TravelGnu

If you want to travel the world but don’t have the time to sail across an ocean, there is an option for you!  TravelGnu.

Mark, a fellow cruiser, decided he wanted to make traveling more accessible to more people, and so he created TravelGnu. The idea is simple, when you cruise, you will stumble upon a cool area and find great deals on travel excursions because they are not well known and not well advertised. TravelGnu takes all this local knowledge and puts it on one site that lets you plan and book your next adventure at a great rate and see things you wouldn’t have otherwise known about! 

While our boat is on the hard getting a refit, Maddie and I took small “vacations” to other places to take a break from the boatwork. Since we are on a rather tight budget, cost was one of the most important features of our decision making. 

When you visit TravelGnu, just type your destination into the yellow “Booking.com” box and it will take you to a page where you can find the best deals every for your destination. You can also search through the TravelGnu page to find adventure and excursion packages for your destination that way you can have an instant adventure with minimal time away from work!

When we visited Flores, we found a great hotel room (bed and breakfast) for only €200 for 5 nights! This included breakfast for each morning, as well as very knowledgable staff about local restaruants and sights. This was a great way for us to unwind after a long month of boatwork, and it could also be a great way for you to unwinde on your vacation time! 

Raging Bull?

In the Azores, bull fights take on a new interpretation. 

Bulls are brought out into the streets of the towns and the locals (after a few beers) will run up to the bull, taunt it, and then promptly be smashed by the bull! The locals take great joy in trying to cheat death as they run for their lives from a raging bull. They will taunt the bull with umbrellas to try and make the bull charge away from their bodies, but an angry bull is much smarter than a drunk human, and the bull usually knocks the drunk for a loop! 

I began to wonder, are the bull here always like this? Or are they only irritated by the constant taunting from the drunk locals? 

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While hiking around, Maddie and I came across a field full of cows and one particularly large cow right by the low stone wall. We looked at each other and pet its head. It looked at us for a while as we smiled back, then it picked its nose with its tongue. 

We didn’t realize the situation we were in until the large cow walked away from the wall and revealed to us that it was in fact a bull!  

The bulls here are just as kind as the cows, and just like us, they don’t like to be taunted. If you do taunt the bulls, they are strong and will send you flying up into the sky before they fling your lifeless body into a stone wall!  

If you ever get bored, you should check out the Azores Bull Fight videos on YouTube (no bulls are injured in the fights, only the local humans). After the bull fights, the bulls go home to their field where they continue being a bull and grazing in the pastures. 

Heart Shaped Falls

One of the waterfalls on Flores had two falls that became one. As they cascaded down the cliff face, the white foaming water somewhat resembles a heart! 

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Do you see it?  

The tip of the heart then pours its contents into the lake below which shortly thereafter drains into the ocean. 

Being so close to the beauty of nature makes you feel so removed from all the excuses that people list as to why they are unhappy. Happiness doesn’t come from material posessions; no, it comes from experiences! 

Flores Paths

The island of Flores seems to have more cows than people, and the majority of the island seems to be covered by fields instead of buildings. In these fields, there are no roads, but instead neat little walkways. Some are stone, some are red volcanic pebbles, some are grass. They will work their way through the fields and along old field houses that are in varying levels of condition. 

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When you walk back through these fields, you will stumble across majestic views that your car could never reach! You will find streams, waterfalls, and forests that have grown around lakes that are deeper into the island. 

This one path follows a river up to the cliff where a thin and wispy waterfall coats the sides of the rocks with a thin mist.

Lava Breakwater

We spent a considerable amount of time in Terceira where all the breakwaters are man-made. Terceira is a rather old island, so the wind and waves have had about three million years to wear the volcanic rock away, thus necessitating the construction of man-made structures to protect the harbors and shores from the punishing onslaught of the waves. 

Flores, is about a million years younger than Terceira, and it shows! The volcanic rocks on the shore are very jagged and do just fine destroying the waves and dissipating their energy without the aid of mankind. 

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Maddie and I often wonder if the locals look up at the magnificent cliffs and waterfalls as often as we do! To think that this view can be found right next to the public boat ramp!  

So much splendor in such a small space.