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And look at the broad-faced sun how he smiles
Ride round Fayal.-Wine-shop.-The basket-system.-Castello Branco.- Cedros.—Silver Lamp.-Finesse.-Red pottery.— Gentleman Farmer.-Return to Horta.
FAYAL, MAY 18.-Yesterday and the day before we rode round the island. On arriving at the village of Feteira, being obliged to make a halt, owing to rain, we stopped at a wine-shop which had an upper room in all respects as decent as the parlour of a village inn in England. The windows were well glazed, the floors were sound and clean, the walls well white-washed, and the
chairs as soft as wooden-bottomed chairs usually are. "In whatever way you travel," says Walker in his Original,' "I particularly recommend you to guard against the cravings of hunger, both for your health's sake, and in order the better to preserve placidity of temper, which, with every precaution, is exposed to frequent disturbance. When your mind is ruffled you can neither see with pleasure nor profit, and the natives are pretty sure to revenge themselves for your illhumour by imposing upon you. On setting out on the last long journey I made," he adds, "which was in a private carriage with one companion, I bought a small basket and caused it to be filled with cold provisions, bread, and fruit, which I kept constantly replenished during ten months, whenever we were upon the road, to which circumstance I mainly attribute the fact that we never had the shadow of a disagreement or an uncomfort."
“There is nothing like a basket of this sort for diminishing the dreadful tediousness of uncertain distances at the end of a long day, and it is a great consolation in case of accidental stoppages." I cannot say that "we bought a small basket;" but, by the kindness of a lady, we had
THE BASKET SYSTEM.
been provided with a large one; and at this "accidental stoppage" we cordially assented to the good sense of the foregoing advice, which, if applicable to European travelling, where luxuries are everywhere to be found, must be still more so in these islands, where nothing can be procured in the villages, but the distasteful Indian-corn bread and wine; and in the place of diligences, coaches, or carriages, you have to jog at the rate of three miles an hour, on a dull uneasy ass.
"Some people have a habit, and rather make a boast of it, of travelling long distances without eating any thing; but I strongly recommend the basket system, having tried both plans." Excellent willow baskets are made in the island, to which a padlock may be fastened, a necessary precaution here; because, in travelling once, armed with such a basket, while we were occupied with the scenery, our ass-boy was as busily engaged in relieving us of all the inner parts of the sandwiches, leaving nothing but the bread and butter cases behind; and a friend at Flores, having a party of men to carry him in a hammock, unsuspectingly entrusted them with his three-gallon jar of wine; and at the end of his journey they
returned it to him empty, gravely saying, with much intrepidity of face," that the jar had leaked." Now the basket system being adopted as a means of keeping an unruffled temper,-it is important that the traveller should not have imposition as well as hunger to disturb it.
After leaving the wine-shop, a short ride brought us to Castello Branco, a lofty white promontory jutting into the sea. Here we dismounted, and climbed the cliff on foot. The point to which this name is given, appears to have been once a crater. The top is basinshaped, but incomplete towards the sea, the basin or crater is covered with heath and herbage; and the walls, which rise from the sea perpendicularly, appear to be formed of decomposed lava, of a greyish white tint; much worn by the weather and the waves. The point is higher than the adjoining coast; with which it is connected by a neck of land of a warm brown colour, and a tough consistency. The eastern coast is as black as coal, stretching far away in a gradually diminishing line; while the western shore sweeps round into a gentle curve of many miles' extent. The day was stormy, and the surf rolled in upon the shore with a tremendous rush.
The stormy sea and black coast, skirted by a long fringe of foam; the rocks of Castello Branco rising in the midst, almost as white as the waves that broke against them; the lonely sea-birds sailing high over the cliffs, and screaming defiance to the winds; the lowering clouds which skimmed rapidly up the mountain, and by obscuring the distance, and shutting out objects of comparison, gave additional boldness to the cliffs; -formed a wild and striking picture.
Those who visit Fayal for the sake of seeing the island, should by no means omit coming to this place. If, however, they are pressed for time, or are disinclined to trouble, or have been long enough in the Azores to have become infected with Azorean torpor, (which may easily be in no long time;) should they have seen the island from the Caldeira, they will not lose much by turning back to Horta, instead of going round it. We, however, went on, and were gratified quite as much as we expected to be.
Villages are scattered along the coast, and there is a long belt of cultivated ground encircling the whole island. At one of these villages we slept, and on the next day moved on, and halted at the little village of Cedros, where