Ermida de Nossa Senhora do Pranto
As much as I like to walk alone while exploring the countryside during my sporadic visits to São Miguel, there’s an advantage in knowing family who live there who can show me places (by car!) I might otherwise miss.
In 2014 I was staying in Achada where my father’s cousin, primo João Fernandes, one of the loveliest men I have ever met, would run into me during my long walks. One day he stopped his car and gave me a ride, stopping at the Ermida de Nossa Senhora do Pranto, a chapel he was sure I would like to see. He actually took the time from his busy work life to let me go inside for a few minutes. I was delighted to be shown this ermida, one of the many that populate the island, and to feel its silence and sense of simple mystery.
I would have liked to stay longer but primo was in need of getting back to work and insisted on giving me a ride, as we were still halfway to Achada and he worried about me walking so much, so I politely accepted. I thanked him and waved “Até logo” as I watched him drive off, returning to his cows pasturing in a field somewhere nearby.
Primo João Fernandes and his beautiful smile