The Spinal Column The Newsletter About Your Health And Caring For Your Body
SOS PHYSIOTHERAPY JOURNEY TO THE AZORES!
The Azores! The Azores? I have to admit that two years ago when a patient mentioned to me about the Portuguese Islands, located two thirds across the Atlantic, on a straight line from New York to Portugal, I had no idea where they were talking about. My patient’s trip had been fabulous, with lots of hiking, wine tours and whale watching. So, in June of last year, when my sister-in-law, suggested that the four of us should take an 8 day trip there, I have to say I was intrigued. After working out the details of our absence, my wife Heidi and I were on board to join them! The organization of seven kids between us and a couple of dogs was no small feat, but with the grandparents willing to run the show, we were off!! After a 5 1/2 hour direct flight from Toronto to Ponta del Garde, we were greeted by the most beautiful island of Sao Miguel! We were amazed by the breath-taking scenery, volcanic rock shorelines, hot springs, incredible waterfalls, and cows on every green mountainside! We enjoyed daily meals of fresh fish, limpets, mussels, bread, wine and cheese. In our mid-sized rental car, we braved the narrow winding roads to visit the tea plantation, thermal springs, and joined a whale watching tour. (Well, let’s be honest my wife passed on that opportunity, something about “motion sickness”….) Shockingly my brother in law
and I were even able to find a golf course! And how about the gorgeous hiking trails….Did I mention the hiking already?? Now some of you may know I have a LITTLE trouble with my knees. Despite having my outstanding OSSUR CTi custom stability brace (gratuitous plug there….) I was still struggling with the ups and especially the downs of these crater hikes. So, on the second last day, when my sister in law suggested we do one more mountainous trek, I was less than enthused. Needless to say, on that last path down, I looked like a wobbly, limping mess! However, after icing and recovering with a cold Super Bock, the feeling of accomplishment and the photos of my brother in law trying to speak Portuguese to a local farmer, was well worth it! When we returned from our adventures, the grandparents reassured us that their week was a huge success. Apparently, the kids were well behaved, helpful and walked the dog every day. Riiiigghht…… Clearly another trip awaits! Happy Travels! Jon and Heidi
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