Tuesday, 30 March 2010

A Meander into Manchico

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Thursday 19th November 2009, Manchico, Madeira, Portugal

Walk: 5hrs 23mins starting at 9.39
Low: 30m at 14.37
High: 304m at 14.23
Descent: 293m
Ascent: 136m

After a full breakfast our taxi arrived to take us to the trail head a couple of miles away. When we arrived there a coach load of German hikers where about to set off so we hived off to the cafe opposite to wait until they had disappeared into the distance.

This levada also has no water. That's disappointing. We pass three sets of workers fixing it up. Two of the crews are pouring concrete into the wooden moulds and the third team are actually making the moulds. We pass a couple of long sections where the work has already been completed.

The levada itself meanders lazily down the valley as is quite suburban when int his main valley. But it makes large detours, as it follows the contours, into long side valleys where the countryside is more green and where small farms and allotments are. Many of the small-holdings seem to have been abandoned however.

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The weather is not great today and dark grey clouds follow us ominously all day. When we sit outside a cafe for a while it does start to rain but it doesn't persist for very long.

When the levada eventually reaches the town we leave it and climb up the road to a viewpoint at the Pico de Fado. The views out across the sea to the smaller islands is wonderful. After a brief rest we follow a small, steep and overgrown path into the town. from here it's a small walk up to our hotel. Though it's not as glamorous as our previous two hotels it's fine and the lady is very friendly.

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In the late afternoon we take a walk into town and stroll along the beach front and the small harbour. I call home to find out the latest news on my Father. Everyone is resigned to the fact that he will be taken off the medications and will probably not survive the night. He hasn't regained consciousness all week.