This Walking trail is located in Toledo, on the north coast of the island of San Jorge. It is a circular route which will pass through three of the fajãs of the island: Fajã Manuel Teixeira, Rasa and Vasco Martins, also known by the fajãs of Toledo.
The first part of the path to Fajã Manuel Teixeira is not the easiest, it is a sloping path and slippery in some areas, populated by a vast abundance of typical species from the forests of Laurisilva. The descent time varies depending on the physical condition of each Trekker, it may be around 50 minutes.
Fajã Manuel Teixeira has six old houses, with some wine cellars outside, and its water comes from four springs. It was this water that watered the main crops of this fajã such as the vine, yam (because of the abundance of water), watermelon, melon, pumpkin, cabbage, peppers, peas, tomatoes, sweet potatoes and corn. There were also fruit trees such as fig tree, strawberry and apples.
From this Fajã we can see Ponta Furada. It is a geological formation with a large hole, that encloses the legend of Ponta Furada.
Although there are people there spending a few days, no one lives there for the whole year since the earthquake of January 1st, 1980.
We follow along the coast to Fajã Rasa. This fajã is characterized by its exoticism and the fact of being practically at sea level, a fact that gives it its name. Some time ago there were four wine cellars and it is still possible to see remnants of the mills. This fajã was practically buried by the earthquake in 1980 although we can still find some traces of the houses that were located along the coast.
Fajã Rasa had formerly a watermill on the river that divides this fajã from the previous one. Today we can find a low-water pit with water although it is abandoned. In this fajã there were other typical cultures harvested. It was also practiced grazing, particularly in winter. In this fajã you can find the endemic species of Macaronesia of Solidago sempervirens, which locals call Cubres.
We follow along the coast until Fajã Vasco Martins. This is one of the largest coves of the island. It has been a town with its own life for many centuries. Many families lived in this fajã, many permanently other for a few months a year.
There were about thirteen houses there. After the earthquake of 1980 people living permanently in this fajã abandoned it to live in "out of the rock" because it was safer. Currently there are a few houses that are properly preserved and none is inhabited permanently. Those that are still preserved keep their mills and wine cellars.
One of the exponents of this fajã is its waterfall of 70 m high, which falls in a pit of water, called Poço da Airoses, having this name due to eels, to which locals call Eiros.
It will be our next stop to have lunch in front of the unutterable beauty of this waterfall. Hopefully we’ll still see an eel snaking in the pit.