Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Monday, 12 November 2007

Sunday 11 November 2007 - The Roof of Madeira, and a TGO Challenge update

Here we are on the highest point in Madeira, Pico Ruivo – 1862 metres, in the company of a woman with nits. In fact we were third up ‘the hill’ today, but still had to succumb to the Bavarian music of some earlier arrivals. Whilst Dave slapped his thighs I went to sleep in the sun. After several November weeks spent on this island the last two days are the first that I can recall when the summits have been entirely free of cloud. A bonus from last night’s visit to a wi-fi hot spot was the BBC weather forecast showing a bright sun over Madeira today. Whilst that didn’t really transpire, it inspired this day out, on which the weather was very good – warm and clear – if blighted by high cloud that made the wonderful views appear rather ‘flat’ on film. [Coastal visibility was apparently very low due to haze, so we were lucky.]
We met about 70 people on the way ‘down’, many of them being guided. The 7 km path from the car park at 1800 metres is more or less entirely paved and for much of its length is also protected by a well maintained wire fence. Nevertheless, freedom from vertigo is a prerequisite for this walk, and the return trip involves ups and downs of over 1000 metres. So it was with some relief that we found the car park café open on our return from the 6 hour walk to Ruivo and back.

That refreshed us for a quick return from 12C at Pico do Ariero to 25C at Monte, where we enjoyed the good path to Curral dos Romeiros, returning via a vertiginous section of the Levada dos Tornos. Then it was back to the Marie Celeste for a quick bath before joining Alan, Chris, Keith and Iris for an excellent meal in Canico, followed by a trip to a pub. Something of a contrast to last night’s excitement with The Lavender Hill Mob.

TGO Challenge News
We are in, so my secret pre-booking of certain accommodation (which we would have used anyway) is a triumph and we are set to start from Glen Shiel after a comfortable night in a bed. Great News!

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