January 2013. Some touristy stuff from Madeira.Mountain days on the island due in the next post or the one after that  🙂 I`d never have thought of going here for a couple of hill days if it wasn`t for reading Alens excellent blog at Because they are there.Having read the entries and seen the pics of his visit I duly booked a trip for late January.There is only one flight a week from Glasgow to Madeira leaving on a Monday and operated by Thomson the holiday folk.As such it was nigh on impossible to get a cheapish return at anything approaching Ryanair prices.In fact it worked out at around £40 extra for the 4 star hotel accomodation as opposed to just the flights.Wonderful quiet hotel in Canico de Baixo populated by elderly Germans who went to bed at 9.30 pm on the button each night .Hotel,flights and prebooked car hire at the airport worked out about £280pp for two which isn`t bad and the weather was great all week with just one semi dullish day and an odd light shower. If anyone is interested I booked the car with a local company,Rodavante,through Economy Car Hire and had no problem with them when I broke down in the middle of nowhere and without the documents I should have been carrying at all time. I had a south facing room overlooking the Desertas Islands where I could watch the sun rise each morning. P1060786b The odd pirate ship would sail by…. P1060056 Took a tour of the western end of the island on the first day driving westwards to Ribeira Brava before heading steeply upwards over the spine of the island.The scenery was unexpectedly spectacular.more so because I had always associated Madeira with OAP package deals.Soon be one myself I suppose 🙂 Looking back down the valley towards Ribeira Brava. P1060073 It`s hard to believe looking at it that a road exists there. Looking eastwards to the hills from the same spot. P1060077 Looking down to Sao Vicente on the north side of the island. P1060084 I had been looking forward to driving along the famous old coast road from Sao Vicente to Porto Moniz but it had been closed by landslides,a not irregular occurence it seems. Free car wash available if it was open 🙂 P1060087 Some more photos of it here . Looking back to the east from near Porto Moniz. P1060099 Stopped at the western end of the island for lunch and watched the Atlantic crash into the shoreline. P1060112 Carried on out to the western tip of the island. P1060136 Back across the western plateau which was reminiscent of Scottish moorland in places albeit with bonus sunshine 🙂 Down the hairpin section towards the centre of the island again. P1060163 A glimpse of the traverse scheduled for a few days time 🙂 P1060165 A couple more touristy ones from later in the week.Having bagged ( I can`t help myself ! ) one of the five highest sea cliffs in Europe a few months back in Donegal I had to go out to Cabo Girao to visit another one.Whilst near enough as high as Slieve League it was pretty tame by comparison and nowhere as exhilerating as its counterpart in Ireland.There is now an extended platform over the edge with a glass bottom.Picture below courtesy of Wikipedia and Maciej Szczepańczyk 572px-Cabo_Girão,_Madeira copy One of my own looking back towards Funchal. P1060609 The Bank of Portugal in Funchal. P1200338 The “beach” outside the hotel on a windy morning. P1200469 I`d definitely go back here for another trip once my legs refuse to carry me up the bigger stuff 🙂

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6 Responses to Madeira.

  1. McEff says:

    Ah, that brought back some memories. The old coast road with the car wash was closed when we were there a few years ago. Looking at your pictures Alex, I’m kind of glad it was.
    Cheers, Alen

  2. bob says:

    Best set of photographs you have ever posted Alex. Every one a classic! Who took them :o)

  3. You’re not dead Alex 😉 Are you coming on my compleation at the end of May?

    Looks a beautiful place. I think you’re right that we tend to dismiss a lot of European places as being for coach-bound geriatrics when really, there’s lots of good walking on them.

  4. I do intend coming along with Bob as long as the weather isn`t awful 🙂

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