Franki will pick us up at 9h30 and so he did. The drive took us straight up the mountain on a horrifying road, at places just wide enough for one car and 400m straight down to the sea on the left side and straight up to the top of the mountain on the right.From there a view back to Ponta Delgada, see the picture below.
(written by Janine) Slight detour up the mountain to a village that had had a colorful festival the previous day, a petty that we missed it. 1000's of plastic flowers strung along the windy roads and a decorated church.
Another stop at a hotel and wine museum. Walking around the hotel to a viewing area we could see the promontory that we would soon be hiking along. Franki pointed at an enormous chunk of rock that fell off the cliff on one dark night, apparently with a very large crack. Dribbling in small groups and after passing a field of grapevines interspersed with cabbage we walked along the top of the cliff, possibly 400m above the sea.
Struggling along to the winepress we found out that we were just too late, they had the annual demonstration the week before. It was some monstrosity with large boulders hanging on a lever that would get screwed up such that the weights will push onto the grapes. Exactly how the mechanism worked was a bit of a mystery, even to our technically literate.
We were getting a bit out of hand now and it took a bit of shouting to get them all back into the car. Frans and Eric got to the press as we all got to the car and of course they had to have a long discussion on what the press does.
By the way the winepress was very impressive and I even saw one poking out of somebody's home whilst we were moving around.
Sue and I have seen at least 20 houses that we want to buy and it's only the end of the first day.
(Sue) Heading up the hills, looking at all the beans growing on tall stakes reached the oldest house in Santana. The famous A-framed houses. One small downstairs living room and a bed room upstairs. The lady was spinning linseed lines. The bunches are picked, beaten and soaked and then swell up and it looks like matted hair. It is then brushed out and spun into a thread.
(me again) And then we got to Ponta de Sao Lourengo, the piece of land sticking out towards the east. From the parking area we walked out onto the spit. The landscape here is so much different from the rest of the island, it is bleak and dry as bones. Following a good path we made our way first down then up then down then up thenů..
It was hot and humid, fortunately a fresh wind came up from time to time giving us a bit of cooling. Tremendous were the views from the top into the sea, the water had a deep blue colour. Near the end we had lunch at a house surrounded by palm trees. Sitting on the veranda of what we thought was a type of rest house, but turned out to be a private dwelling. But we only got to know about this when we left.
On the way back, this time along the southern end of the island, we stopped at the only sandy beach in Madeira, it had a mixture of black and white sand. Large waves came tumbling in, it felt like being in Durban. I prefer this much more than the tame waves of the Meditaranium.
We had a good time playing in the waves, nearly breaking our bones when getting dumped onto the beach.
Driving back towards Funchal I was impressed by the way they extended the runway of the airport by building out towards and into the sea. The road took us underneath this massive construction.
At Sao Vicente the taxis dropped off some of us so we could have dinner at one of Franki's favored restaurants. I felt that I have to eat the island's specialty, Espado, some fish that they catch around here. It tastes like fish.