Madeira is well known for its walking facilities, and we noticed that more and more visitors to Madeira are walking on their own by using various information they find in books. Unfortunately, books are published in large quantities and are not regular updated with changes due to landslides and maintenance issues. Secondly, these books are translated from 1 standard language. This is causing serious problems on Madeira. Continue reading “Self Guided walks”
Saturday: Traditional Trails (Full Day)
Nature Meetings invites you to step back in time, when people and goods were transported by sea from the several small harbors around the island, before the existing road infrastructure.
Approximately 100 years ago, the farmers created a footpath along the North coast that was the only way for them to transport their local products to a small “handcrafted” harbor at Ponta de São Jorge (Ponta do Clérigo).
Our journey starts at “Ribeiro Funda” (469m), walking from Madeira’s famous Laurissilva Forest to the habitat of exotic plants along the coast.
After descending 300 meters, we arrive at Madeira’s hidden spot, the secret viewpoint of: Lapa Negra (reachable only on foot).
The torrential rain on Madeira caused floods and mudslides on several locations on the Island on the 20th of February. However with the impressive effort from the entire Madeirense population and international help, Madeira returned to be again an attractive travel destination.
The airport, that was not affected except it was closed on the day of the floods, is fully operational and all the main roads are now open to the public. Unfortunately there are still some locations that are isolated (Tabua, Serra da Agua and Encumeada), therefore we advice everyone to make first inquiries before traveling towards these areas.
Many footpaths on Madeira had problems with fallen trees and landslides; however the majority of these walks are now repaired and accessible to the public.
Nature Meetings daily walking program is now fully operational, with the exception of the full day walk on Sunday: “Slopes and Valleys of Calheta” and Wednesday: “Laurisilva Landscapes”. The Full day walk on Sunday has been removed from our program and we only offer our half day Levada walk: “Amazing Vistas”. The full day Levada walk on Wednesday is replaced with a Laurisilva Levada walk from Santo da Serra to Portela (this is temporarily, as the original walk from Ribeiro Frio to Portela should be open in May 2010).
We advice all walkers on Madeira prepare themselves for the walk they intent to do, as there can be obstacles on the walking paths, and be aware that it can be slippery as it requires some time to dry out.
In particular, it is crucial that people don’t do a Levada walk on their own!! There might be unexpected situations that can result in a premature end of your holiday her on Madeira. Therefore we (including the authorities on Madeira) strongly suggest to make use of the services of a walk guide through the various qualified walking organization.
To various people we asked the following question: “What are the advantages of a guided tour in comparison with D.I.Y. tour?”. Here a the responses …
“Part of the fun to know Madeira with a knowledgeable guide is to socialize with the local culture, habits and ideas that only a local guide is able to share with you right away from the beginning. You have to keep in mind that a local guide shall cover the several aspects of a big diversity of themes that may take you a lot of time to gather from the different sources available now days.
The great difference between a guided tour and a D.I.Y. is the fact of sharing information, opinions and emotions with a caring person that might at any time change your views about what you have established already as a conclusion.”
More to come. If you want to contribute also, please send us your opinion.