Day 5 (Thursday, 25-9-03)


Today's hike was to start at Ribeiro Frio (Cold River). At the starting point we had to admire the trout hatchery and wade through lots of tourists who had arrived there in plenty of buses. It made me worry about the traffic on the path. But, as I noticed later, normal tourists don't hike.
The levada we were going to follow was the Levada do Furado. Lovely as all levada walks, most of the time under shady trees and lots of greenery.
At the Lanarceiros Water house (a place where they direct the water traffic between levadas) we had to take a turn to go to Santo de Serra. Gabriel had a friend there who would give us lunch, which was Antonio from Bloemfontein. He has got a very nice place here. Lunch consisted of boiled potatoes, shoeshoe (some pumpkin stuff), tuna and some other unnamed pumpkin. And all that free of charge, these Madeirans are amazing.
From here we were going to be taken to Gabriel's house in Calheta. But first we had to wait for the lady of the house to come home so that we have enough cars. We whiled away the time by going to the town center, buying ice cream, sitting in the Village Square and having a look at their park which contained a small zoo of deer and waterfowl.
Eventually our lifts arrived and off we went past (under) the airport, through Funchal, to Ribeira Brava and finally to Estreito da Calheta to Gabriel's house. That one was not as impressive as Manie's. He has only just occupied it and it needs a lot of renovating and upgrading. It was interesting to see how people used to live.
For dinner Gabriel prepared some chunks of meat, fried up in a pan. We had this with bread. We consumed this sitting in the courtyard under the grapes, something that every house has.
Franki eventually turned up and we got home at just before midnight.

Day 6---->