Praia - Lagoa do Fogo
This linear roundtrip goes until the banks of Lagoa do Fogo begining in a dirt road that accesses farming lands and pastures. During the climb we will pass by the ruins of an ancient factory where fibers were produced from a plant introduced, the New Zealand flax (Phormium tenax).
Continuing climbing until we reach a fork, turning right by a wood of Japanese Cedar (Cryptomeria japonica), until we arrive to a Levada (an irrigation channel), on which the trail proceeds. It is advisable to wear proper shoes due to the presence of muddy areas on the extension of the Levada.
At this stage it is possible to observe several endemic flora such as Azorean Blueberry (Vaccinium cylindraceum), Azorean Heather (Erica azorica), and Laurustinus (Viburnum treleasei) among others.
Passing by the dam we will enter in the valley of Ribeira da Praia, an open area, with big slopes on both sides, with several points of water abstraction. This construction, initiated in 1984, intended to abstract the major part of the water springs from the filtering of Lagoa do Fogo and was concluded in 1998.
Reaching the lake bank, caution is advised due to the presence of a colony of seagulls, especially territorial during the nesting season (April-May).
The return is made on the opposite sense, taking advantage of the magnificent view over the South Coast of the island with the Islet of Vila Franca.
At the end of our hike and before returning to Ponta Delgada, we will have the opportunity to stop by Vila Franca do Campo to taste the famous Queijadas da Vila Franca accompanied by a good coffee or tea.