Madeira - Sep/Oct 2009

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A park near the centre of Funchal

Me trying to be all 'arty' with the camera

The local marina with a lot of racing boats

View from the cable car

The gardens in Monte

...mmmmm....beeeeer.....

Looking up at hotel reception

Sledding down the road - bit of a tourist trap really...but we couldn't resist (as you'll see later)

The top of the cable car ride and the start of one of the 'Levada' walks

The Levada (water channel) - they make for some fantastic walks

One of the many tunnels that can occur on these walks although there's always an alternative route around

Some of these walks have got hairy drops over the side!

If you're a bit bothered by heights, take your shoes off and walk in the Levada

Funchal in the distance - it's quite a built up area

A typical street in the 'old town' district of Funchal (which goes back hundreds of years)

You can just see the light at the end of the tunnel

One of the many new tunnels that have been ploughed through the landscape - one opened while we were there

We stumbled upon this bike race in the town one day

This was an excellent walk - the levada winds its way around the side of the hill and gets quite vertiginous in places! Penny took the alternative stairs down and up route.

You can just see Penny on the path below. You need to be careful on these Levada walks that hug the cliff...we heard a frenchman had slipped off one the week before and died.

This picture shows banana trees as far as the eye can see

This bridge actually takes the levada (enclosed in concrete) over the small valley

Some levada's are concreted over to allow you talk walk along them like a path (as was the case with the levada bridge above)

Funchal in the distance and Casa Branca district closer to us here...

The yellow arrow shows where our hotel was (in amongst all those trees)

A few pics around the hotel now - Penny relaxing outside our room

The restaurant where breakfast is served

A swing chair which we made use of quite a lot! Hotel reception in the background.

Gardens of the hotel

Inside the hotel

Huge long corridor going down the back of all the rooms

Tropical gardens....and lots of tropical fish.

Behind the waterfall

The water stairway that feeds the waterfall

Some of these were monsters!

Penny being a Japanese soldier

Succumbed to the sleds!

What a couple of tourist nerds! I was going to tip this bloke until he put those hats on.

This picture shows how the clouds could decend eerily down the moutainside

Pennys birthday at the Jazz bar...and the brought out a birthday cake accompanied by the sax player playing 'happy birthday'

And here's the last few days of the holiday - one day in particular having torrential rain and bursting the drains.

 

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