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Funchal Funchal
Stone Coast Stone Coast
Mexican Participant of Tall Ship Race Rope on Board

Funchal at Night

Backyard with Bananas

Levada dos Piornais

Levadas are water channels which run from high up in the rainy mountains to the dry southern valleys of the island. To allow maintenance, these channels usually have a side which is wide enough to walk on it. It turned out they could be used for hiking as well and are now (partially) being equipped with rails because they often run along serious drops. Levada dos Piornais is good for trying out if this kind of hike is for you. It starts right in the city of Funchal, where its all nice and flat. It starts having drops which are getting higher and higher. At first there is a rail, later there isn't. The trip ends at a locked iron gate which indicates that things are going to get worse beyond.

Banana Farm (Levada Covered) Drop with Rail...
...and Without Grapes

Pico Do Arieiro to Pico Ruivo

Hike from second highest to highest mountain and back. With 30km diameter, Madeira is rather small, but its highest mountain reaches up 1860m. The result being steep ascends and descends. The round trip distance between the two mountains is only 12km, but the change in elevation is 1km up and down. Virtually all of it is accomplished using stairs. This compares to climbing 300 floors. And no, I did not count the steps.

Coming from Pico Do Arieiro Scary Stairs...
...Stairs... ...Stairs...
...Stairs and Top of Pico Do Ruivo Looking Back from Pico Do Ruivo
Sebastian (Tue, 14 Oct 2008):
Interesting trip, because I was also thinking about going to Madeira this autumn (but changed the plan now). Where did you stay? Are there any hostels or did you had a fixed room in one of the tourist hotels at the coast?
Micha (Tue, 14 Oct 2008):
I stayed at a small hotel right in the old town of Funchal. The hotel itself wasn't really that great, but well situated. :)
(Staying in one place is not a problem because the island is quite small.)