Yesterday I hiked down the face of a cliff covered with greenery (ferns, ivy) and dripping with springwater, to a black pebble beach on the Atlantic. To the west, the cliff fell off into a ski nose of a promontory. To the east, surf sprayed over a mossy rock. There was a jetty formed by boulders that had tumbled off the top of the cliff hundreds of thousands of years ago. From the beach the cliff face looked like a big X on the shield of a goddess of war. There was a low plateau just above the beach: a slab of pastureland the size of two soccer fields laid end to end, threaded with stone walls and hydrangea hedges. It looked like a rich dessert.
I don't know what fajã means, but there are a lot of them here: flat places at the bottom of sheer rock falls.
I keep thinking black sand is dirty, but it's not. It brushes off just like regular sand, and when it´s wet it gleams like obsidian.
I forgot to take my camera down there, so I´ll either have to go back or write a thousand words.