November 06 – November 22, 2019; 2386 nm and 244 days after departure from La Rochelle
Why is it always so hard to get motivated to write after having visitors aboard? Maybe because we felt like being on holidays? Probably because we were so happy to have the kid around and just needed to get used to the fact that she’s gone again. Or perhaps just because I needed an excuse to be lazy… What ever it is – we had a wonderful time with little Jana.
The kid was in the mood to just relax and do more or less nothing. A little beaching including sunbathing, maybe some shopping (of course), a loooooot of reading and of course spending fabulous time with her awesome parents. 😁 (In return she brought us unbelievable delicious saucisson sec, paté, fromage and liquorice. Yammmmmeeeeeeeeee.)
We could provide almost everything but the beaching part. We had planned to sail back to Porto Santo to spent some time at the long beach and get our girl tanned. But in this case no luck as the wind and weather was not in favour for our plans. Heavy north easterly winds on the nose which would have taken us ages to tack against the wind to reach Porto Santo. Decision was easy made and resulted in staying the whole time in Funchal.
That again gave us a lot of time to travel more around the island, do some hikes, visit the boring whale museum,the beautiful botanical garden and some shopping.
We already experienced the different weather conditions in Madeira but it still was amazing for us to see the climate change within minutes. Sometimes going through a tunnel or driving up the mountains the temperature dropped from 22 degree to 14 or from cosy sunshine to damp mist or even clouds. And the feeling from “summer, snaky, sexy” changes to “autumn, fireplace and tea (or Glühwein)”.
We showed Jana the northern part of the island especially Porto Moniz with the natural pools and drove along the coastline northwest and then down to the southwest side of the island. With the strong north easterly winds and the swell/waves coming from northwest the pools in Porto Moniz were not swimmable anymore as they were most of the time flooded from the huge waves. It was spectacular to watch but would have been scary to swim in. Again the weather was rather uncomfortable in this area but by driving some km further south the sun was shining and summer was back.
Slowly returning to Funchal along the coastline of the south part we had by chance a perfect stop at Jardin do Mar- the surfers paradise in Madeira. El Capitano and me have been there before but we haven’t seen a single surfer. This time with Jana was completely different. Due to the weather conditions there were fantastic waves and therefore lots of surfers in action. Those in combination with the wonderful sunset gave us a perfect view on the scenery.
The small village of Fontes (a little north east of Ribeira Brava) is at around 1000 m altitude and was the starting point for our hike. After driving around for a couple of days we decided we needed some exercise. This trail sounded like a pleasant hike with reasonable ascents but no scary steep parts. Fortunately it held its promises.
Somehow we managed to walk it the “wrong” way round which didn’t really matter only that we had a very intense uphill walk which felt like it would never stop. Still we enjoyed our exercise day including the nice environment. The 10k did their job! We were pretty exhausted after returning to our starting point and were happy to have a little rest in the only bar/cafe/supermarket to support the business. 😁
Jana was desperate to have a swim in the Atlantic. The trouble was no beaches in Madeira. Horror! What to do? One can only find shores with stones but nothing like a proper seaside. Trying to be good parents we took little Jana to Machico. There was a men made beach not the prettiest one but at least a beach. We left Funchal in perfect sunny weather and were prepared with water, beach towels and books to enjoy a couple of hours beach feeling. We should have known it by now, but we didn’t think about it. The weather in Funchal is almost always nice and warm but not in other areas of Madeira! Of course by the time we reached Machico (passing a lot of tunnels) the weather has changed. It was very windy , the sun was hiding behind some clouds and it was chilly. Though we did try – but after 15 min courageously laying at the beach, freezing and getting covered in sand we gave up. El Capitano and best father ever had the great idea to drive to close by Quinta do Lore marina to enjoy the beach bar and have a delicious warm and inside almost melting brownie. One of Jana’s favourite deserts. Yeah, Yammi,Yippee, the girls were delighted!
Hahahaha, what an unsuccessful day. No beach, no brownies, no nothing. The bar was almost closed, we were lucky to get a hot tea. Only because we knew the nice waitress from our stay before. She told us they were closing the bar for winter time. When it started to rain she sheltered us in a little corner of her entrance area. (see pic). When tea was drunken we decided to drive back to Funchal to enjoy the rest of the day in nice, hot and sunny weather. Going back to the car we bumped into the couple of “Monte” who just arrived at the marina (who we met in Santo Porto) and we had a little chat with them. That was a nice surprise and as Funchal kept his promise in being toasty, the day turned out to be eventually nice.😊
We did much more, like visiting the very beautiful botanical garden, and -the three of us agreed- the boring whale museum in Caniçal. I mentioned it before, I know, but it was really very boring. Yawn. We visited some more villages and ” Miradouros” and also did a lot of nothing. Not necessary to mention the luxury of being able to talk as long as we liked, playing rummikub for ages and just enjoying the presence of Janina.
And, being in the centre of Funchal made it easy to just have a stroll through the city whenever we felt like it. A snack here, a coffee there, some shopping in between and in the evening a soccer game. Everybody was happy! Sometimes you don’t need more , do you?
Well, again, at first you can’t wait for the kids to come and then the time flies by just like this and one would love to slow it down.
It was Saturday the 16th of November when we had to take Jana back to the airport and wave good bye.
A short week later we were ready to leave Madeira. Altimate was filled up with a lot of provisioning and we were prepared for our next leg direction Canaries.