Tuesday, 24 November 2009
Levada Walking in Madeira (1)
So it's an ideal time of year to pop over to Madeira for a spot of levada walking.
Levadas are the irrigation channels constructed shortly after the island was first inhabited in C15 to make use of the rich water resources in the interior for the cultivation of sugar cane and wine. These 'levadas' now total some 1400km in length. Their maintenance paths can provide ideal hiking paths, such as that pictured - today's route beside the Levada do Norte. This path is vertiginous, so we turned back before Espigao, but it is currently being upgraded at a cost to the EEC of some €1.5 million! That won't change the label 'Exposed levada walk for tightrope walkers', which rules me out, but not Sue - who has a much better head for heights and will hopefully have recovered sufficiently to give this one a go by the time we next visit Madeira.
In the meantime, such walks are not feasible for Sue, who languished in the Savoy Gardens' massage room whilst Barry, Dave and I enjoyed a 7 hour jaunt (only 25 metres ascent, mind you) finishing in an opportunistic taxi together with the driver's wife and mother-in-law.
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