A day of speed and site seeing

When we first arrived on Flores, the Crew of the Tioga noticed the speed at which cars traveled, the steep inclines, and narrow roads. After watching the driving, we figured that driver’s education here consists of watching the Fast and Furious films and completing 15 levels of the video game Grand Theft Auto. Last night Ulf made a good local contact at the bar and after much negotiating, we hired 2 local cab drivers. We departed the docks at 9:30am, the Kerstens in one vehicle, and Ulf, Peter and Uncle Danny in the other. The Kerstens driver, who spoke very little English, was an older gentleman and as Lolo put it “so cute”. The guys’ driver, an older woman that spoke no English, but had the driving ambition of Mario Andretti. This is one senior citizen who could be the wheelman in any bank heist and guarantee a clean getaway. Some pucker factor was experienced when she pulled 2 g.s in 4 wheel power slides on the hairpin curves. But the white knuckle effect was max when late in the day it was revealed the brakes were unreliable. We were allowed to catch our breath frequently as we stopped to view the vistas, each one more spectacular than the previous. The huge rows of giant blue hydrangea have given this beautiful island it’s name.
When we stopped to view a group of waterfalls, the sign said 800 meters, but did not reveal that it was 800 meters true vertical, over slippery, moss covered rocks. We were rewarded at the end with a view of the terminus of 7 waterfalls. The lush green flora was reminiscent of scenes from Jurassic Park. Dan and Peter embraced the European way when they swam nude in the pool at the base of a 300 foot waterfall. The crew and drivers enjoyed a fantastic lunch at a quaint restaurant along the West Coast, facing the good ole USA, appropriate for the 4th of July. A group of US service men and woman from nearby Air base in Terciera were also enjoying a fine meal. From Tioga, Happy 4th of July!

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