Traveling in the middle of a pandemic
Well guys, this trip has been freaking crazy, I'm not going to fool you. We had another destination in mind to generate all the content of the new collection, and five days before the departure date, with everything bought and booked, a new law came out that made anyone who arrived in the country go into quarantine, so we had to set up an express trip to another destination and bet everything on it, with the risk that the same thing would happen to us again, but we didn't have another choice, so we picked: AZORES + MADEIRA.
Wonderful islands separated by thousands of kilometers between them, where it suited us well to generate the content of AW20. We all had a PCR done in less than 72 hours before the flight and after getting negative results, we went out on the adventure with more excitement than ever!
First things first, I want to introduce you to the great team of creators, models and thinkers who went on this adventure.
From left to right, Nacho, co-founder of Blue Banana and Media Team Operations Intern during the productions, Axel, who is Axel, there is no possible description for this sir, only that he is a freaking goat. In the middle I, Gon, I would say the only one with a bit of head, but that's a lie, I'm also crazy... on my right Santi, elegant creator of content until you put a few beers in front of him, then he's a hothead. If you see him, call him SSSSoosi. Following to the right, Juan the other founder of Blue Banana and a guy with an iron pulse, a wizard with the Steady cam I would say. Then there's Anna, you've probably seen her in some, I mean some, in all the BlueBanana ads, with an impeccable smile from 5 in the morning until 1 in the morning, this girl knocks us all down. And the best thing for the end, Miss Cova, a constant positive vibe, a rainy and cold day with expectations of radiant sunshine is a gift for this woman, joy 24/7, a treat!
Okay, now let's get down to business! First of all I leave you with the itinerary we followed:
As you can see, quite busy and with quite long days, I recommend you to do it with 3 or 4 more days, to go more relaxed, and especially knowing that in the Azores you never know how the weather will be.
Day 0 and 1; We drop the FPV, we visit one of the most beautiful places of the trip and Strike 1 trying to see the Caldeira do Corvo.
We started the journey with sleep, but very motivated. It took us 2 days to arrive, but it was worth it, our first destination, the Flower Island, a paradise for nature lovers.
The first place we visited was Ribeira do Ferreiro, one of the most famous places to see on the island, and we soon understood why. A spectacular set of waterfalls that stood out above a green cliff and flowed into a lake with a perfect reflection. We enjoyed the spot alone for a couple of hours, and then headed for the next, a brutal waterfall by the sea.
We recorded some takes with the FPV, did some skating and went straight to the port, we hadn't even been around for 5 hours and it was already time to change islands!
We got on the boat and headed for Corvo Island, a small and remote island where there is only one village and one crater. We were going there just to see the crater, with a lot of uncertainty because of the weather, since we had not seen the sun yet in what we had taken from the trip. We had two opportunities, one that same afternoon and another one very early the next morning, after which we left the island to go to São Miguel, the most famous island of the Azores Archipelago.
The first attempt was a drama, we reached the crater and the visibility was not even 3 meters, with a wind of more than 50km/h and intense rain. With long faces but wanting to create, we took advantage of the downhill curves to record with the skates, yeah! Then we went back to the hotel to rest and get ready for a second attempt the next morning. Up to this point we had taken 3 planes, a boat and made a pretty unpleasant PCR. All to get where we were. If we didn't succeed, all the efforts made up to that point would have been for nothing.
Day 2; Time gives us half an hour, we see dolphins and Juan almost loses his cap in the middle of the Atlantic.
At 5am the alarm sounded, we woke up and headed for the crater, it seemed clear but the closer we got to the top, the worse it looked. In the Azores all the damn storms start and then come to Spain, keep this in mind!
We had a half hour window of sunshine before it started to pour, just enough to create all the content we needed and set off for our next destination. It's done! Yiha!
We took the boat back to the island of Flores in extremis, saw a few dolphins and almost lost a cap in the middle of the Atlantic, but everything was fine. We returned the rental car and went straight to the airport, it was time to fly back to São Miguel (the main island and where we stopped the first day).
There we rented a beautiful villa near Ribeira Grande, known for surfing and good local food. That afternoon we were resting and making copies of the SDs, which were loaded with very valuable megabytes!
Day 3; We go to the most famous place in the whole archipelago and get lost in a leafy forest that comes out of Hawaii.
The next day, early (for a change), we head to Sete Cidades, the most famous spot on the island and the one most people know about the archipelago from, and it's no wonder, those sights are not seen every day!
We spent a couple of hours recording, ALONE, something good about the Covid is that everything we visited was empty of tourists, and it was a real eye-opener.
In the afternoon we visited one of the most famous waterfalls on the island and had a good swim, the way there seems to be taken from Hawaii, what brutal greens!
Day 4; We lose a drone FPV in the middle of the lake and go down to rescue it.
The next day we saw a good sunrise and continued the day by hiking to Lagoa do Fogo. Santi flew the drone FPV and after 30 seconds it was already inside the lake, so we had to go down to look for it! After a long time searching, we finally found the drone and we were able to rescue the SD with all the videos, a miracle!
In the afternoon we enjoyed ourselves as kids going down with the skates on the roads that lead to Lagoa do Fogo, a real wonder if you like downhill!
We just packed our bags and prepared everything because the next day it was time to leave the Azores, short but intense! The adventure continued in Madeira.
Day 5; We hardly entered Madeira, it rained all afternoon and we ended the day above the clouds.
We arrived at the airport without the results of the PCRs we had taken, a bit complicated to get in, we spent 1 hour trying to explain that we hadn't received the results but that we had the tests done, and we managed to get in touch with the hospital in São Miguel where we had taken the tests. After calling the hospital and having the Portuguese talk to each other, we made it, we were in!
We went straight to the adventure, straight to Caldeirao Verde, an excursion of about 4 hours round trip. We had exactly 4 hours before sunset, which we wanted to see on another mountain above the clouds, so it was time to run (as always). We want to reach everything, and that has a price, even though sometimes not everyone likes it haha.
We finished the Caldera excursion in 2 hours and a half with the content done, with a shitty, rainy and dark day, we set out for the mountain to try to see the sunset with no expectations.
We made bets, the most pessimistic ones said we were going to come up short, while Nacho and I were hoping it would open up. And so it was, by the half hour of the climb we were above the freaking clouds, SO FINE!
We finished off the content in a historical spot and went to the town's bar to dine like champions.
It was the last day, and we had almost all the content done, so we were pretty calm even though we suffered along the way, we knew how to take advantage of the fog with a good smile.
Last day: We started the day at 2000 meters and ended up seeing sperm whales.
To finish the trip, of course, it was early morning. We went to see the sunrise at Pico Arrieiro, what a sight! We could see the sea from the almost 2000m of unevenness. A spectacular view.
That afternoon we went on a whale watching tour, where we saw sperm whales, dolphins and some rare whales, the driver of the boat was freaked out, we saw one more flipper, and it looked just like the others, things as they are.
We finished the trip watching the moon rise above a sea of clouds in Pico Ruivo, and satisfied with the work done, we went to drink some beers, which we had earned.
Gonzalo Pasquier is a young Spanish adventurer and photographer. He lives by and for travel, and his photographs are inspired by his passion for nature. At Blue Banana we are very lucky to have him on our team, and his mission is none other than to make the new adventure a reality and to capture it in our brand through content with a point of view of its own, which goes to the next level. This is not about what we do but how we do it. And Gonzalo Pasquier is in charge of proving it.