On our way to explore lava tubes as part of the Symposium program, we visited remote parts of Pico and Faial, under the guidance of the organisers. I could not get enough of the beauty of the hills, all painted green with crops of corn, potatoes, broad beans, yam, and tomatoes. Some of the fields were divided by roads or by fences of basaltic rocks but many of them were separated by hedges of hortensias, which bloom during the months of July and August. Unfortunately, we were there in May and, therefore, we saw only the first buds timidly peeking through the shiny leaves of the plants. I imagined how amazingly beautiful those hedges must be when all of them are covered with flowers! The hortensia is, in fact, the national flower of the Azores, so everywhere you see pictures, posters and commercial ads displaying pictures of that splendid flower with its different colours: pink, white and purple.