RKS Travel 2023: Portuguese Groundhog Day: A Bit of Terror in the Sky and Plenty of Boredom Down Below: SATA Air Azores

Part of being invited to attend Wine and Travel Week in Porto this February included a three day side trip to the Azores, Portuguese Islands in the Atlantic Ocean.

It is a bit over two hours as the crow flies but it was not a crow I was flying on but an Air Azores A321 Airbus from Porto to Nordela Airport in Ponta Delgado. Descending for a pitch black landing in the fog and rain the plane takes a sudden dip and jerks upward its engines making “unusual noises”. The plane then starts wobbling to and fro accelerating upwards with red and white lights from the plane being seen in the fog. The lady in the window seat starts to moan and cling to her husband, I rather expect a huge crash and I await the impact soon to be no more! But we circle the island not knowing what in God’s name is happening. An aborted landing perhaps? SATA gives no explanation. Flying for 50 years this is my first aborted landing and I hope it will be the last.

The next day the terror was replaced by sheer boredom. A SATA Air Azores Dash 8 was to take us from Ponta Delgado to Pico Island. It was late in arriving due to the repair of the ventilation system. So eventually it arrives and off we take only to return to Ponta Delgado with ventilation system problems. After several hours delay off we go to Pico Island missing most of our day’s activities. SATA Air Azores was so kind to give us a food voucher for some lunch. A whopping 4 Euros when the cheapest sandwich at the airport is 4.65 Euros. We were obligated to pick up our bags then check in again and go through security. Portuguese Groundhog Day.

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food ,drink, travel, film, and lifestyle issues. He also has published serialized novels "Life at Megacorp", "Virus # 26, "Reggie the Egyptian Rescue Dog" and "The Penniless Pensioner" Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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