Roughly five hours after I took that photo I last showed you, of Seixal on the north coast, we found ourselves in a scary-windy, wet end-of-day moment at the lighthouse on the farthest west point of the island, the Farol da Ponta do Pargo. These are the cliffs looking northeast from the ledge below the lighthouse. Standing there was both beautiful and frightening. From this point, going west, the next inhabited land would be one of the islands of the Caribbean – and that’s a long, long way away.
Thus far we’ve shown you photos of only one location per post for Madeira, but since I’ve now been here five days (with only two more to go, before I decamp for a few days in Porto on the Portuguese mainland) and have covered the width, breadth and depth of the island, I’m going to show you below a few more photos of places we visited in the 24 hours after this photo above. As you’ll see, the island has enormous range of climate, flora, landscape, feel.
Views from the center of the village of Curral das Freiras, looking both up (above) and down (below) — so that you have a sense of how remarkably steep is the valley across which this little village is spread. The name means Pen (or Corral, or Refuge perhaps…) of the Nuns, apparently because nuns took refuge here during some attack of the Napoleonic wars, though accounts vary. I didn’t take any photos from the top of Pico do Arieiro, which we visited next, simply because there was so much fog, wind and rain that there was absolutely no point.
After being blown off the 1800+-meter high Pico do Arieiro by the wind and rain, we rolled on down to the northern-coastal town of Santana, whose main claim to fame are these cute little A-frame “traditional houses.”
…and we ended the day on the easternmost point of the island, at Ponta de São Lourenço. Obviously I’ve got tons more photos from these places and more which we’ll be showing you in weeks ahead. Now that I’ve caught the numbers up, some of the Madeira shots will start fitting into other categories in order to accommodate my little number-sequence mania du moment. 🙂