Posted by: onboardtourswhales | May 29, 2018

Madeira Islands post 6- Laurisilva Forests- Levadas- A-Frame Homes

March 12, 2018 The Laurisilva forests are a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the mountainous central part of Madeira Island. I had to go see these providers of water. Why the levadas- irrigation canals were built to channel all the cloud moisture and rainfall these dense trees gather in their leaves and drip down to earth. I started at Ribeiro Frio and walked along the trails next to the levadas, listening to birds, and water cascading down while looking out to multiple mountain peaks and valleys to the sea. Then I caught the bus again to the northern coast of Madeira to visit Santana known for their straw thatched roofed A-frame houses. I noticed it was clearer, drier, and more plants in bloom on this side of the island than Funchal on the southern coast. I thought the A-frames houses would be obvious. They weren’t, they are of times past and just preserved now in a small area of town, and I missed the bus stop to get off and tour the town. I realized as the bus headed through the steep valleys and along the coast, that I better get off at the next town to figure out my way back or I’d be on the bus the rest of the day! The people were so friendly at the café I stopped at, and helpful as most Madeira people are, and they called a taxi to take me back to Santana, as it would be many hours for a bus heading back that way. The taxi driver shared great local knowledge and showed me exactly where to catch the bus when I was ready to go back to Funchal. The bus system works very well here and is affordable, although limited in nighttime hours, which I understand with these narrow, switchback, limited view, unlighted roads. I did get bus sick and sea-swell sick, but early on took ½ tablet of bonine- meclizine that really helped calm my stomach yet remain alert. Lovely day being in up in the mountains, the forests, and small villages.




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