and windy in Ponta Delgada – however, as is often the case the sun was starting to break through by the time reached our starting point in the village of Furnas.
We had a nice gentle start following the shoreline of Lagoa das Furnas, giving us a chance to admire the rainbows being cast across the lake by the last of the morning’s rains. A quick road climb brought us to the start of our first descent – one of the official downhill tracks from the annual championships that are held on the island.
This was quickly followed by a climb out of the caldera to pick-up arguably the best descent we’ve ridden so far – the aptly titled ‘Simply the Best’. It was a fast, tricky, twisting singletrack descent with plenty of white knuckle moments, before we were finally ejected into the small fishing village of Ribeira Quente, (each with a broad smile on our faces).
A gentle road climb brought us back inland and into Furnas village itself, where it was time for dip in a geo-thermal pool before tucking into a huge plate of cozido: the village’s famous stew, slow cooked in the hot volcanic earth.
Tomorrow we head east once again, to Faial de Terra for an uplift day exploring the local downhill tracks. Antonio says there are five or six descents to choose from, and they’re longer, more flowing, and more technical than ‘Simply the Best’. If that’s true, it should prove to be another fantastic day !