October 27 – November 06, 2019; 2386 nm and 229 days after departure from La Rochelle
Great news! Jana will visit us again. Yippeeeeee.🙃 She found her first job and as she still has some time left before she starts, she decided to jump in a plane to see us. Of course we were super excited about the news and almost couldn’t wait to welcome and embrace our little girl again.
The time in Porto Santo flew by. I don’t know what it was, but we met so many nice people within a few days, that it made the stay like being on holidays in a club.😂 BBQ here, invitation there, enjoying the marina bar. All the events with nice food, talks and drinks. And very important and definitely not to forget, everyday a refreshing swim in the clear blue water.
For us it was the first time of real sailor life feeling regarding gathering together (at least how we always thought it would be in slightly remote places).
Addy the dutch guy organised a bbq at the marina dry area. He invited everybody including us and asked as well to invite everybody we talked to. Our first potluck! Amazing how many people turned up. Dutch, German, British, Canadian, US, French and probably more nationalities . I guessed around 50 people and this in such a small marina/anchorage. Everybody brought something to eat and/or drink so there was more than enough food and beverages. Awesome! The French naturally brought the finest food and wine but they also kept a bit to themselves like they unfortunately always tend to do. It’s a pity as they’re such nice people but somehow they don’t like to talk in English. As always after a couple of beer somehow my conversation in french magically gets better and better. 😁 Finding the french group to admire their food, I was eager to understand why they are so shy? The answers were not very convincing to me. I understood that they feel uncomfortable with their English skills. That their English is not perfect, but whose is??? Please dear French people if you read this: stop worrying, relax, have a drink (or more) and start talking!
As we knew Porto Santo already pretty well regarding the basic necessities like food, laundry etc as well as the main attractions we could enjoy the island in a different way. Talking to so many sailors who spent already weeks here made us interested in some hikes. So, the day after the bbq we put on our walking shoes and went up to the little church “Capela de Nossa Senhora da Graça” close to Portela. Here was the start of the marked path to the village of Camacha.
It was an easy hike (no steep, scary, narrow paths) where even I could enjoy the walk and the view. We followed the path which meandered through some prickly cactus fields and around Pico do Castelo until we finally reached the village. Walking almost to the other side of the island made our legs tired and our stomachs hungry. Conclusion : we deserved a break. Our stop was at a sweet cafe/restaurant were we had a nice lunch with an amazingly delicious passionfruit juice (its in the upper pic).
On our way back we passed by the airport. It is really a funny feeling walking next to the runway. Porto Santo is so small that the runway crosses the whole island. It is no big deal as there are only a few departures and landings with little planes a day, but still I imagine walking next to Düsseldorf airport runway…OMG
After some lazy days, finally painting our logo on to the marina wall, invitations from the crew of Lady Charlyette and chats at the bar we decided to have a little gathering on Altimate. El Capitano removed the wheel to have more space in the cockpit. I was happy to finally have a reason to decorate Altimate with some lights and we both prepared some snacks for our guests. It turned out our cockpit is surprisingly big. We were 9 people and could easily seat all. Next time we can invite more. 💪 No need to mention that it was another nice evening.😉
On our last day we still wanted to do another walk through a tunnel to the other side of a mountain. Who ever told us, mentioned that it was necessary to wear waterproof shoes or at least shoes and clothes witch can get dirty and to bring lights. That sounded interesting! Already on our way to the tunnel we met Andrea and Gerhard from “Monte”. They were on their way back to the boat from buying groceries. We told them our plan and they decided to join us. Said and done. We agreed to meet close to the tunnel as they were with the bikes and needed first to get their groceries to the boat. Us walking slowly and them hurrying up with their bikes we almost reached the meeting point at the same time.
What a good advice to take lights. Ok it should be obvious to take some in a tunnel, but we didn’t expect the tunnel that long. It was 700 meters and pitch dark! It was wet, slippery and a bit scary. Poor Norbert and also Gerhard needed to bend their heads the whole time. Even I couldn’t stand up everywhere. We were all happy when we finally reached the end and could see daylight again. As nobody wanted to go back we had to find our way to … somewhere. There was a sign leading to Camacha but there was no path to see. Not knowing what else to do we walked up hill hoping to find eventually a track. Not my favourite thing to do!
Anyhow with a little zigzag walk and climbing little rocks we kind of found something which looked like a path. So we followed. Actually it was a nice walk – a bit similar to the one we did before, with prickly cactus- only that this time it was steep and slippery and I was highly scared. Thanks to Andrea who kept talking and distracting me I managed myself through the dangerous and deadly high narrow mountain paths. (Without them I probably would have blamed poor Norbert the whole time for making me walk such an inhuman hike and would not have stopped complaining.)
As soon as I realised that the walk was human again I was in a highly good mood. Even more when I realised that our way back was going to be the one we did before the other day- the easy one. As at the end of the tunnel promised the hike leaded us as well to Camacha. Knowing that there is a good restaurant, we felt like locals and could show off a little. Again we had a nice long break with great food, drinks and this time as well good company. The way back was relaxing and entertaining with the two of them. We enjoyed their company very much. Thank you!
Only two days to go until Jana was arriving. It was time to sail back to Madeira. This time we got a berth in Funchal. Yeah, back living in the middle of a town!