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Ride on Faial, the blue Azorean island

Azores, Horse Riding Trail on the Blue Island

8 days / 6 riding days from £ 1,230

Riding levels

Each of our trips is assigned a minimum level of riding ability required. This reflects whether there is technical riding required; the terrain to be covered; the liveliness of the horses; the length of the riding days and the riding fitness required.




For novice riders, these riding holidays will give beginners the chance to get used to being in the saddle. In general, a beginner/ novice hasn't learned how to canter and has not yet mastered rising trot. They are able to mount safely and to control a horse at a walk. 



For intermediate riders who are at ease at 2 paces (walk and rising trot and are starting to canter in a forward seat) out in open countryside. The intermediate rider is able to mount and dismount their horse unassisted, use basic riding aids, ride at a rising trot for at least 10 minutes, to change and control the pace from a walk to a trot and comfortably canter over short distances.



For experienced riders who have mastered all 3 paces (walk, rising trot, canter in a forward seat) over uneven terrain. The experienced rider rides regularly, has a good seat and is confident of their own ability. They are able to control the horse at speed and change direction of their horse at any pace and in any circumstance as needed.



For advanced riders who have mastered all 4paces (walk, rising trot, canter gallop in a forward seat) over uneven terrain on all types of horses including those that are very spirited. The advanced rider rides regularly has good physical fitness, has good soft hands and has the ability to gallop for long stretches without getting tired.



For all riders, whether they are novices, intermediate level, experienced or advanced. Each rider will be allocated a horse that is suited to their ability. These riding holidays have a level of difficulty that can be adapted to the capabilities of each rider. For example: working with cattle on a ranch, dressage training, endurance training, natural horsemanship, trail riding orcentre based safaris.



For beginners and intermediate level riders. Each rider will be allocated a horse that is suited to their ability level. These riding holidays have a level of difficulty that can be adapted to the capability of each rider. For example: working with cattle on a ranch, dressage training, endurance ridingtraining natural horsemanship and centre based safaris.



For beginners, intermediate level  and experienced riders. Each rider will be allocated a horse that is suited to their ability level. These riding holidays have a level of difficulty that can be adapted to the capabilities of each rider. For example: working with cattle on a ranch, dressage training, endurance ridingtraining natural horsemanship and centre based safaris.



For intermediate level and experienced riders. Each rider will be allocated a horse that is suited to their ability level. These riding holidays have a level of difficulty that can be adapted to the capabilities of each rider. For example: working with cattle on a ranch, dressage training, long-distance ridingtraining,endurance ridingtraining natural horsemanship and centre based safaris.



For intermediate level, experiencedand advanced riders. Each rider will be allocated a horse that is suited to their ability level. These riding holidays have a level of difficulty that can be adapted to the capabilities of each rider. For example: working with cattle on a ranch, dressage training, long-distance ridingtrainingendurance ridingtraining natural horsemanship and centre based safaris.



For experiencedand advanced riders. Each rider will be allocated a horse that is suited to their ability level. These riding holidays have a level of difficulty that can be adapted to the capabilities of each rider. For example: working with cattle on a ranch, dressage training, long-distance ridingtraining,endurance ridingtraining natural horsemanship and centre based safaris.

Comfort

Each of our rides has been assigned an expected level of comfort

Nights in hotels, guesthouses, B&B's or homestays. Double or twin rooms with bathrooms.

 

EQUUS JOURNEYS Fingerpost Cottage
Hopton Wafers
Shropshire, DY140NA. UK
Phone : +44 (0) 1905 388977
INFO@EQUUS-JOURNEYS.COM

Imprimer

AZORES-Azores, Horse Riding Trail on the Blue Island

8 days / 6 riding days from 1230£


Activity :

Level :

Comfort :

Explore Azores' Blue Island on horseback. Faial Island or as it's often known, Blue Island, so named for the abundant growth of hydrangeas which bloom in early summer, is a remote and tranquil escape. Spend 6 days on horseback heading out from your lodge each day to explore lush green meadows, coastal cliffs, tropical forests and beaches, before riding trails through the volcanic, often lunar, landscapes. Ride varied trails and canter under a clear blue sky in the iridescent spray of the Atlantic Ocean.

Strengths

- Enjoy comfortable accommodation in picturesque surroundings
- Ride full Lusitano and Lusitanian /Portuguese crosses through beautiful and occasionally lunar countryside
- Enjoy varied landscapes with a combination of volcanoes and coast line trails
- Add a extension to your ride with the opportunity to go whale watching or go swimming with dolphins

Itinerary

Day 1 : LONDON- LISBON -HORTA - No riding

Accommodation : Patio Lodge

You will be met at the Horta airport on Faial Island by a member of our team. Outside of June and August we recommend you spend the night before in Lisbon and take the 2,5 hour flight the following day. We can take care of you reservations in Lisbon upon request. You can also fly to Sao Miguel and from there to Horta with SATA/Azores Airlines.

From the airport, you will be taken to your accommodation in Quinta (30 minutes) where you will be based for the rest of your stay and that evening you will have your first Azorean meal at the lodge.

Please note that the arrival and departure dates are very flexible: contact us with your requirements and we will check availability for you.

Day 2 : QUINTA DO MOINHO - FAROL - QUINTA - 4-5 hours riding

Accommodation : Patio Lodge

Your first days ride will give you your first experience of this beautiful and remote landscape where every once in a while you'll cross a farmer herding their animals. The Island's backdrop is the gleaming, reflected light from the Atlantic Ocean.

Your destination is Cabouco park where a typical Azorean picnic will be waiting for you. In the afternoon, you will canter along hedgerows teaming with hydrangea to arrive at the old lighthouse, Farol da Ribeirinha - from which you have a breathtaking view of neighbouring island, Pico, and its impressive volcano.

In the evening, you will have dinner at the lodge.

Day 3 : ALMOXARIFE - HORTA - 4-5 hours riding

Accommodation : Patio Lodge

Today's morning ride will take you along the east coast and the lava beaches of Praia Almoxarife.

In the afternoon, you will ride to Quinta Sao Lourenco farm where the local Lusitano horses, you may be riding, are bred. The farm is located next to Horta, the island's capital city, which you will have enough time to explore a little. Take a walk to the colorful harbor and to the very popular European/American Peter Café Sport where you can try the best gin and tonic in the Atlantic Ocean!

On your arrival back at the lodge, your Azorean dinner will be served.

Day 4 : FLAMENGOS VALLEY - VARDOURO - QUINTA - 4-5 hours riding

Accommodation : Patio Lodge

The day's ride continues through beautiful, lush, green valley of Flamengos. If you breathe deeply, you will note that the air is delicately perfumed by thyme and mint. You will canter along long straight paths through the forest to reach the prairie where you will stop for your picnic lunch.

In the afternoon, you will head out towards the tropical bay of Varadouro with its beautiful orchards enclosed by ancient walls of black volcanic stone. You will leave the horses there for the night and be driven back to the lodge for a dinner of delicious local produce.

Day 5 : CAPELINHOS - CABECO VERDE - QUINTA - 4-5 hours riding

Accommodation : Patio Lodge

The day's trail will lead you to the impressive and almost lunar volcanic landscape of Capelinhos. You will ride past ruins of houses long buried in the ash after the volcano's eruption in 1957. You will also get a sense of why the area has been used in the filming of a number of sci-fi films.
You will head to a lighthouse, underneath which is a museum about the volcano which you may visit if you wish. You ride over volcanic ash and enjoy a break close to a small volcanic cave.

Your day will end with cantering around the green volcano, Cabeco Verde, to the horses' paddock. In the evening, you will be able to relax and enjoy another Azorean meal.

Day 6 : CAPELO - FAJA - QUINTA - 4-5 hours riding

Accommodation : Patio Lodge

Riding along the black spit of Faja and cantering through a eucalyptus forest, you will reach the vineyards of Norte Pequeno and the cliff coast of the small wine village, Faja. Here the mix of the tended vineyards and the wild nature of the untouched countryside create an area of incredible beauty.

After a relatively short day's ride, you will have the afternoon to swim in the ocean and take a walk around Quinta. There is a natural rock pool about 2 km from the Quinta.

Day 7 : ROBEIRA FUNDA - CEDROS - QUINTA - 4-5 hours riding

Accommodation : Patio Lodge

Your last riding day will take you from the dry southern part of the island to the verdant north. Along the way you will have spectacular views across terraced meadows down to the blue of the Atlantic Ocean. For lunch, you will stop at the highest located village of Faial's Ribeira Funda from where you will overlook one of the most beautiful views of neighbouring Miradouro Island. Sat on sun-warmed rocks you will picnic to the sounds of soft breezes, distant waves and buzzard calls.

Little by little, you will make your way to an old whalers watch and hopefully catch a glimpse of whales or dolphins out in the ocean. At the end of the day, you will head back to your lodge to have a farewell dinner.

Day 8 : HORTA-LONDON - No riding

After having an early breakfast, you will fly out to Lisbon.

We recommend booking the earliest flight possible to Lisbon so you can catch your connecting flight back to the UK.

You can also continue your trip with a extension to other islands, a whale-watching trip or perhaps the chance to swim with dolphins. Please contact us for details.


Price details

- International flights are not included

- Please note that the arrival and departure dates are very flexible: contact us with your requirements and we will check availability for you.

- Rides are confirmed for a minimum of 1 rider and a usual maximum of 9 riders, plus your guide.

- There is a single supplement of c.£200 (low-season), £215 (mid-season) and £280 (high-season) if you end up in a single room. In 2020, this: €228/£200 (low season: 19.-26.01.2020 | 02.-09.02.2020 | 23.02.-01.03.2020 | 22.-29.03.2020 | 12.-19.04.2020 | 01.-08.11.2020 | 22.-29.11.2020 | 13.-20.12.2020) and €315/£280 (high season). This is refunded if we find a sharer for you.

- Non-riders are welcome (half-board) and benefit from a reduction. Please contact us for a detailed quotation.

- Please note that the transfer between Lisbon and Faial island can be very long out of summer. Therefore you may overnight in Lisbon, if so take the opportunity to explore the city.

Please Note
The itinerary may be modified at anytime for security reasons, meteorological or events beyond our control such as blocked roads, rivers in flood, drought, strikes and local holidays. Equus Journeys, our local partners and their local guides will always strive to find the best solution and will alter the itinerary as needed.
The names of the hotels and accommodation are given for information only and depending on availability, they may be modified without notice and replaced by another of a similar standard.

PRICE INCLUDES

Support Team

1 English-speaking horse guide

Logistics

1 horse equipped with saddle and bridle per rider
1 vehicle and driver

Inland transport

Airport transfers

Accommodation

Double room in a guest house

Meals

Full board from dinner on day 1 to breakfast on the final day (day 8)

Additional equipment

Saddle bags

OPTION

Accommodation

Single room supplement - see above for details

PRICE DOESN'T INCLUDE

Meals

Beverages and personal extras - outside of those served at meal

Transport

International flights

Extras

Tips to the local team
Park, museum and tourist site fees

Insurance

Cancellation and travel insurance are not included. Please note that insurance is mandatory. We recommend taking out an insurance policy as soon as your trip is booked in case of cancellation.

TIPS

Tipping is not compulsory but will be very much appreciated if you enjoy the services provided by the team. Tipping is totally at your discretion.

HORSES

A herd of gentle and well-schooled pure Lusitanos or Lusitano-Cruzado Portuguese cross horses await you on Faial Isle. They spend the year round out on the prairies and are worked with daily. Their average height is 15.2hh.

Rider weight limit: 95kg/ 15stone/ 209 lbs.

MINIMUM RIDING ABILITY

You should be able to ride in all paces and in all kinds of terrain. The terrain is quite mountainous due to the volcanic nature of the island and you should have a steady seat, but the ride is not overly technical.

PACE

The riding is relaxed with all three paces (walk, trot, canter). Due to the mountainous nature of the terrain, most of the ride is at a walk but faster paces will be had whenever suitable.

TACKING ABILITY AND PARTICIPATION

Each rider grooms and tacks their own horse and helps the team to distribute water and food to the horses.

TRIP CONDITIONS AND REQUESTED EXPERIENCE

A good level of fitness and endurance is required as you will spend several hours in the saddle each day.

EQUESTRIAN EQUIPMENT

Prestige trail saddle, saddlebags and Australian raincoats.
With Azorean airline SATA riding equipment is free of charge up to 10 kg.

Helmets are mandatory. We recommend our riders to wear a helmet to the correct standard and you should bring your own to ensure a proper fit.

Due to individual sizing needs and security reasons, we recommend you bring the following equipment : waterproof trekking footwear, wind and waterproof jacket and trouser, and a small refillable bottle.

COMFORT

You will stay in the comfortable Patio Lodge built on the property in 2016. Cosy and inviting to come back to after a day's riding, you will be able to enjoy the accommodation's terrace and garden.

CLIMATE

The Azores have a maritime climate with mild temperatures ranging from 16°C (60°F) in winter to a comfortable 26°C (79°F) in summer. The sea is warmed by the Gulf Stream and sea temperature varies from 14ºC to 22ºC. On average there is about three to four hours of sunshine a day in winter and seven to eight in summer. Rainfall is distributed around the year, but is heavier and more frequent in winter. Characteristic for the Azores is the wide variety of weather conditions within a short period; a single day can be windy and calm, sunny and showery in any combination! A typical and true remark is that if you don't like the weather, you just have to wait 10 minutes!

Meals

Dinner is typically Azorean cuisine with water and wine included.
Lunchtime is either a picnic or a light lunch in a local bar (with selected drinks).

Support Team

Guide and local team

Victor and Anja stumbled across this beautiful little island years ago, and decided to make a life for themselves here. They bought an old Quinta, renovated it beautifully and soon added rooms to the structure. They are German and speak perfect English and Portuguese. Victor is occasionally seen leading the trails, while Anja looks after the horses and manages the facilities.

Diogo is native to the Island and has trained in Lisbon. He is a competent horseman and a great lead guide. He's always happy to take you around his island and tell you about its secrets. He speaks Portuguese and English.

Carla will be looking after your meals and make sure you get a taste of the traditional Azorean cuisine.

Several interns complete the team in the summer, helping out at the stables and as back up guides.

Packing list

Head
- Helmets are mandatory and you should bring your own. There are many lightweight options available nowadays
- Sunhat for when not riding
- Sunglasses - with a cord attached so they don't fly off when riding
- Buff or bandana

Upper body
- Thermals (long or short sleeved)
- Long sleeved shirts provide protection from the sun and are an extra layer
- T-shirts
- Lightweight fleece or jumper
- Warm fleece or jumper (and a spare in case one gets wet)
- Warm and waterproof jacket - it can rain at any time of year and the evenings can be particularly cold

Legs
- 2 Lightweight, comfortable riding trousers or jodhpurs - we recommend riding in them at home before taking them on holiday to ensure they don't rub
- Thermals
- Casual trousers for the evenings, such as jeans or tracksuit bottoms
- Waterproof over trousers

Hands and Feet
- Comfortable riding boots. We recommend short boots with half chaps but you may wish to take long chaps as an extra layer against inclement weather. We don't recommend taking your favourite long leather boots in case they get damaged
- Waterproof shoes/boots can be useful for abundant dew in the mornings or when it rains
- Trainers or equivalent light shoes for evenings
- Several pairs of warm, thick socks
- Gloves - your hands are particularly exposed to the sun, cold or rain whilst riding. Waterproof gloves can be particularly useful

Our Recommendations
- Backpacks cannot be worn whilst riding. We recommend a small bumbag or a coat with pockets so that you can carry small items with you during the day (passport, camera, sunscreen, lipbalm etc)
- We recommend travelling in your riding boots and carrying your hat and some riding clothes in your hand luggage - then if your luggage goes astray you are still able to ride!

Other useful items
- Camera and high capacity memory card. Spare battery
- Bumbag for carrying your camera and small items whilst riding
- Headtorch or small torch for moving around camp at night - bring spare batteries and bulbs
- Water bottle (2 litres or 2 x 1 litre)
- Swiss army knife (or equivalent)
- Small plastic bags for rubbish
- Ear plugs (for light sleepers)

In your hold luggage
- take any liquids, such as shampoo, moisturiser, deodorant unless they are less than 100ml and all bottles can fit in a small, clear, plastic ziplock bag. We recommend biodegradable washing products where possible.

In your hand luggage
- Any valuables, such as your camera, ipod, ipad etc.

Medical kit
- Any medication you regularly take
- Sunscreen and lip balm - should be high factor
- Insect repellent, preferably containing deet
- Blister plasters in case of any rubs
- Antiseptic cream, plasters, aspirin, anti-histamine, insect-bite salve etc...
- Spare prescription glasses/contact lenses
- Eye drops
- Imodium or similar anti-diarrhoea medication
- Antiseptic wipes
- Handwash gel

Miscellaneous
- We recommend taking a copy of your passport and insurance documents with you in case you lose your originals

ENTRY FORMALITIES

A passport valid for three months beyond the length of stay and issued within the past 10 years is required by British, Australian, Canadian and all other EU nationals.
Nationals not referred to above are advised to contact their embassy for visa requirements.

BREXIT ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The rules for travel to most countries in Europe will change if the UK leaves the European Union (EU) with no deal.

After 29 March 2019:

You should have 6 months left on your passport from your date of arrival. This applies to adult and child passports.

If you renewed a 10 year adult passport before it expired, extra months may have been added to your passport's expiry date. These extra months will not count.

The new rules will apply to passports issued by the UK, Gibraltar, Guernsey, the Isle of Man and Jersey.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/passport-rules-for-travel-to-europe-after-brexit

TRAVEL INSURANCE

It is a condition of your booking with Equus Journeys that you have travel insurance which covers you for the riding activities to be undertaken. Your travel insurance should cover you for medical expenses and repatriation. Your guides will require your travel insurance details before they allow you to ride and may refuse to let you ride if you cannot provide them. You should take your insurance documents with you.

BUDGET AND MONEY

The Azores is a part of Portugal and the currency is Euro as well. Most of the restaurants, hotels and car-renting companies accept common credit-cards. But don't expect credit cards to be accepted in smaller restaurants and residencies. Be sure to carry small bills. There are places that it can be a problem to change bigger notes. Most banks accept Visa/MasterCard's. Most banks have employees who speak English or French.

ACTIVITY :Trail Riding

LEVEL :Help

COMFORT :Help

Explore Azores' Blue Island on horseback. Faial Island or as it's often known, Blue Island, so named for the abundant growth of hydrangeas which bloom in early summer, is a remote and tranquil escape. Spend 6 days on horseback heading out from your lodge each day to explore lush green meadows, coastal cliffs, tropical forests and beaches, before riding trails through the volcanic, often lunar, landscapes. Ride varied trails and canter under a clear blue sky in the iridescent spray of the Atlantic Ocean.

  • Horseback trail on the black sand
    Riding on the beach in Azores
  • Beautiful trails across this stunning island of the Azores
    Azores on horseback
  • Horseback trail on the wild coast
    On horseback on the Azores wild coast
  • On horseback on the black land
    Black land of Azores and horseriding
  • Ride along the Atlantic Ocean in the Azores
    Azores on horseback
  • Riding on the wildcoast in Azores
    Azores on horseback
  • Riding on the black sand of Azores beach
    On horseback on Azores beach
  • Short break for the riders and their horses
    Horses and riders in Azores

STRENGTHS

- Enjoy comfortable accommodation in picturesque surroundings
- Ride full Lusitano and Lusitanian /Portuguese crosses through beautiful and occasionally lunar countryside
- Enjoy varied landscapes with a combination of volcanoes and coast line trails
- Add a extension to your ride with the opportunity to go whale watching or go swimming with dolphins

ITINERARY

Day 1 : LONDON- LISBON -HORTA - No riding

Accommodation : Patio Lodge

You will be met at the Horta airport on Faial Island by a member of our team. Outside of June and August we recommend you spend the night before in Lisbon and take the 2,5 hour flight the following day. We can take care of you reservations in Lisbon upon request. You can also fly to Sao Miguel and from there to Horta with SATA/Azores Airlines.

From the airport, you will be taken to your accommodation in Quinta (30 minutes) where you will be based for the rest of your stay and that evening you will have your first Azorean meal at the lodge.

Please note that the arrival and departure dates are very flexible: contact us with your requirements and we will check availability for you.

Day 2 : QUINTA DO MOINHO - FAROL - QUINTA - 4-5 hours riding

Accommodation : Patio Lodge

Your first days ride will give you your first experience of this beautiful and remote landscape where every once in a while you'll cross a farmer herding their animals. The Island's backdrop is the gleaming, reflected light from the Atlantic Ocean.

Your destination is Cabouco park where a typical Azorean picnic will be waiting for you. In the afternoon, you will canter along hedgerows teaming with hydrangea to arrive at the old lighthouse, Farol da Ribeirinha - from which you have a breathtaking view of neighbouring island, Pico, and its impressive volcano.

In the evening, you will have dinner at the lodge.

Day 3 : ALMOXARIFE - HORTA - 4-5 hours riding

Accommodation : Patio Lodge

Today's morning ride will take you along the east coast and the lava beaches of Praia Almoxarife.

In the afternoon, you will ride to Quinta Sao Lourenco farm where the local Lusitano horses, you may be riding, are bred. The farm is located next to Horta, the island's capital city, which you will have enough time to explore a little. Take a walk to the colorful harbor and to the very popular European/American Peter Café Sport where you can try the best gin and tonic in the Atlantic Ocean!

On your arrival back at the lodge, your Azorean dinner will be served.

Day 4 : FLAMENGOS VALLEY - VARDOURO - QUINTA - 4-5 hours riding

Accommodation : Patio Lodge

The day's ride continues through beautiful, lush, green valley of Flamengos. If you breathe deeply, you will note that the air is delicately perfumed by thyme and mint. You will canter along long straight paths through the forest to reach the prairie where you will stop for your picnic lunch.

In the afternoon, you will head out towards the tropical bay of Varadouro with its beautiful orchards enclosed by ancient walls of black volcanic stone. You will leave the horses there for the night and be driven back to the lodge for a dinner of delicious local produce.

Day 5 : CAPELINHOS - CABECO VERDE - QUINTA - 4-5 hours riding

Accommodation : Patio Lodge

The day's trail will lead you to the impressive and almost lunar volcanic landscape of Capelinhos. You will ride past ruins of houses long buried in the ash after the volcano's eruption in 1957. You will also get a sense of why the area has been used in the filming of a number of sci-fi films.
You will head to a lighthouse, underneath which is a museum about the volcano which you may visit if you wish. You ride over volcanic ash and enjoy a break close to a small volcanic cave.

Your day will end with cantering around the green volcano, Cabeco Verde, to the horses' paddock. In the evening, you will be able to relax and enjoy another Azorean meal.

Day 6 : CAPELO - FAJA - QUINTA - 4-5 hours riding

Accommodation : Patio Lodge

Riding along the black spit of Faja and cantering through a eucalyptus forest, you will reach the vineyards of Norte Pequeno and the cliff coast of the small wine village, Faja. Here the mix of the tended vineyards and the wild nature of the untouched countryside create an area of incredible beauty.

After a relatively short day's ride, you will have the afternoon to swim in the ocean and take a walk around Quinta. There is a natural rock pool about 2 km from the Quinta.

Day 7 : ROBEIRA FUNDA - CEDROS - QUINTA - 4-5 hours riding

Accommodation : Patio Lodge

Your last riding day will take you from the dry southern part of the island to the verdant north. Along the way you will have spectacular views across terraced meadows down to the blue of the Atlantic Ocean. For lunch, you will stop at the highest located village of Faial's Ribeira Funda from where you will overlook one of the most beautiful views of neighbouring Miradouro Island. Sat on sun-warmed rocks you will picnic to the sounds of soft breezes, distant waves and buzzard calls.

Little by little, you will make your way to an old whalers watch and hopefully catch a glimpse of whales or dolphins out in the ocean. At the end of the day, you will head back to your lodge to have a farewell dinner.

Day 8 : HORTA-LONDON - No riding

After having an early breakfast, you will fly out to Lisbon.

We recommend booking the earliest flight possible to Lisbon so you can catch your connecting flight back to the UK.

You can also continue your trip with a extension to other islands, a whale-watching trip or perhaps the chance to swim with dolphins. Please contact us for details.

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YOUR ADVISOR

Did you know ? 

The Azore's pony

With less than a thousand Azores ponies worldwide, this is a rare breed that mainly has been living wild. Although the origins are uncertain, this pony comes from oriental horses that were imported onto the island. The very roots of the Azores pony have been altered over time due to the poor  nutritional properties of the island.

With a similar look to a Lusitanian but smaller, they are bright with a good mind and can be very obedient. They are usually black or bay and can be used for agricultural work, pulling carts and trekking.