Day 0&1 (Saturday & Sunday, 20/21-9-03)

The day started with Eleni breaking a tooth. She was not happy and even more unhappy when she couldn't initially find a dentist to fix it. Eric came to the rescue when he remembered that his dentist does at times work on Saturdays and he did. Happiness after all. Got the tooth fixed and R452 later we picked up Eric and Tiens and off we went to Jan Smuts (politically incorrect term for Johannesburg International Airport) to get there by about 17h30. We were the last to arrive, Jenny had already managed to get her luggage lost when it was send down the conveyorbelt without a label on. It took some doing to extract it from the system for a recount and re-label.
First we had to fly to Maputo and than across Africa to Lisbon. Not much to be seen at the airport. Shops are not very interesting there and we killed time by drinking coffee. Eric had already met his forth customer. One of them was Emanual from Kimberley, he was interested in joining us on some of the walks.
And eventually off we went through gate 8 to Madeira. Franki was waiting for us to convey us in his taxi to Ponta Delgada, on the other side of the island. It turned out that Franki was one of Eric's customers some 10 years ago.
Madeira is an amazing place with lots of road tunnels, on route from the airport to Ponta Delgada we passed through 23 tunnels, the longest one being 3.6 km. I did a rough count on the road map and counted all the tunnels to 65. And there are more being dug. Apparently before the tunnels were drilled it took something like 5 hours to get from the airport to Ponta Delgada, now it is down to one hour thanks to the EU financing the tunnel projects.
Nelita greeted us at the hotel and quickly got our rooms allocated. The only problem left was to collect Ruth who would be coming in from London at about 20h00. We re-hired Franki; and Eric, Tiens and I went to the airport
But before we did this we killed time by running down the mountain to touch the sea. The beach is very rocky and not suitable for swimming. They are busy constructing a rock pool, so next time we come it will be possible to swim in the sea, or sort of.

Day 2---->