Saturday, 1 August 2015

Run to Norte - exploring abandoned buildings

July 5th - Another run from my Grandma's Sao Lourenco house, and up the Fajenzinia.  After speaking to my Mom's cousin Louis, who told us his best time for climbing the hill was 18 min when he was a teenager, we were trying for speed this time :)  We timed our climb from my Grandma's porch to the look out on top of the hill.  16:50!  woo woo.  That was fun - my legs went numb towards the top.  Greg thought his heart was going to explode.  But we were excited to get up it in a quick time.  We ran north on the regional trail with the intention of going on the 9.5k Entre e Serra e o Mar trail, but we somehow got off the trail after we followed it to another awesome lookout - this one was a lesser-used lookout (a sheer cliff-drop), but gave us a view that we're not going to forget.  The rolling trails followed the edge of cow pastures (which we later found out had belonged to my grandfather up until about 10 years ago).  We followed a dirt road to the village of Norte.  Very red dirt was neat to see on either side of the trails.  One of the coolest parts of this trail was the abandoned, war-time buildings that we got to explore.  We found an abandoned highschool, and a radio building.  In the 2nd world war, Americans occupied Santa Maria and used it as a re-fueling spot for their military aircraft/boats.  We ran inside both buildings.  They still had old furniture in them, but they were dark and spooky, with no glass in the windows, and all kinds of vegetation growing inside and on top.  Kinda like the "Lost" buildings from the TV show.  We ran back down the Fajenzinia, and home.  We're not sure the amount of k's but it was an awesome run.

A lesser-used lookout over Sao Lourenco - Cliff Drop!
Whoa - calf shot!

Abandoned highschool

Strange translation - strong language for an anti-littering sign

Abandoned war-time radio building

Basketball at the abandoned highschool anyone?


  1. Great pictures on all of the blogs. We really wish that we hadn't run out of time and had done this trail as well last year. Another trail that you guys would have enjoyed is Pico Alto to Anjos which is a longer and diverse one, which you can expect since you go from the highest point of the island to the ocean over 14kms (or some shorter options). It includes great views, forest, "red dessert", old abandoned houses etc. I guess you'll have to do it next time! Here's a link about it:

    Looks like your grandmother has some decent sized houses for the big family!

  2. Hey Nelson,
    I'm just getting my Pico Alto trail pics and report together. We ran part of the Pico Alto to Anjos trail on one day (starting at Pico Alto), then ran the other part the next day starting at Anjos. It was great. Stay tuned for that post.

    We should all go back and make a running trip out of it. Fabulous island to run on.

  3. I later remembered that you had mentioned this trail. Now we all need to do the new full 78km trail.

  4. You know I'm in for a 78k on Santa Maria - that would be amazing. Sign me up!