The most relaxing week in Madeira

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You may have guessed from the fact that I haven’t posted on here for 5 months that life has been raaaaather busy lately! We recently bought a house and I had grand plans to blog about the reno/redecorating process (mainly for us to look back on in the future), but its been so full on that I didn’t take ANY good photos with my camera! We’ve had a new boiler, flea-mageddon, and an electrical re-wire, to name but a few little domestic delights. I think I managed to capture most of it on my instagram highlights, so maybe I can pull together a post from there eventually so that I can capture the whole process a little more permanently over here on the blog. Anyway, it’s been a busy old year! So we took a much needed rest last month, and spent a week exploring Madeira with my parents.

Madeira is such a beautiful island – it really has something for everyone. One of my favourite days was our safari of the east of the island. We visited the beautiful Pico de Arieiro (which I am determined to revisit someday armed with my hiking gear),  did a short levada walk, off-roaded through the rainforest singing the Jurassic Park theme tune, and finished the day at Ponta de São Lourenço where we took in the beautiful red cliffs. Along the way, we stopped off for a yummy traditional lunch of scabbard fish (which looks like IT should be eating YOU – google it.), and took a tour of a rum factory where they brew the traditional tipple Poncha!

We also spent a couple of days in Camara de Lobos, which is a beautiful little fishing village where Winston Churchill famously spent his days painting. The village was around a 45min walk from our hotel in Funchal, along a pretty easy going path along the ocean. From Camara de Lobos, we visited Cabo Girao, the tallest sea cliff in Europe. Apparently you can sometimes see whales from here, since the sea is so deep thanks to the islands volcanic origins.

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One morning we took the shuttle into Funchal, for a day of sight seeing. We rode the cable car up to the botanical gardens, and travelled down by wicker toboggan. It was a pretty unique experience – some guys with tyres on their shoes push you down the SHINIEST road. As Richard Ayode said on TravelMan, “it’s the fastest I’ve ever travelled in wicker“. We spent the afternoon wandering through the Old Town, admiring all of the beautiful painted doors, and picking up souvenirs from the Market.

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Writing this post has made me really miss the island life *sob*. Madeira is such a relaxing place, and I miss falling asleep to the sound of the waves (which by the way, are pretty epic. I did NOT want to swim in the sea!). Hopefully I’ll be back one day to explore more of the island and hike some of the beautiful trails.

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