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A short introduction of Jack Bowler:

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Hello all you lovely blog readers and welcome into my very own personal blog corner here on the world wide web. I feel so honored by having you here on my site/blog, thank you so very much. First of all I want to say that my name is really not Mr Bowler or Bowler, this is an alias I have chosen to use. Mainly becaue I love hats and that I at this point want to keep my real name for my self. Enough about this. It is time for a short introduction. I am a 43 year old (born in 1975) Norwegian male, currently living in south America together with my fiance and my son. I moved from Norway and to Peru during the summer of 2016. You can say that I am here living the life I have always dreamt of. I am the type of guy who loves to entertain and that is also why I started my own blog, hope you enjoy the content.

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Saturday, 13 July 2019

The Azores, first and last charter holiday experience:

Map over the Azores islands
Yes, I am that type of a guy who always has found great joy and pleasure in travelling and exploring the world around him or as I have a tendency to say, mapping the exciting home we call earth. Even as a small child I really found excitement in travelling with my family. Not that we did it that often but when we did, I was in seventh heaven. For me, it didn't matter if it was up north, down south or just over the border to Sweden. For me, it was just one big adventure I even remember like it was just yesterday that I took my very first “solo-adventure” as a 13-year-old to participate in a football tournament. It didn't end as I had hoped for, but that is just part of the game. All good memories anyway.
Angra do Heroismo, the oldest continuously settled town of the Azores (Photo credit: Concierge.2C )
This is actually something that lines up kinda perfectly with today's topic and that is my very first (and only) experience with charter holiday and first time leaving Europe, in a way. This was back in 2007 and us as a family had made the desition to spend a week of the summer break in the Portuguese islands of the Azores. Just so we could get away from the everyday life back home and actually enjoying some lazy and quiet days by the pool with good temperatures. I have to be honest here and say that I didn't expect much. None of us had any idea about what to expect or had any prior knowledge about our chosen destination. One thing is for sure and that is the fact we would be positively surprised at arrival.
The grand cliffs of the island of São Jorge
There is one thing I have to point out and that is the reason why there have been no more chartered holidays for me after this vacation in the Azores. This has nothing to do with any bad experiences or anything, the fact is that I have nothing but warm memories from this trip. I loved the hotel, the service we received and everything around our week-long stay, but the thing about me is that I like to do things my way. I have a strong dislike for fixed schedules, time tables and things like this. For me its all about taking things in the tempo I want. So these types of fixed and pre-made vacations aren't anything for me, that's the only reason really. Who knows, maybe at one point in my life I will change my mind.
Fajã Grande, the westernmost village in the Azores (Photo credit: Martin Herbst )
The Azores, the very last European paradise is an autonomous region of Portugal, made up by a series of islands (9 in total). The main city is Ponta Delgada, but it has 3 capital cities (these are Ponta Delgada, Horta and Angra do Heroismo). These islands have been more or less under Portuguese rule since the discovery and prior to the discovery never had any native population, but its population mainly originate from the Portuguese mainland. Yes, it is part of the EU. No matter what you are looking for while on vacation you will find it on the Azores. You can also visit tobacco and grape producers, go fishing, whale safari, lazy city life, spending your days on the beach or by the poolside.
The northern coast of the island of São Miguel around Capelas and São Vicente
For me, it was the combination of city life and the lazy poolside slumber kinda thing or for me, it ended up with splashing in the pool together with my daughter. I found the food we got served as amazing and I had the pleasure of experiencing some a few new things like a shark, clownfish and so much more. We spent most of our vacation in and around the city of Ponta Delgada, but we also got to experience other parts of the island of Sao Miguel, like Furnas and the hot springs at the Terra Nostra Park. I would actually say that our experience at Furnas had to be the highlight of our trip. We spent more or less a whole day just walking around in the park itself and jumped into the spring at the end, for a few hours.
Horta was a waypoint in trans-Atlantic yachts and shipping
When I look back at our first trip to the Azores, the Furnas experience is the first thing that comes to mind and the trouble we had later with cleaning our swimwear. Actually, I don't think we ever managed to get the iron staining from the water out of it. When we got back to Norway all of it got trashed because of it. if you are looking for testimony on how amazing the Azores are, well you shouldn't look any further than the one we had because we returned the very next year for a whole month and loved it even more. The second time around we rented a cabin in a different part of Sao Miguel and had one amazing experience. That time around we really got to experience the local population to its fullest.
Mains street in Angra do Heroismo (Photo credit: Concierge.2C)
A dream that I have is that one time in the future me and my son will make this journey and of course do more or experience more of the true Azorian adventure. Go on these whale safaris, go island jumping and do some fishing. First I have to take him to Norway so he can experience and explore where I come from, this is also a big dream for him. Not that, we are making plans for such an adventure sometime in the future, but this is a topic for another day and a different post I guess. Anyway, if you are looking for a family-friendly holiday destination then you have to consider the Azores. It's safe, has a low crime rate and tons of things you can do to fill up your vacation.
Perspective of Mount Pico, the highest mountain/summit in the Azores
I would say that, out of all the adventures I have been on for the past 20 years or so, the Azores sticks out as a favourite. Actually, the only bad or negative experience I have had from my journeys to the Azores was the time when we got swarmed by something that reminded me of giant flying ants. These monsters got me up from the pool and into the hotel in a hurry, but then again I wasn't the only one. At the same time, I have to say that the weather was superb. Usually, it rains a lot, but during that first week, I don't think we experienced rain one single time and that is kinda unique since it usually rains every single day. The most important part is that we had a great time and I would recommend you to give it a go as well.
Flores,  Azores, Portugal
Anyway, I do think its time for me to wrap this post up and get it ready for my blog. The idea behind it was to walk down memory lane and share one amazing holiday memory that I keep near and dear to my heart. If I am lucky, maybe you make it your next destination as well? The photos that I am using for this post isn't mine, the ones that I have is too old and too low quality to be used in this context. I guess you know or do remember how mobile phone cameras were back in 2007 and 2008? Not like they are today, that is for sure. Today they are mini computers with really good cameras. Anyway, I hope you did enjoy my somewhat short post and if you did, why not check out my other travel and expat related posts while you are here.

Remember that, if you like my blog and the job that I am doing with it you can support my work by sharing it with friends on social media, support me financially through buying me a coffee on Ko-fi (Jack Bowler Sr) and leave some nice words in the comment section. At the same time, I do hope to see you back for my next post.

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