Today’s itinerary was to see as much as possible of Madeira before we start our four day quilting retreat. We headed west from Funchal, along the southern coast stopping, at the picturesque fishing village of Camaraderie de Lobos. Here we stood on the spot where Winston Churchill had painted the delightful harbour.
Onward and upward to the highest cape in Europe. It was cold up there as we stood on the glass floor high above the sea. Did someone mention a crack? Many photos were taken here and little did we realise that the whole day would be full of the most amazing photo opportunities.
We descended once more to sea level for a coffee and pastry stop, before climbing up to 1500m on a narrow, windy road with lots of sheer drops and hairpin bends. Scary! Our stop at the top gave us views of both the south and north coasts from one spot.
We descended down to the north coast at Sao Vicente and followed the coast road west to our lunch stop in Porto Moniz. Here we were served a delicious three course meal with two bottles of wine per table of four.
Afterwards, we staggered outside to admire the spectacular crashing waves! Can you see the rock pools in the bottom left corner?
Time for a siesta back on the coach, as we travelled east along the north coast, stopping frequently to photograph beaches, sheer drops, huge lushly covered mountains and terraced landscape. This road is not for the faint hearted and we were thankful that there was hardly any traffic.
At Santana, we took a look at the famous A framed houses with thatched rooves. A few are still family homes.
We had to cross over the mountains once more to reach Funchal, this time climbing to 6,000 ft, passing through several villages perched on top of mountains with steep drops on both sides. Stopping at a trout farm, we fortified ourselves with the local ‘medicinal’ brew – Poncha, highly recommended by Lina, our guide.