“São Jorge, the Unknown Island,” by Onésimo Teotónio Almeida.
http://www.rtp.pt/icmblogs/rtp/comunidades/index.php?k=S-Jorge-%96-a-ilha-desconhecida—Onesimo-TAlmeida.rtp&post=45484 “S. Jorge – a ilha desconhecida” – 17 Aug 2013
(Procession in Velas
Photo by Katharine F. Baker)
I obviously considered writing about my birthplace of São Miguel, but it is already the best known Azorean island. I even entertained the idea of talking about some unique and magical spot, particularly at a certain magical time, but its magic will evaporate if it experiences an onslaught of visitors. So I choose to speak of São Jorge. I know it will never attract masses of people because it has no beaches (perhaps at Fajã de São João; but of course they are unnecessary along the coast, where splendid basalt pools abound), nor cities, nor cuisine worthy of a newspaper review – and, for the cultivated and literate, it was the only island that Raul Brandão, an accomplished painter of words, found even too gloomy for his gaze. As his devoted reader, I find it hard to disagree. And yet here I am, doing just that. In Brandão’s defense, I recognize that he must not have had much luck with the weather. In fact, São Jorge is the island most subject to that Azorean affliction of fog, which leaves the poor tourist without anywhere to go because the island is mainly socked in. Yes, of course, its fajãs are delightful for those who pack enough tempo in their bags – not tempo in the sense of weather, for that is more precious than gold and can elude anyone, but rather as the length of time of one’s stay.
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