Turns out I neglected to let folks know that this particular trip is purely a vacation trip, not a stitch of work to be done. Since both John & Maria have asked, thought it worth stating that I’m here for the 2 hours more of daylight that Madeira gets at this time of year, plus just a change of pace and place…to a place where mountains, beaches, hiking paths, lovely architecture, interesting history, and world-famous Madeiran wines are all readily reachable. As are the beaches and the gorgeous coastline :-).
And as it happens, the beach at Seixal boasts a sign telling us that this beach has been rated the #3 best beach “in Europe.” In Europe means it’s part of Portugal, which is indubitably European…but geographically we’re a good deal closer to the African mainland than to any other large body of land. Certainly a gorgeous beach, and reasonably swimmable temperatures even in December :-).