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MADEIRA  24/2-10/3 1997   DIARY  2

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Diary 1 2 3

 From Diary 1
We headed for Pico Ariero past Monte through pine forests and flowering mimosas. We stopped in an area of ​​moors. Wandered a walk across the moor where there were juniper bushes and some brightly coloured red bushes. The dandelions were in full bloom. It was a very beautiful area, extremely distinctive.
The hike continued, and soon we were at the Pico Ariero mountain peak, where we hiked up the summit and had the most magnificent view beyond the mountain peaks. There was, of course, a restaurant that served the morning coffee.

The trip continued to Ribeira Frio, where there is a state trout farm. Here we paused and admired the beautiful trout that went into many pools. Big trout for themselves, then they became smaller and smaller for each basin.
The water came flowing from a flooded river, and each basin had its own supply of water, nothing with recycled water. A distinctive garden was built around the basins, all surrounded by low boxwood hedges.
Many rare plants were planted, or stood in large jars. It was a very peaceful beautiful place in the mountains.

Suddenly a lady came up to me, asked in Danish if I knew where the botanical garden was.
I had no idea, but referred to Bihrmann who explained to her that it was the garden around the trout basins.
How she could recognize me as a Dane, I have no idea, because I do not remember seeing her before, but she obviously recognized us.
She told me that she and a friend had come to the place by local bus. Funny feature. Around the area, the book finches jumped, like domestic spruces.

We got back to the main route, continued towards Faial. Found a dirt road that looked like something for a Land Rover, so we had to try it. It was really only a very narrow dirt road, but despite much rattle and scuffing against stones, it went well. We saw many flowering ginger plants. It was a rich willow planting area.
We drove along a river where the rocks rose very high on the road on the other side. Very exciting with aquatic cliffs, incredible vegetation, many birds.
The road ended abruptly at the Central Faja da Nogoeria power station, so we turned and crawled down towards the main road again.

The main road is mildly exaggerated, as it was only a narrow country road, but it was our main line towards Faial.
Of course, we made many stops along the way to consider waterfalls or mountainsides. Just outside Faial there is a viewpoint where you have the most magnificent view of the Eagle Rock, which is the north coast's answer to Cabo Girao.

We stopped for lunch near Faial, a place with a magnificent view.
In Faial we got coffee and as usual cake. They are absolutely fantastic for making cakes in Madeira.
In Faial we were out to see the remains of an old fort, where there were still a lot of cannons erected, of course old, but the view from the fort was right out to the Eagle Rock.
Bihrmann photographed the beautiful white gala, which we had seen in so many places, but not before had been photographed.

Now the landscape changed character. We drove through orange groves. Pictures were also taken of the characteristic thatched cottages. On the way to Santane, we discovered a frayed sign pointing to Queimadas.
The road was incredibly narrow, so we had to try it.

The road had once in the morning of time been covered with basalt cobblestone, later coated with asphalt, which was 99% gone, deep holes were everywhere, so it was something of a test for our little red car.
We were very fascinated by the forest we drove up through. Was quite sure that when we arrived, it would be the end of the World, but as we were through the Eucalyptus Forest we were suddenly at a car park full of cars.
Well, there may be surprises like that.

The area by the parking lot was a recreation site where there was a large camp school. A lot of young people were sitting having lunch in the open when we arrived. Ancient rhododendrons grew in full bloom. It was adventurous to see the huge flowering trees. From the parking lot, the road continued as a walking path, further up the mountain.
We wandered through scented laurel forest.

Somewhere there was a very large heap of chopped branches, we could hear the noise of the forest, suddenly a man came into view, carrying a giant bundle of cut laurel branches, which he heaped on top of the heap. He greeted warmly .. Higher up, the rock wall was made up of half-meter-high rock clumps that were undergoing heavy degradation. They peeled off in layers.
We tried to tear some of the stone cores that lay on the ground, but they just kept breaking off into shells.

The road continued uphill, quite steep, so as it ended at a gate, and continued as a path, I had to sit down due to breathing disorder, while Bihrmann continued along a small path. However, he returned fairly quickly, for the trail ended in the clean underground forest. We read on a sign that we were 900 meters up. Like everywhere else we came to that kind of place, the silence prevailed.

The pure clear scented forest fragrance was soothing. One really felt that one could breathe.
There were many of the surrounding trees that were so low-growing that it looked like Spanish moss.
Everywhere there were plants that looked like freesia, but we later found out that although they were with freesia-like bulbs, they were montbretias. They were not yet in this area in bloom.

At the camp school, there was a levada through the woods. We hiked a little way along the path, threw sticks into the water, and kept fighting as if sailing fastest. The pace was so that with our hands on their backs we could slowly walk at the same speed.

We had to stop to refuel in Santana. We bought for 5,400 escudos and got 32 litres. Worked out that even though it was all in second gear, the little red car drove 15km. per litre.
In Santana we saw old women sitting outside with their embroidery, which they supply to Funchal's "factories". We saw the embroidery in stores in Funchal. They were very similar to those we had seen many years ago in Cyprus.
Small vials and giant big tablecloths. Some were sewn in red fabric, shaped like poinsettia flowers.

"Santana, located at an altitude of 400 metres above sea level in one of the most beautiful areas of the north coast.
The people of the city have a glimpse of beauty, and characteristic are the many thatched roofs, whose roofs extend all the way down to the ground, so that the gables form a triangle. Panels, doors and windows are painted in strong colours, and there is fierce competition for having the most well-kept houses and gardens on site.
Hydrangeas are especially dominant in the gardens. The house types are also found elsewhere on the island, but then it is like cow-huts. Only here it is human housing."

We were in Sao Jorge, which is a large wine district. It was a peculiar method for us the vines were tied up.
How they are going to crop, thin and pick is a wonder, because it is all a coherent system of limbs, raised only approximately a meter above the ground.

We drove through large pine forests. All day we had seen nothing but basalt rocks. Here on this side of the north coast, rocks and soil were red. To advance towards Ponta Delgada, the road turned a very large arch, to get around a river gorge.

Around Ponta Delgada there are large orange- and sugar cane plantations. It sounds so nice with plantations, because it seems like a lot of plots, as here, like everywhere else, is built up in terraces, but appears as a cohesive whole.

We continued to S. Vicente and drove across the high bog down to Ribeira Brava. As one does not build in height, but stays on the ground, and quite a few suburbs of Funchal lie in a continuous chain, it is incredibly nice to see all the lights beaming on the mountain sides, seen from the coast road back home.

At first, however, we had the pleasure of watching the sun sink into the sea. At first, there were many places on the mountain road where the sun had apparently gone down. Everything was dark, but after the next hairpin turn, it was still shining. At Ponto del Garda we stopped at a Miradouro and admired a lovely view. We were home at 1am. 19.45 and had driven 160 km.

On the way home in the evening hours, we saw many farmers and their wives walking home from the terraces with heavy burdens on their shoulders and the characteristic big sail in their hand, all while their little dog were all over the place.
As we passed the high marsh we came across Encumeda Pass once again, but it was still a great experience because the light was different, depending on what time we passed the area.

After Serra de Aqua we stopped at our supermarket to forage for the next day. A CD changed owner. An exciting fruit was also purchased. The one I had chosen was discarded by a clerk, it was not mature enough.
It turned out the next morning that the selected fruit was filled with small larvae, so we only enjoyed it by a photo.
Later on the market in Funchal, however, I tasted it. It was called Anona.

We ate at the apartment's Spanish restaurant, where I got tuna salad and Bihrmann a spaghetti dish.
When we didn't want anything to drink for the food, we got a glass of Madeira at the house's expense.
Tasty, full bodied and sweet.

28.2. Cabo Girao, a goal we had several times in mind but not achieved. The Portuguese names were so difficult, so we called the place the giraffe. Cabo Girao is with its 580 meters the world's second highest sea cliff.
From the top of Cabo Girao is a magnificent view. From here you can see the small 600 metres, almost vertically down to the sea and over Camera de Lobos all the way to Funchal.
On the cliffs down the sea side you can see fields and vineyards, which are cared for by farmers who do not suffer from dizziness.

The vineyards were not yet covered with leaves, but the soil was totally covered with a flowering clover-like yellow plant. A very beautiful sight. We were lucky to see the little bird monk up close.

We drove a little way up to the mountain village of Lugar de Sepra Adega. We saw many of the beautiful very thorny yellow-flowering bushes that stood on the slopes of the pine forest. In the village we had morning coffee, but as the host had not yet set chairs outside, we walked with our coffee cups and cake to a terrace wall and sat down.
We could hear the sound of large grasshoppers, and suddenly it came flying, sitting down, resting and still swirling around in the bush below the potato field we sat at.

At a triangular thatched house, an old wife sat outside, we waved together, but no closer contact. The road did not lead on, only a gaping track, so we returned to the coastal road.

In the village of Campanario we saw a large van loaded with vegetables and fruit. There was an authorized weight, around the open carriage stood housewives shopping. We had wondered how people were shopping because there was a long way between the shops. Here was the explanation, about driving traders.

Here we saw the first originated Georgians. We came to Rio Bravo, which we called the city of Riberia Brava.
Drove up the mountain to the viewpoint of the city. Everywhere on the rocks it was teeming with sun sickening lizards. Up to 6-8 animals could be found on a rock block of about a squaremeter.
We put the thermometer in the sun, and when the church bell deep down in the valley rang 12, it showed 43 degrees.

There were so many beautiful flowers in the grounds of the viewpoint. The big blue that Bihrmann had fallen in love with, giant margaritas, the beautiful yellow clovers and many others. Drive along the winding mountain road to Ponta do Sol. Parked downtown and visited a very beautiful and beautiful church. The name is Nossa Senhora de Luz. The church has a beautiful carved wooden ceiling in Moorish style.
The altar picture is believed to be one of the Flemish works from the 16th century, which the island got in exchange for sugar.

Everywhere there were banana plantations. Photo of blue morningglory.We came to the fishing village of Madalena do Mar. The brightly coloured small boats were drawn ashore. The beach only contained basalt stones for millions, nothing exciting.

On the coast road we stopped for lunch in a beautiful place at 13 with 26 degrees in the shade. Just off the coast was a sand fishing boat.
It was not with suction power, but with a smaller sip the black basalt sand was picked up from a very great depth.
It was incredibly slow, and when you think about transporting it from the harbour all the way to the mountains, it must be a costly affair.

At a harbour, which we observed high up from a viewing point, lay a sand freight boat are unloaded. The small trench was used to pick up the sand from the inside of the ship and directly into trucks. Then the route went towards Estraide da Calheta, which is at an altitude of 339 metres. The area consisted of old forest.

Continue towards Prazeres, which is completely surrounded by coniferous forest at an altitude of 620 metres. In a very small town of Lombo dos Cedros, we each bought an ice cream and Bihrmann provided tasty apples.
While we were sitting outside on a field support wall eating ice cream, we observed a small kid working diligently with his wooden spinning top.

He was joined by a young man who came from one of the houses, a moment later a younger woman joined. We wondered what the road ahead would be, for we could hear in the distance a car horn still sounding, as if the driving passed dozens of hairpin turns. All while this mutiny was heard and we saw screaming hovering buzzards.
However, the mystery with the horn was quickly changed as the sound increased, more women came along.
With one holding a large van in front of the grocery store, out came a young man, the side door opened, the bread quickly changed owner. That is how they got bread. Come to think of our home ice cream truck.
The young man finished the trade very quickly, but I managed to catch a glimpse into the stuffed bread truck.

Continue. Found a small side road where the sign pointing towards Faja da Ovalha and further up to Paul do Mar where the road ended.
Return to Lombo dos Cedros again, from here to Ponto do Pargo through Prazers, it is surrounded by coniferous forest at an altitude of 620 metres.

Further through wooded areas, but very sparsely populated to Ponto do Pargo. There was a sign that showed to Porto Moniz. I came to say that it was far, I should not have said that, because that was the goal of the day trip.
Along the way we passed Lombados Marinheros, or something similar. Here we saw many terraces with grain that had come up well.
The church had just been the centre of burial, we believe, because along the country road up the mountain a crowd of black-clad people of all ages walked. Everyone was in stiff plaster. Come to think of childhood funerals at home saying "man of house". The church was already closed, so we didn't see it either. In the city there were signs for a vantage point. We had to visit that.

The city is at an altitude of 475 metres, so the road down to the point was steep. Bihrmann estimated the degree to be around 25. At the cliff edge lay a lighthouse, lonely.
Here were flocks of stills.
The cows were here in the fenced enclosures, as the plateau on which the lighthouse was located was fairly flat, although it was high up. We were going to look over the cliff edge. The slopes are incredibly steep. The lighthouse is one of the island's four. A white rock star had also found a foraging area here.

Although many, many meters down, the water was so crystal clear that we could see the bottom clearly.
We only saw a few seagulls, but as the water depth is fantastic around the island and the surf is fierce, there is no breeding ground for aquatic plants the fish can hide in, so there was simply no nutrition for the seagulls.

The next village of Serrado showed the same view as the previous one, namely many black-clad people on their way home from church. Everyone was in deep black clothes, so it must have been funeral guests too.
The landscape was soft, but it is the island's least populated area. There is a long way between the small towns.
After the villages terraces there were large eucalyptus forests.

At Achadas da Cruz we saw many flowering fruit trees. They were reminiscent of cherries, but have surely been a more exotic fruit. In one of the numerous forests we found a forest road, driving a little up as long as the little red could do it. Wandered on ahead. Deep inside the forest was a so-called cow-hut that we were inside. The walls consisted of basalt blocks and reached me to the shoulders. Very hardwood was laid over here and the hut was thatched. From the bottom of the hut it appeared that hay was stored here.
Where the hay came from, here deep in the eucalyptus forest, will stand in the uncertain, for the undergrowth did not bear the appearance of grass.
We were fortunate to find a fallen fully sprung flower of the eucalyptus tree. It was very beautifully wooded and had the characteristic scent.

When we had passed Achadas da Cruz and came to a T-road, one of which went to Porto Moniz, where we had been, the return journey began as we turned around.
We came to a lake, the only one we saw that we had also seen on the road, but then the only parking space was occupied, so it was impossible to get off the narrow road.

On the way down, there was vacancy, so we stopped and admired the lake.
Something that struck us a bit was that precisely on this rare lake with a wonderful waterfall, a lot of landfill waste had been placed. However, one would think that there were enough ravines lying in the distance for that kind.
Turned towards Casais de Serra and came to the tiny town, but the road ended blindly, so it was around again.
Prazeres, Lombos dos Cedros, Prazeres and finally Estreito da Calheta.

In the next village we turned off towards Rabacal, located in the middle of Paul Da Serra. The road was smaller than the single track, but not unidirectional.
When it was evening, we were lucky not to meet a single other road user. Well, my driver can handle such a situation now.

The road was unlike any other straight, but it went uphill and uphill, unrelenting. with an increase of 12 - 15%.
There was forest, but we saw some goats. By the way, had bought local goat cheese that just tasted wonderful.
We drove through ancient woods with immensely thick trunks, what was in the unknown, we didn't know the trees.
Eventually we reached the high bog and enjoyed it again.

Now it was the known area that lay the hallmark and there was the next. However, we drove another way down to the coast again. Ovil, Campo Grande, reached the coastal road in Canhas and continued home. We stopped sometimes to enjoy the sun wandering towards the sea.

At 19.05 it sank right into the waves. There was a fair amount of twilight, though, but it was dark when, after driving through Ribeira Brava and Camera de Lobos, we reached "home" at. 19.45 after driving 217 km.
We used 4 different maps to find, but then we succeeded perfectly. There wasn't that big offering in postcards that day. All the churches had been closed, but it did not make any joy in a delightful day. After shopping and reading we ate at the house's Spanish restaurant. Bihrmann got tuna and I got Sardine Salad.
Read about the last part in
Diary 3

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