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Sunday, August 8, 2010

Madeira Hike Pico Grande 1 August 2010

I (Mike) caught the 0710 hrs bus 96 from just outside marina here in Funchal to Jardim da Serra then walked 3 kms up a steep road to the carpark at Boca Corrida.

From here one is rewarded by a superb view of the sounding mountains and the village of Curral das Freiras nestled 600 meters lower in the valley below.

Unfortunately, Pico Grande, the objective of the hike was covered in cloud and cloud could be seen pouring over the ridges into the C d Feiras valley

Click on bottom left arrow to start video clip

Also there was a tape stretched across the path and a notice in several languages warning hikes not proceed any further - all in all not a very encouraging start.

However, having slaved for an hour up a somewhat boring road and with the local weather being fine, decided to continue and find out why the path had been closed.

About a half hour later found that the only problem was two small landslides which had damaged part of the trail. In weather this could have been treacherous, but everything was dry and it seemed stable enough to continue.


As Pico Grande was approached, the cloud started to lift and so decided to hike to the top of the 1654 metre peak from which had great panoramic views.

Part of the path scrambles over steep rock but is well protected with a fixed steel cable.

The trail then descends steeply at times to Cural das Freiras often through Chestnut tree woods.

On the way down, my knee started to be painful - have not been able to walk without pain for the following week - I think a common problem here in beautiful, mountainous Madeira.

Caught the 81 bus back to Funchal.

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