Over the Easter break, a group of Lower Sixth Form students from Trinity School, Croydon, travelled to the Azores to further their knowledge of plate tectonics as part of their Geography A Level course.     

Student Poppy Hibbert reports back from the memorable trip: 

“Over the Easter holidays a group of 16 students went on a trip to the Azores (a group of tectonic islands off the west of Portugal). The trip started off at London Gatwick on the Thursday and saw the students off on two flights, the first landing in Lisbon, and the second in Ponte Delgada. Despite the welcoming (sort of) weather and bumpy landing, everyone touched down ready to get on with the activities.  

The first night started in a little restaurant a 10-minute walk from the hotel, where everyone played ‘guess what’s in the bright yellow soup’! Despite its appearance, it tasted lovely and grew on us every night we were there.  

Day one (Friday) started off with a full buffet breakfast that set us up for the day, before an early morning departure. We were then driven up a volcanic mountain, where we would embark on a lovely 1.5 hour walk down the mountainside through a forest. We came across many species of plants and beautiful waterfalls and were luckily sheltered from the rain. After this, we decided to treat ourselves to a lunch by the sea, however after sitting for a mere five minutes, the skies opened above us, and we all hurriedly ran back to the safety of the coach. We decided it was time for the first round of geothermal pools which consisted of three hot springs, and one slightly chillier spring with a waterfall (which certainly awakened our adrenaline).  

Day two found us at a slightly smellier walk, in the municipality of Furnas. Here we came to learn that a unique dish ‘Cozido das Furnas’ was slow-cooked underground by local restaurants to create a delicious stew with the help of the hot volcanic soil surrounding it. Whilst the dish itself was tasty, the smell produced by the soil required a particular fondness! After our noses had been somewhat cleansed, we hopped back on the coach to a botanical garden – Parque Terra Nostra. There we learnt about the endemic plants including Camellia, which are brightly pink coloured flowers, and how there are over 600 varieties on the island. To finish the tour, we treated ourselves to a soak in the thermal pool, which given it was rich in iron, left us all slightly yellow after. Mr Doherty exclaimed, ‘the hotel staff are going to think I had a bad attempt at fake tanning last night!’ after drying off with a fresh white towel. We ended the day with a group games night that involved a variety of activities including a competitive game of toss the tea bag in the cup.  

The last day was by the far the best day for sightseeing. We were blessed with gorgeous sunshine, so made the most of it by venturing to the highest points of the island where we had immaculate views of all the volcanic lakes, a particular favourite was the famous ‘blue and green lake’.  

To finish up the trip, we all went down to the local bowling alley, where some clearly had deep rooted skill (Olly Keers scoring four strikes in a row) and other who were just happy to knock a pin down. This was followed by an intense game of darts against a local. The team of four – Poppy, Olly, Dan and Boydey – although being a 4v1 came out on top for 2/2 games, and this left us on a high for the rest of the trip.  

We would like to thank Ms Goddard, Mr Doherty, and Mr Ruck for pulling together an amazing trip, and making it so memorable.” 

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