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Saturday, August 27, 2016

Lonely island in the Atlantic Ocean

You always can get things working. I don’t know why always being that late. When booking the flight tickets to Madeira, the Portuguese island in the Atlantic Ocean, only 2 days has been left before the designated departure date. And all that although we had scheduled our holidays for that particular week quite some months in earlier.

Anyways, the flight was okay, too long though, and quite bumpy when approaching the Funchal runway. Strong winds were making the landing pretty much challenging. From left to right, up and down – the pilot must be accurate preventing to overshoot the too short runway. He managed perfectly.

We picked up our checked in luggage and went to the rental car counters. As we have placed an order just the previous day, we now noticed it has been refused. It was high season, and we were not the only ones asking for a car those days. Luckily, we found a car dealer having one left, overpriced for sure, but better than nothing.

The first days we have booked a half pension countryside hotel. Not too bad and well located – everything in the east could be reached within 30 minutes maximum. Fisher villages and rugged coastlines were inviting for hiking or walking tours, just to wander around a bit.

The trip to the highest mountain (Pico Ruivo) was almost a bit too much. The track was going up and down all the time, stairs and loose stones made it even more difficult than the midday sun alone. But on the other the landscape offered great views, cliffs, gorges and deep and widespread valleys.

We spent 4 more days at the west coast as well. The hotel (O Farol Residencial) at the most western point, the light house, was located far off anything else. It was family-run and people were really friendly although some language barriers. The food was just excellent (the tuna especially) and talking to a French couple was made it even more fun, with or without the local drink Poncha. Really cool and relaxing time, a bit of everything.

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