Postcard from Madeira - 2009 Apr 20 - May 4
2009-02-18 18:16:59
The key words for Madeira are
The man in this photo (sadly not mine) is walking along a path little more than 30cm (1 ft) wide. If he were to step to his left, he would go into the 40 cm deep, cold water of the levada. If he were foolish enough to climb over the railing on his right, he would fall down the vertiginous hillside which looks like a sheer drop of about 20 metres. ++++ link to link
2009-04-23 18:08:23
2009-04-22 19:00:43
The farmer who tilled this field (by hand!) has done so within inches of a 500 metre sheer drop!
See also these images.
2009-04-28 19:26:08
++++ 095502 095218 Caminho Lombo do Doutor

Festa da Flor de 2009 - the Flower Festival held in Funchal, Madeira on 2009 April 26

Watch the video if the above does not work.   More videos of the Flower Festival
The images are all ours - see this gallery for the full collection.  
The background music is the Tango do Remango, the first track on Encontros da Eira's cd Meia Volta. According to the sleeve notes: "the espression tango de remango, although rarely used these days in everyday language, means to die or pass away". A bit like the Irish idea of a wake! The tune was collected in Camacha. See also Encontros da Eira on Myspace.

2009-05-29 20:15:00
Imagine what the English Lake District would be like if it had never been glaciated.
Or imagine the Isle of Wight with a mountain the height of Ben Nevis in the middle of it. (The Isle of Wight is about 36 km long. Madeira is about 49 km long. The highest point in Madeira, the Pico Ruivo is 1862 metres. If we scale that down by 36/49 we get 1378 metres - a bit higher than Ben Nevis.)

The islanders worship a pantheon of Ladies - Nossa Senhora
2009-05-02 16:58:48

do Bom Sucesso [Good Fortune]
2009-05-01 16:57:57

da Conceição
2009-04-25 14:12:57

de Fátima
2009-05-03 15:26:26

de Fátima
2009-04-24 18:07:15

de Fátima
2009-05-02 16:57:10

da Graça [Grace]
2009-04-25 18:04:56

do Guadalupe
2009-04-27 15:13:39

do Livramento
2009-04-23 19:16:12

do Loreto
2009-04-27 18:41:55

do Monte
2009-04-25 15:58:53

da Natividade aka
do Faial
2009-04-27 19:33:38

da Paz [Peace]
2007-12-02 16:30:24

da Piedade [Mercy]
2009-04-28 19:57:24

da Piedade [Mercy]
and Santiago
2009-05-02 15:57:46

dos Remédios
2009-04-24 17:41:09

da Saúde
and even of Good Roads
Work through the directory of parishes in the Diocese do Funchal to see how many more Ladies there are.

At first sight it looks like a normal motorway but you soon realise that it has …
steeper gradients …
2009-05-02 20:08:37
tighter curves …
2009-05-02 16:20:32
shorter entry and exit lanes …
2009-05-03 12:39:36
than any motorway you have ever been on before. But despite that, it is no exaggeration to say that in many cases the new roads on Madeira have shortened journey times by a factor of ten.
I carefully found a location perpendicular to this bit of motorway. I make that a gradient of 1 in 9 ! These views
2009-05-02 17:28:34
2009-05-02 17:42:35
The tunnel portal on the right of this picture leads through to the motorway in the background on the left.
2009-05-02 17:37:15
Even parking can be vertiginous.
make it look even steeper but that is due to foreshortening.

2009-04-30 12:48:54

The Parque Temático in Santana does not have the scary white-knuckle rides of Alton Park or Thorpe Towers. On the other hand it does not have the queues that those places have. Indeed on the day we were there, it seemed as though the staff outnumbered the visitors.

Dotted around the park are these fake stones which hold loudspeakers and play relentlessly jolly Madeiran folk music.
2009-04-30 16:21:37
There was also some live entertainment in the form of an incident rehearsal with the emergency services from at least three municipalities in attendance.
All our photos of the Parque.