We caught the local ferry across to neighbouring Pico Island today having been advised it was a local festival day (Spiritos Do Sao Santos) in honour of Patron Saint of Sailors so we thought it was appropriate we attend. Pico is the second largest of the Azorean islands and is home to the highest mountain in Portugal - Pico Mountain, a volcano. We took a taxi up to the visitor's centre but sadly everything was shrouded in low cloud and so we couldn't see a lot! So we retreated back down to the town square in Madalena, claimed a table in the square and partook of beers and wine until the festival proceedings started. These seemed to comprise of a procession through the streets of local ladies carrying paniers of bread on their heads for blessing and distribution to the poor, plus brass bands and local dignatories. It proved to be a very pleasant afternoon, expecially given the wine was only 1 Euro a glass and was pretty decent.
As we returned to the ferry port, we were all given a loaf of sweet bread as well .... obviously not looking like wealthy yacht owners today!!