Het Portugese eiland Madeira kreeg het vorig jaar bijzonder zwaar te verduren door hevige regenval en modderstromen. De schade is intussen hersteld en in het bloemenparadijs kan vandaag weer volop gewandeld worden.
Madeira heeft niet onmiddellijk de reputatie een bruisend oord te zijn. Het is een bloemeneiland, een plaats waar gepensioneerden graag overwinteren vanwege de milde temperaturen en waar wandelaars hun hart ophalen aan zoveel groen. Hier vind je geen zandstranden of hippe discotheken, maar botanische tuinen en eeuwenoude bossen.
Are you making plans to visit Madeira in 2011? Tip: add into your list one or more Nature Walk trips. Learn with the qualified Madeira guides about the Laurissilva, nature, flora, fauna, culture and history of the Green Pearl of the Atlantic Ocean.
When walking on Madeira … take a moment to contemplate the surroundings and you will discover a different Madeira … a Madeira that tells you a nostalgic story. This is the story that the Levada da Calheta tells you …
Madeira’s levadas have long been considered one of the world’s great walking pleasures. Covering more than 1,200 miles, these narrow waterways link the wetter north to the dry south, every yard mirrored by shaded paths. The big relief to me was that most of these routes remained intact.
My best guess is that around 10 per cent of paths are affected by fires. As for those dreadful February storms, Andrew Zino, who runs walks company Nature Meetings, told me: ‘Forget storm damage. Madeira hass made an amazing recovery.’
Every Wednesday, we offer the Levada walk from Ribeiro Frio to Portela.
It is a well known Levada walk, and due to its location, very popular for walkers. After a short visit to Madeira’s Trout Farm and knitting stalls entering we the Laurisilva Forest of Madeira (UNESCO World heritage since 1999, covering 149.5km2 of Madeira).
During the walk you see all the Laurisilva vegetation with beautiful views into the valley located on the North side of Madeira (Porto da Cruz), and if you look into the Levada you might even see “baby” Trout’s.
Other than its popularity, it is also the most dangerous walk.
By studying the walking guide books, this walk is classified as easy or medium (even the local authorities are given this walk a grade: 2). However, most casualties are taking place on this walk (from cuts, brushes to broken bones)!
Localizada no coração do Oceano Atlântico, a ilha da Madeira, com 57 km de comprimento e 23 km de largura, apresenta-se como a terapia ideal para todos aqueles que necessitam de recuperar do stress citadino, que ambicionam uma reconciliação com a natureza através de deslumbrantes caminhadas a pé e que pretendam usufruir de um serviço de qualidade exercido por profissionais exímios.
Atravessada por uma cordilheira montanhosa, cujo pico mais alto – Pico Ruivo – atinge os 1862 metros de altitude, a ilha da Madeira dispõe de um clima subtropical durante todo o ano que permite realizar passeios a pé ao longo das magnificas Levadas de água construídas desde o século XVI. As famosas levadas, que cruzam todo o comprimento e largura da Madeira, constituem engenhosos sistemas de irrigação compostos por cerca de 2000 km de canais e 50 km de túneis. Estas foram a forma encontrada para aproveitar a água que cai predominantemente a norte. Os ventos de nordeste empurram as nuvens contra as altas montanhas provocando na encosta norte precipitação que pode chegar aos 2 metros por ano.
Ao calcorrear estas obras primas de esforço humano, podemos contemplar uma das maiores relíquias da natureza qualificada pela UNESCO como Património Mundial : falamos naturalmente da Laurissilva onde encontramos o reduto de uma variedade de Flora única no mundo. Destaque-se as Laurássias, as Urzes Molares, Folhados, Pau Branco, Figueiras do Inferno entre muitas outras. Algumas destas plantas são endémicas pois não podem ser encontradas no seu estado selvagem noutro local do globo, outras são comuns apenas ás ilhas da Macaronésia – Madeira, Açores, Canárias e Cabo Verde.
Ein wunderbares Video Impressionen von der Insel Madeira (Teil 3). Im dritten Teil geht es um das Wasser auf der Insel Madeira. Bekannt sind die Wanderwege entlang der Levadas und vorbei an vielen Wasserfällen.
Gefilmt von Edgar Löhr mit 5D Mark II und editiert mit Premiere CS5.
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.
Five pathways closed. In less than a month, bad weather and landslides have forced the closure of five footpaths and levadas which are included in the official walking circuit of the serras of Madeira. The official ‘Turismo’ site alerts walkers to the closures and the Regional Director of Forestry acknowledges that the renovation of such extensively damaged areas will be expensive. Levada do Rei, Caldeirão Verde, Caminho Real da Encumeada, Levada da Fajã do Rodrigues and Caminho do Pináculo e Folhadal are the five closed footpaths. The worst affected is the Caminho Real da Encumeada, especially the section Boca da Corrida at Encumeada. Almost all the walking paths on the island have been damaged by the bad weather, the ones least affected are near the south coast and on Porto Santo. Before work can be undertaken, a survey will have to be carried out and a firm contracted.