An end to apathy – my first walk

Today I shook off my apathy and went walking for the first time.  I drove up a steep minor road that led all the way up to the central plateau right on top of Madeira and was rewarded by a straight road with fantastic views over the coast – and not a tunnel in sight!

The view from the Madeiran plateau

I was headed towards 25 Fontes, one of the most popular walks on Madeira, and the parking area at the start of the walk was already busy. I headed down into the valley, admiring the views,

The view down the valled

Then the path dived into a dense broom forest that ran alongside a levada (man-made water channels that run all around Madeira).  I had always seen broom as little bushes and I didn’t know that it could grow into trees. It was a very pretty path and I enjoyed the alternating shade and sunshine, and the happy gurgle of the water.

Walking beside a “levada”

The path was narrow and I often had to stop to let other walkers pass.  It was interesting watching the expression on people’s faces when this happened. Some looked happy and gave me a cheery “Bom Dia” or “Hello”, but others looked scared to be so close to another walker – even a teddy bear – and hurried past whilst frowning. Soon I arrived at the Cascada do Risco,  a tall waterfall cascading down a sheer cliff, and hurried to take photos before more visitors arrived.

The Cascada do Risco

I then retraced my steps and took a new path along a different levada to the Cascada das 25 Fontes.   In a big clearing, a wide central waterfall spilled down from the mountain, flanked by many smaller falls on both sides.  To count 25 waterfalls required some imagination, but there were certainly a lot and it was a really pretty scene.

The Cascada de las 25 Fontes

From there I retraced my steps to the visitor centre and its cafe. I found a really good place to sit, with far reaching views of the valley.  I also met some new friends to share my garlic bread with.

The view from the cafe
New friends!

To get back to my villa I chose a  minor road leading very steeply down to Calheta on the coast – I was pleasantly surprised that I got there without getting lost, and that a little levada followed the road all the way down.  At Calheta I bought fresh fish and wine for dinner to celebrate one of my best days so far on Madeira.

2 thoughts on “An end to apathy – my first walk

Add yours

  1. Tres jolies photos qui donnent envie de visiter l’ile. Et puis on vous envie le temps! Profitez bien de tout avant de retrouver les joies de la covid!


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