Go to home page

24 Dec 2005: Feliz Natal

A picture

The Surface To Scratch

On the Wednesday, my cold was entering the height of its powers and was proceeding to torment me with all the usual tricks. However, the levada walk was really important to us and no little thing like a cold was going to stop me.

Incidentally, regarding our exploration of Madeira, the truth is that we had barely scratched the surface. Madeira is a large island and we were bound largely to a Funchal. Travelling to the north of the island takes hours and there are only a handful of buses a day; if you want to travel there, you need to hire a car or jump on a tour. Also, there are many levada walks across the island and we wished we had seen more of them.

We actually met more people during the levada walk than the rest of the trip. We learnt from an elderly Portugeuse woman who spoke barely any English that "Feliz Natal" was Merry Christmas in Portuguese and that the cacti on the island bear fruit and flowers at other times of the year.

Another local told us he had never seen such storms in Madeira before, backing up claims we had heard from fellow tourists that they had never known the island to be so cold. AAARGGGH ARE WE CURSED?!??!?