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The Lakes of Madeira

 
20020404a lakes.jpg (148175 bytes) 20020404b levada.jpg (144741 bytes) 20020404c lakes.jpg (148815 bytes) 20020404d lakes.jpg (147732 bytes)
The Rabacal Valley A staircase where the levada changes levels Two shots showing the general lie of the land
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Below the Risco Falls The Falls themselves Beryl posing on the tricky section above the Falls The lunch spot ......
20020404i adriano.jpg (145707 bytes) 20020404k valley.jpg (146744 bytes) 20020404l valley.jpg (146654 bytes) 20020404m highvalley.jpg (154575 bytes)
.....but the guides get the best spots A shot taken whilst exploring round the lunch spot Looking back to the lunch spot from the post-prandial pull up the valley side Higher still
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Interesting heather- it grows like this cos the sheep eat what they can reach Beryl crossing rickety bridge
 

This was a walk that should have been done under the Trades Descriptions Act. You don’t have to be terribly bright to realise that the Turivema web site and leaflet are written a very florid style. Well, isn’t most tourist literature – you just down-rate the language a little to get a better grip of reality. But this was was somewhat OTT

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It was described as the Lakes of Madeira. Did I blink and miss them? There was one bit where the stream looked a bit wider below

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It was described as the most popular walk on the programme. It was probably the least interesting of the four we did

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It was described as lasting 4.5 hours. Well we did it in 3 hours without raising sweat.

But it was a walk and all walks in unfamiliar countryside are by definition enjoyable. The journey there wasn’t very promising. We had to cross the central plateau of the island and the cloud was right down on it. We kept hoping that we’d break through into cloud inversion but no such luck. We decamped from the vehicles in a God-forsaken spot with fierce winds and raining threatening, but at least with thinner cloud. Everyone immediately donned storm gear.

Actually this didn’t last long. We had a 50 yd walk to a levada and then the tree heather grew up quickly around it so we were in cover and out of the wind. Shortly after that the sun appeared and the walk was quite pleasant. We were actually walking uphill (because the water was flowing towards us) but it felt very flat as we ambled along. We had views down the Rabacal Valley – see the photos for some atmospheric shots.

At the head of this levada was a waterfall, the Risco Falls. Just as the Germans are alleged to always get there towels down first on the best seats by the pool, they always seems to have their rucksacks down by the best picnic spots. They were certainly here. So we stopped briefly to take photos and then climbed out up the side of the waterfall and along a trickier path before having lunch by the stream above the falls – another photo opportunity. The sun was out and it was lovely.

There was a pull out of the valley immediately after lunch up on to a higher levada. We walked up to the spring that is its source. I was at the back because I’d been taking photos and I spotted lots of (smallish) trout in the levada – strangely Beryl who was up ahead didn’t see any, although she’d seen one during the morning. We doubled back along the levada; this was quite a natural looking path and enjoyable to walk. This emerged on the central plateau – high windswept moorland. We had to cross one tricky bridge – only one person allowed across at a time with lots of unkind comments about whether it would take my weight. But it was a surprise to find how quickly we got back to the minibuses. We were expecting to be about another hour.

A brief bus ride to a bar. I did have a beer today as it was getting quite warm and we had a relaxing natter from the veranda enjoying the view.

 

The Story So Far Walking Diary Photo Gallery Thoughts on Walking
Walking Links Get a Life! Site Details Latest Photos

Have a look at the Stafford Rambling Group site

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