Wednesday, 16 November 2011
Just One Step Back, Please
Or should that be 'angry body from the dangling void'? I'll never make it as a writer of fiction...
It was a rainy morning in Funchal, so we decided to head for the short walk along the São Lourenço peninsula, as that may provide the best weather on the island. A taxi driver wanted €80 for the privilege of acting as chauffeur for the day. We offered €40. We bargained him down to €75. Not good enough. A short walk to Mr Hertz's Car Emporium bought us a Micrascopic motor for the day for €55 including fuel.
By the time we reached the peninsula it was still raining. But after less than a minute from departure waterproofs were removed and we enjoyed a fine if blustery 8km ramble over the lizard strewn volcanic debris that makes up this part of the island. Fine seascape views dominated, whilst low cloud engulfed the mountainous core of the island. We even continued to a fine (unnamed) summit viewpoint beyond the only house on the peninsula - Casa do Sardinha, outside which we later enjoyed lunch in a gale.
An interesting drive over a steep hill (I missed the turn for a tunnel) took us to the small town of Santana, where steep-roofed thatched houses trap tourists before they adjourn for snacks at a café that was twice the price of yesterday's snack bar on the outskirts of Funchal. M+G left their macs in the car and got soaked when, on leaving the café, Madeira's weather gods tried to inflict as many of the island's 52 known microclimates on us as it could, simultaneously.
We spent the evening gaining wide-eyed responses of incredulity as a result of interrogating hapless guests:
"Are you Bob Andrews' walking buddies?"