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A sea stack at Porto Cruz Across the valley behind Santo Cruz from our climb out of Larano Eagle Rock On the cliff path
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One of the lusher sections of the path Looking back the way we had come The same spot, different angle Towards the San Lorenzo peninsula
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Beryl confronts the shower Same shot, wider angle You can just make out our path on this Staring the descent
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Looking up to Boca do Risco Down the valley towards Machico Farming on terraces

This should have been the day for walking around Quemeidas but the weather wasn’t up to it. So we diverted to Larano near Porto Cruz (the east of the island) and walked from there. Whilst we started quite high there was a bit of climbing at the outset and then we had a wonderful view over Porto Cruz with Eagle Rock behind it. This is a spectacular sea cliff.

After a short spell along a levada we reached the coast proper and then walked for about 90 minutes on a superb path clinging to the side of a cliff. The weather was sunny by now and the coastline looked lovely in both directions. The path was climbing gently, sometimes bare, sometimes tree lines with one or two interesting outcrops to scramble across. There was even a shower to get through a water trinkled off one section of cliff. Very relaxing walking.

We then came to Boca do Risco, “the dangerous gap”. Actually it probably seems more dangerous coming in the other direction. It is a col forming the head of the coastal path and cutting through to a valley on the inland side. We stopped here for lunch; it was then that we discovered Windy Gap might have been a better name. I took a look up a side path which continued along the seaward side. It ended at an enormous cliff; all the walking books talk about the dangers of vertigo in Madeira – that spot was the nearest I came to feeling wobby.

We continued down the valley in the afternoon. Again this wasn’t a long walk – the guide said it would take less than an hour so I just pootled at the back, taking photos, trying to make it last longer. It’s a lovely valley down to the outskirts of Machico, full of the terraced agriculture which is so typical of Madeira.

Picking up the buses at the road it was down into Machico for a drink before returning to Funchal.


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