Roaming the random header image

Atlantic Islands rising from 4000 metres below sea level to 1860 metres above.

November 2nd, 2008 · No Comments

02_Porto_Santo_town.jpgMary: Porto Santo in daylight looks very different, no twinkley lights all along the shore. One harbour one end and one town half way along the beach. Looks quite barren not much green. Time to explore the town, and buy some fresh food, not that I ever buy old food, so why do we say fresh food? Dinghy gets tied up to the pier, and off into town, nice gardens on the way to meander through, town square, church, and the usual tourist shops. 03_Church_Porto_Santo.jpg All very pleasant, I manage to acquire an empty ice cream container (same make and size as Kirsty got in Sweden in 2005!), the long narrow one which fits perfectly into one corner of our bilge area its purpose is to keep things together, at the moment we keep cartons of juice in there, special alcoholic grape juice. In the town square there is a hot dog type stand, if you look in the pictures you will see the udders of sauce hanging up! 04_Fast_Food_Porto_Santo.jpg In Denmark when we were there a few years ago you had a squirt of each sauce on your hot dog, we passed on that this time.

Porto Santo to Funchal Madeira, what a great day, sun, wind on our back, and only 42 miles to go. Now the east end of Madeira is empty, few houses, odd town but nearer Funchal the houses, or apartments go on and on up the hill some built at some angle, small spaces in between all green.07_Arriving_Madeira.jpg Funchal harbour has everything, container ships, cruise liners, ferries, fishing boats, tripper boats and us the sailing mob. 08_Old_and_new_Funchal_Harbour_Madeira.jpg We are all carefully kept apart, we must anchor in a certain area out of the way of the bigger boats, space is tight! The harbour launch comes around to check your position and we watched someone being moved on.

At night the whole area is lit, lights going right up the hill, and a light banner on the harbour wall Funchal 500 anos.13_Funchal_at_night.jpg We had been given instruction on what to visit, Blandy’s, walk the levadas and visit Reid’s Hotel. Blandy’s first to wine taste, and you have to try a few how could you compare otherwise. A leisurely lunch, and we take the rally bus all the up the hill to some gardens, then watch people pay to take a toboggan down the hill, on the roads, they must have good travel insurance! 15_Toboggan_run.jpg
Amazing views from the top, miles out to sea, all blue. The levadas are channels to take irrigation water, and there are maintence paths alongside them that you can walk along. One levada is close to the gardens we visited and we walked along to the waterfall. 17_Levada_walk.jpg Good to be away from the usual tourist routes, there are so many tourists including ourselves in the town that everyone speaks to you in English even before you open your mouth. Markets, shops and flower stalls10_Flower_seller.jpg Now Reids Hotel was visited the following day. They offer afternoon tea on the terrace but no clotted cream, so I passed! I did however have a visit to the dentist, to replace a filling. I got an appointment straight away, although I was slightly concerned when she said she was going to fill without anaesthetic, it was fine. At least I didn’t dribble for half an hour after. Just glad to have had it done.

We left Funchal for Lanzarote, fresh wind! A couple of hours after leaving there was a heavy seas warning, I could have told them that!! So how did we get on, with 270 miles to go? I’ll tell you next time. I’m still here to tell the tale, but it was not what was expected or planned


Tags: Atlantic Leg