Some more hiking and great trails over the last few days. Spectacular views especially from Pico Ruivo, the highest peak on Madeira Island at 1862m . On reaching the summit I was surprised to hear my mobile ringing for the first time in weeks and noticed it was a UK number. So I answered and on the the other end of the line was a female voice that said “Good afternoon Mr D’Arcy, I understand you have been in a car crash and it wasn’t your fault….” Thankfully my Fiat Panda hire car has negotiated the windy roads of Madeira without hitch and it was one of those spam calls so I told her reasonably politely to leave me alone as I was trying to enjoy a very nice view.
Yesterday I visited a viewpoint which looks down on Curral das Freira, also known as the ‘Valley of the Nuns’. The small village nestles between almost perpendicular mountains in the heart of the island. In 1566 the nuns from the Santa Clara convent fled from pirates attacking Funchal and found seclusion here. Then I went on to Câmara de Lobos for lunch. This small fishing village is the birthplace of the drink Poncha so couldn’t leave without trying one. It is made with aguardente de cana (distilled alcohol made from sugar cane juice), honey, sugar, lemon rind and lemon juice.
Leaving the marina tomorrow and plan to anchor outside Funchal and explore the city for a few days before heading on down to Lanzarote.