Azores & Madeira: Portugal's Unspoiled Archipelagos

Day 12 - Friday, April 21, 2023 - Levada Walk; Visit Local Rum Factory

No one was eating on the patio for breakfast this morning because of the cool weather. There was a light rain as we left the hotel at 9:00. We brought our rain gear and plastic shower caps for our cameras, just in case it did not clear up.

The fog was heavier and it was raining very hard as we climbed the narrow streets of the villages above Funchal. Carlos had to described the views below as the fog was so heavy and the rain was coming down in torrents. Not only was it foggy outside, but also the inside of the windows were covered with condensation. Nothing to see here…

At 6,113 feet we were almost above the clouds. There was a small coffee shop and gift shop and place to use the rest rooms. Because of the rain, we were not able to see the overlook of the valley below. But as we came back down, the sun peeked through the fog and Carlos stopped for a few photos.

According to Vic’s Kestrel the temperature was 52, the humidity was 99%, and the wind speed was 12 mph. We stopped at Ribeiro Frio for better restrooms. At John’s Poncha, Henrique bought everyone a drink of poncha, or a coffee with Madeira wine called a Cortado, or a bottle of maracuja, passion fruit juice.

We started our hour’s walk and followed the levada, the irrigation channel built in the 16th century. Still used today, the water system brings clean fresh water to Funchal. Even though there was still a light drizzle, it was a very pleasant walk under the forest canopy. The mosses, lichens, and ferns were lush and green.

Our included lunch was at the Quinto do Furao complex, a lovely restaurant, event center, and winery. After lunch we went into the underground wine cellar for a taste of three different ages of Madeira wine.

Carlos explained that the traditional A-frame thatched roof homes are almost all gone. However, he knew a man who inherited his father’s three generation authentic home. The older gentleman welcomed us with a glass of wine and was very cordial.

Our last stop of the day was at Porto da Cruz. We visited one of the oldest rum factories in the island. Madeira has a long history of rum production, lots of sugar cane grows on this island.

Our drive back to the hotel was much sunnier but we could still see the dark clouds in the mountains above the city. We had an hour to get ready for our Farewell Dinner at 6:45. We started packing because we have a very early flight on our journey home tomorrow.

Accommodations: Castanheiro Boutique Hotel - - - Meal: B, L, & D

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Azores & Madeira: Portugal's Unspoiled Archipelagos
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I've loved following along on your trip. Madeira looked beautiful. I can't wait to visit.

Mary Kerstein   April 24, 2023 - 2:47pm

Despite the weather, it sounds like a full day and some beautiful scenery. I always enjoy tasting local foods and drinks and you had a few today! I look forward to seeing Madeira next January! Hope you arrived home safely! Thanks for sharing your trip.

Carol Larson   April 24, 2023 - 7:22am

Thanks for the memories and getting me through the Lisbon airport in time for our flight. It was great traveling with you.

Josie   April 24, 2023 - 4:18am

You’ve had quite the adventure! I’m sorry your last day was so foggy and rainy. I hope you have an uneventful trip home.

Susan Phillips   April 24, 2023 - 2:28am

Your trip has been amazing to follow. Thanks for sharing. I hope you have a safe and comfortable trip home. (I hope you bring some of the various rum home for us to sample.)

Anonymous Kyle   April 24, 2023 - 2:09am
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Our Minibus

Our Minibus

Clouds Above the Valleys

Clouds Above the Valleys

Levada, Irrigation Channels

Levada, Irrigation Channels

Authentic Madeiran Home

Authentic Madeiran Home

Rum Factory

Rum Factory

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Day 13: Azores & Madeira: Portugal's Unspoiled Archipelagos

Day 13 - Saturday, April 22, 2022 - Depart for U.S.

The hotel prepared a box breakfast for us as we had to be in the lobby way before the breakfast room was open.

Last night we found out that our departure flight back to...

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