We spent our first visit to Funchal exploring with Ollie and Carlotta. It's a surprisingly lively place, particularly given the average age of the tourists (nearly all English and German)!
|Funchal and the harbour|
|Another windy day..|
|Walking the peninsula at the east end of Madeira|
Another day was spent driving around the island with Mark and Ginny, an American couple cruising on Mark's Rival 38 'Lone Rival', who kindly invited us to join them in their hire car. Ginny has her own 39-foot boat back home in Connecticut, and they've both done a serious amount of cruising. After working our way up steep roads in thick fog, the view from the Valley of the Nuns was virtually non-existent. We gave up on seeing anything at altitude and ended up having lunch at Camara do Lobos, a small fishing village where Churchill used to paint, before heading up to the top of the cliffs at Cabo Girao. The cable car wasn't running because of the wind, but the view down to the sea was vertigo-inducing enough! It was a treat to spend a day with such interesting and friendly people.
|Mark and Ginnie|
|Cabo Girao cliffs|
|Not really sailing weather.|
The forecast again wasn't playing ball, so we decided to spend a couple more days in Funchal, with a night in a hotel so that we could get out in the evening (and for some relative luxury!). We went up to Monte on the cable car and enjoyed a Madeira wine tasting tour at Blandy's. We've also got to know Christian, the professional skipper of a 70 foot Jongert, who invited us for a long pasta lunch in his enormous leather-clad saloon with another Frenchman Jean-Phillipe, who's cruising to the Canaries and the Azores.
The wind is howling through the marina again, and the pontoons are rocking with the surge as a depression goes through.
There's a glimpse of better weather ahead...we really need a change of scene now!
|We've spent far too much time here..|