Saturday, 27 March 2010

Following an empty Levada Norte

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Monday 16th November 2009 Jardin de Atlantico, Prezeres, Madeira, Portugal

Walk: 5hrs 52mins starting at 9.54
Low: 0m at 10.53
High: 637m at 15.04
Descent: 706m
Ascent: 695m

The weather didn't look to good this morning but after breakfast we decided to go anyway. It was windy but not actually raining. The walk was to be a circular one starting and finishing at the hotel.

The first hour was a very steep descent down to Paul de Mar on the beach. We had been led to believe that this path was very slippery but it was not as bad as we'd anticipated. We walked through the rather run down fishing village , though I sure it would have looked better in the sunshine. at the other end we joined a steep path which climbed up about as far as we'd come down initially. It was quite a long trudge up here and when we reached the road at the top we realised that this was where our driver had tried to persuade us to walk from yesterday.

We walked up a bit further to a small village and found a small cafe for a beer besids the church. from here it was a short climb to the Levada Norte which we were then to follow for the rest of the day. The levada itself was a bit of a disappointment as it had no water. It seemed to be broken though later on we came across sections that were being repaired.

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A levada walk without water is a sad thing. It was rank and full of litter and a few dead rats with rotting vegetation and sludge, reeking mud and more litter and filth. On the good side though the sun came out and the sky was blue. So we followed the trail as it wound it's way along the coast high above the sea until we reached the point where we had to leave the levada to descend to the hotel. At this place we came across a team of workers repairing and restoring the levada. They were hand-building wooden moulds to fill with concrete which was carried in wheel-barrows along the levada path.

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It was only a short 20 minutes down to the hotel where we had drinks on our terrace and a late picnic lunch. After hot baths we just lazed about all afternoon. In the evening I went for a short walk to see the sun going down. It was again a buffet dinner, but everything was different and very pleasant.

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