Virtual tour of Pedro Vaz, Cascabulho, Morrinho and Calheta Detras
9:42... The village appears at the top of a hilly decline. The football field is the first noticed on the left, then the village nestled in a picturesque valley of trees many of which are palms. This once thriving area (the first capital of the island) is slowly being abandoned due to the lack of employment. The large dominant structure is a hospital which was built by the US government. It is puzzling why Vila was not chosen instead of the sparsely populated area with no resident doctor!
10:00... more frustrating road construction, on either side is a long stretch of trees, resulting from forestry projects a few years earlier. Take the fork to the right.
10:20... on to Cascabulho and the road is new!
Even though it is not large Cascabulho is one the major villages on Maio. It is peaceful and quiet especially on a Sunday. In a few minutes it can be seen, then on the way again. The road is good now for the remaining of the journey. (If you have leisure time, and have hire a guide and a 4-wheel drive, continue due north on another bad, remote road to Galeao. Beach) Continuing south…to the right, mountains in the distance and Morrinho on the horizon. where the view opens to wide beaches, a few hundred meters to the left.
On the way to Morrinho the landscape appears like a West African savanna with scattered clumps of naturally grown trees. Morino has two lovely beaches explained in Beaches. The landscape remains a sparsely wooded savanna with an ever-view of Monte Penoso which appears to be a solid rock monument (the highest land mass on the island. 436m).Note: When you have reached Morrinho there is a remote road which proceeds to the northeast along the coast of virgin beaches (It is not adiseable to attempt this without a 4-wheel drive or a guide)
CALHETA (2nd largest)
10:35 Continuing east, tires hum in syncopation on the cobble stone highway. Nature rules now albeit an occasional goat herder. It is difficult to keep one's eyes on the road. More trees sporadically appear to green the red volcanic soil and the mountains become more vivid. Calheta tends to sprawl with new structures. It has however, one outstanding feature: a section of the village known as Calheta Detras (meaning behind Calheta). This small, set-apart settlement is blessed by a picturesque beach, especially in the evening when fishermen return with their catch. Calheta Detras has not been overlooked by German expatriates which have established a colony there.
After leaving Calheta, you may continue further north where the island is uninhabited and explore remote beaches or continue on to Morro.