Peter Bargh

words pictures sounds
October 6th, 2015

Encumeada to Pico Do Arieiro

A 14k walk over the mountain tops, mostly in mist from Encumeada to Pico Do Arieiro. Started out as a lovely sunny day, but as i climbed higher into the mountains my luck changed. As I wandered I spotted scenes that reminded me of Led Zeppelin song titles such as Misty Mountain Hop and Stairway to Heaven.

Encumeada
Misty Mountain Hop

I was late arriving at the end of the walk and wasn’t sure if I’d manage to get to the bus stop in time. Thankfully a lovely Spanish couple who couldn’t speak English stopped and gave me a lift back to Funchal which saved me a two hour walk.

 

 

October 5th, 2015

11k Lavada walk

Following my lavada walk yesterday I was really looking forward to today’s planned 11k lavada from Ribeiro Frio to Portela, (and according to the guide books Madeira’s most popular walk) sadly it was no more interesting than a walk in one of Derbyshire’s dales – apart from an occasional glimpse of high edge drama.

This photo was taken at the start on a slight diversion to the Balcoes viewing point at 860m. Most of the scenes like this  were hidden behind the trees on the rest of the walk.

Balcoes viewing platform

 

October 4th, 2015

Lavada walk

What a walk! I just wandered up the street from my apartment in Funchal. It was raining quite heavily and I was feeling lost for things to do as I hadn’t planned a normal adventure due to the bad weather.  I spotted a lavada (drainage system for water from mountains) running along the road side. They are made of concrete and have paths by them, so I followed it…and it took me along the coast but high up in the village hillside so I could see the coast, but was also emerged in rural, walking right through the centre of banana plantations etc. Then the lavada turned inland and gave me a real surprise. They say don’t do lavada walks alone and I can see why! This one turned quite dramatic at parts, and while I don’t have a fear of heights, my legs were wobbling in a few sections of the walk.

lavada

 

October 3rd, 2015

Beer and ice cream drink?

Yes a beer and ice cream cocktail drink, with pineapple chunks! It’s called Nikita and I tried it in Câmara de Lobos (which is were it originates) in the bar that first came up with it.

Nikita - beer and ice cream cocktail

 

I’d decided to take a day of mountain trekking and took a 5km stroll from my apartment in Funcal around the coast to Câmara de Lobos, and on the way stopped at the lava stone beach Praia Formosa where I sunbathed naked as it was deserted.

 

The walk takes you through a tunnel cave round the coast and on a wooden track across the beach.

October 2nd, 2015

The Nuns’ Path

The 81 bus took me to the top of the mountain at Eira do Serrado. I then walked down the Nuns’ Path to Curral Das Freiras (a village seen in this photo built in a crater) and sampled chestnut soup (Sopa de castanhas) and chestnut liqueur (Liqueur De Castanha) in the restaurant Sabores Do Curral.
Nuns Path

 

October 1st, 2015

Santana to Funchal

Having done a little research now I decided on a 6 am wake up followed by a 1 hour 30 min bus ride and then a 10 k walk up hilly road to get to the start of today’s walk. Well worth it though as I found impressive landscapes like this. I crossed from north (Santana) to south (Funchal) and ascended the two highest mountains on the island

September 30th, 2015

Funchal to Camara de Lobos

Gentle day walking on the coast from Funchal to Camara de Lobos. Might have been more strenuous if I’d been able to continue round the coast after Camara de Lobos, but I didnt find a way. The route includes cutting through a coastal cliff so you got through a tunnel which brings you round at the other side and onto a wooden path taking you over the rocky beach.

 

 

 

September 29th, 2015

Funchal

A short walk day today. Discovering Funcal, and the old town, and then along the coast and up to get a higher viewpoint.

 

September 28th, 2015

Pico Do Arieiro

Day two of my visit to Madeira. I’d been told I needed to go on a guided tour to discover the mountains, but decided to walk up from Funchal to Pico Do Arieiro. It was quite a trek on the ER103 road up through Monte to Poiso and then on the minor road to the summit and Air Defence Radar Station.

I stopped on route at Casa de Abrigo do Poiso to sample their traditional Tomate e Cebola  (Tomato and Onion Soup). When I arrived at the summit everything was completely hidden by mist apart from the radar station. I was weary by now but was considering walking over to Encumeada and back round. I asked a couple how far, and after realising what I was attempting they suggested I didn’t because it was a much longer walk than I’d imagined  So I just headed out to take a look at the first section of the path from Pico Do Arieiro to Pico Ruivo. And as i walked  a few gaps where appearing revealing the most impressive landscape I’ve seen!  This was at a height of just over 1800m, taken from a viewing platform. I will return here!

 

September 27th, 2015

Funchal

From Lisbon (T2) to Madeira (Funchal) EasyJet Flight 7603 07:10am

Bus driver from airport was the best driver I’ve ever encountered. So friendly and helpful. Made it easy to find Residencial Melba Azinhaga da Casa Branca, Nº8, Sao Martinho, Funchal , 9000-110. This apartment was up a hill and through a cutaway onto another road. I asked for a room with a balcony and although there was no view I had some space. The place had a pool and I was the only one using it.  Soon realised Funchal was the place for older couples, who all seemed to hold hands. I was in a newer part, but plenty of restaurants, not far from the beach, and the old town was only about 20 mins walk.

Funchal