Today, we have a free day.. so I set off with a few newly made friends to the tropical gardens at Monte.
We walked for about 1 mile along the sea front to the terminal for the cable car up to Monte.. this took about 15 minutes to rise from sea level to just under about 9,000 feet... gulp...... and the views were staggering.
As you arrive the entrance to the tropical gardens is immediately there.. so off we went.
I don't think there's much more I can say except the gardens were beautiful.. and if any reader of my blog visits Madeira, I would say if you love gardens or enjoy beauty, then this is a "must visit"..
seen walking along the sea front
and then we began our ascent! - all pictures taken through the windows of the cable car cab!
and we reach our destination and have the most amazing wander through the tropical gardens!
Ready for Christmas!
The one and only Robin of the holiday!
A chaffinch in the cafe where we had coffee
I don't approve of caged birds, but if any birds are caged then these little beauties had an enormous aviary with plenty of roosting/nesting boxes and a very large area in which to be.
and as if my magic, a free wandering cockerel!
Amazing collection of minerals..
and then, sadly, time to descend. The rain clouds gathered and we left in rain
It seemed to have stopped as we descended but by the time I started my 1/2 walk back to the hotel the rain started in earnest!!! I stopped for a coffee and then, decided, given the rain was now coming down in stair rods, I would get a taxi back to the hotel.
So tomorrow morning I head back to Funchal airport for the return trip..there's only been 1 day this week when the winds prevented planes taking off.. fingers crossed for tomorrow midday!!
I have fallen in love with Madeira. It's a place of great contrasts, both in terms of topography, climate, weather conditions and beauty. I certainly intend to return - hopefully in Spring time - to tis magical island that is so beautiful and dramatic!
And in closing, I would like to thatnk Roberto, our guide, a native of Madeira. He was so informative and educational. I learnt so much... in the unlikely event he ever discovers my blog...then.. a heartfelt thank you Roberto!!
and tomorrow.. back to the UK.. and, I'm led to believer (thanks for the heads up Pete) to temperatures of about 4 degrees C.. Apparently it's been snowing in Brighton!!
4 hours ago