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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Hike Madeira via Levada do Norte to Cabo Girao 21 Oct 2012

Rother Walking Guide walk nr 2, also described in Sunflower Madeira guide as walk nr 6
Took the nr 96 bus from just outside Funchal Marina at 11.15 hrs on Sunday 21 October direction Camara de Lobos
got off the bus at 1200 hrs at the north side of Estreito de Camara de Lobos close to the Lavada do Norte, the same Levada that we had explored a few days ago but further east.
Map from Sunflower Madeira guide
Map from Rother Walking Guide walk nr 2
The covered Levada was at this stage alongside but higher than the road
 after a few meters came to a road crossing where the Levada dips under the road as a 'U"-tube, re-emerging at the same level as before the road crossing

 This is an area famous for its vineyards and the vines were overhanging the Levada for a considerable distance

 before emerging, still covered in open country

 View of the extensive vineyards - the vine leaves turning red/brown
 The Levada is now uncovered
more vineyards

 The path becomes too narrow and low underthe overhanging rock so we took the alternative lower path

 The Levada , and path, cross the head of the valley by small bridge
 and then continues on the opposite side of the valley

 View of Camara de Lobos

 there are many houses along the Levada - for many of them, the Levada path is their only access

 more road tunnels
 At this point, the Levada enters a tunnel

 we, however, do not enter the tunnel but continue alongside a smaller levada , direction Cabo Girao

Map from Rother Walking Guide walk nr 2
 Camara de Lobos
 Eventually we approach our objective - the viewpoint platform on top of the Girao cliffs, which at 580 meters above sea level, are amongst the hisghest cliffs in Europe
 The Cabo Girao viewpoint platform
 views from the viewpoint

 We now start the 580 meter steep descent to Camara de Lobos

 taking a break with a view
 the route becomes a combination of road and steep steps through the maize-like village of Rancho
 The exact route to follow was not completely obvious - we followed some local people through this road tunnel
 and emerged quite close to the centre of Camara de Lobos
 with views of the high cliffs
 and modern hotel complex
 finally entering the fishing village of Camara de Lobos

 walked through the many fishing boats which, due to the fact that the harbour is not very protected, are kept on the hard out of the water when not being used
Caught the bus (no number ) to Funchal at around 1630hrs and were back on Dutch Link by 1700hrs after a very pleasant hike.
Camara de Lobos was made famous because Sir Winston Churchill painted several paintings of the fishing port - on the hill overlooking the harbour there is a restaurant named after him.

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