Wednesday, 24 March 2010

On the Levada de Janeiros

Friday 13th November 2009, Porto Moniz, Madeira, Portuga;

Walk: 4hrs 54mins starting at 9.38
Low: 18m at 14.44
High: 406m at 13.37
Descent: 392m
Ascent: 28m

After breakfast we checkout and are driven over the top of Madeira to Lancuros and the Levada de Janeiros. We stop on the way to take some photographs and drive along the E/W watershed with the ocena to the north and south. The weather is again warm though along the way we drive up into the cloud before coming down into the sunshine again.


Today's walk is a there and back affair which is a bit disappointing. Apparently you can walk further up the levada if you are prepared to pass through a sequence of tunnels. Unfortunately though access at the other end is very difficult so a round trip is not really practicable. It takes us about an hour and 40 minutes to reach the first tunnel at which point we turn back. The route climbs very gently and follows the meandering levada all the way.

We are walking high above the Janeiros river in a tight gorge. We can see down to the ocean behind us and up into the valley the other way. The light dapples through a Eucalyptus wood at first before occasionally disappearing into dark shaded side-valleys where the ferns and bryophytes grow thickly.


On the way back we pass several groups of walkers. Later we stop at a convenient picnic table for lunch. We are joined by a group of chattering Chaffinches. When we get to where we started we find a small cafe for a relaxing beer before starting our descent down to Porto Moniz. This takes about an hour down a very steep and painful on the knees concrete road.


We find our hotel and check-in and are aghast to find that our luggage has been left in an unattended foyer all day. Not good. But nothing is missing. We relax at the hotel and take advantage of the Jacuzzi bath before having a wander around town. Later we have a rather heavy pizza for dinner. This is a very quiet place.

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