Corvo, oh Corvo. Population 468, the most isolated and small of all the Azores, and a place I'd wanted to see with my own eyes ever since I first saw images of it. Getting there though is not always straightforward. There aren't daily flights to its tiny airport, and the two boats that go there each day are often cancelled or late due to be weather. Our boat was a due to leave at 16h30, so we arrived at the harbour a little early only to be waiting until almost 19h before we left. I did mange to capture some shots and portraits of this gentleman who'd been an inhabitant of Corvo all his life.
The weather had been great all day, but during our wait at the port the wind had got stronger and stronger with the waves getting bigger and bigger. The boat itself was pretty small and despite feeling very safe, it did get tossed around quite a bit on the swells. I was beginning to think that it would be impossible to capture a sunset here as we'd left so late and were only due to get into the dock 25 minutes before the sun went down, but I called the driver I'd originally spoken to a few weeks before and managed to arrange for him to pick us up at the dock and take us straight up to the caldera. We missed the best light, but I managed to get a shot while the colour in the sky was still at its peak. It's an amazing location, Teresa literally gasped when we arrived, this vast caldera that dominates the entire island, and it's difficult to do it justice in a photo. I decided to include myself in the image to try and give a sense of scale.
We then waited in the dark, eating a picnic dinner surrounded by cows, for the driver to come back and pick us up. Back at the hotel we slept like logs and next morning we headed up to the caldera again to see it properly in Daylight and get have a walk around.
We then went for a look around town for the last hour we had in the islands. Its a tiny town, built on the only flat bit on the island, it really does feel isolated, yet all of the locals we spoke to spoke of their love of the island and the strength of community there. It's something we noticed all over the islands, people's friendliness and warmth, how everyone says hello and wants to talk, how life here feels very much as though it hasn't changed much for the last 30 years, and how simple uncomplicated and straightforward everything felt. Tourism is still low key in these islands win most people coming for walking trips, and consequently everything feels untouched, which is something I really hope doesn't change as they inevitably become more popular.
So it was sad to leave, we could really have done with a lot more time in all of the places we visited, particularly Flores, which is a photographer's paradise, but I'm pretty sure we'll be back some day.