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Funchal, Madeira

Sunday 23rd December 2012

The South-East quarter of Madeira

Up at 0725 & an amazing Sunrise but clear sky behind it. We were really rather late to Madeira.

Funchal panorama

Our tour had been readjusted to muster at 1310. This did not leave time to go out before an early lunch, so we only had an effective half-day in Madeira. We were booked on a tour up the Pico di Areeiro, the second highest hill at 1800 odd metres. Funchal is fairly steep & the roads twist & turn up the hill. We stopped at a 'Peace Memorial' put up in 1917. This was a gross Mary statue with a more attractive little chapel beside it.

The Peace Memorial

The Peace Memorial Chapel

Panorama of Funchal from the Peace Memorial

Then, the road wound up through woods to a sort of plateau but with huge gorges cut down in it. The harder (slower cooling) rock survives but the softer stuff had long been washed away. There was a radome on the summit, a café & a research centre for the petrels, once thought extinct but now, there are a reasonable number of breeding pairs, although they only have one chick at a time. The views were splendid & although the air temperature was in the early twenties, there was plenty of wind chill, as we looked down on wind turbines.

On the way up, showing the erosion

The "Nun's Valley" from the top

The path to the highest peak

Panorama South-East from Areeiro with the "Desert Islands" in the distance

A better view of the "Desert Islands"

The view to the East from Areeiro

On the different way back, we stopped at Camacha (right), where they tried to sell us baskets of wicker, the local industry (impossible to get home if you wanted one!), gave us tea & cake & put on one of the best folklore dance sessions we have ever seen but there was otherwise, much of interest: a modern church with the usual tacky but well done Xmas stuff. In a marquee, there was a Festival of Agriculture & Crafts.

The view down from Camacha

Camacha Church

Camacha Church interior

Above: The usual tacky but well done Xmas tableaux in the church Below: The Agricultural & Craft Festival

Back to the port quite quickly on their mostly-in-tunnel motorway.

Funchal Front in evening light

After dinner (osso buco done very well) I went on top to photo the lights, as we sailed at 8 when it was quite dark.

Funchal Front at night

More pictures of Madiera: Highest cliff & Câmara de Lobos  Funchal & Along a Levada  Funchal & the replica Santa Maria

Xmas Day etc

Port 2 - Praia,
Cape Verde Isles

Port 3 - Mindelo,
Cape Verde Isles

Port 4 - Santa Cruz,

Port 5 - Las Palmas,
Gran Canaria

Port 6 - Lisbon,

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Xmas Day

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Contact: Ken Baldry at 17 Gerrard Road, Islington, London N1 8AY +44(0)20 7359 6294 or e-mail him
URL: Last revised 7/1/2013 ©2013 Ken Baldry. All rights reserved.