Thursday, 7 April 2011

Madeira 2011, part six Penha d'Aguila

This enticing lump has the name of Penha d'Aguila. We'd seen pictures of it, and drooled over it on Google Earth when we were at home. Now, it loomed very large before our eyes. How could you walk up that - it looked so steep! Paddy Dillon said we could, and we trusted his guide book.
We had the perfect day for it (maybe a little warm, but who's complaining??).

These flowers just looked SO lovely, like they were edible.
Just walking to the start of the climb was spectacular. These views were to our left as we walked along the quiet road. It was obvious from work in progress down there that the flooding had badly affected this valley too. They were shoring up huge banks of the river, which was now just a gentle stream, with big rocks etc.
The start of the walk proper, the path was quite well laid (but soon petered out). It was also used to access some agricultural terraces, but beyond them, it deteriorated sharply, (as we were to find out).
Here I am, getting 'stuck in' You can see the air, or bubble, pockets in the volcanic rock walls.
As we climbed, the views opened up. This village is called Faial. Again, see the garden of the house on the little peninsular the right - it goes RIGHT up to the cliff edge.
As I've mentioned before, Madeira has a lot of really beautiful houses. The thing is, they can be next to really run-down places. This one was a real palace.
Honestly, this was what was right next door - a virtual tin shack.
We soon left civilisation, and began to climb in earnest. Here's Sue, still smiling, despite the hard gradient. This was a very rare flat spot on the way up.
Looking down over Faial & the Southern coast.
Looking out to sea, some of the clouds were lovely.
A very happy man.
Sue tells me this is Mimosa. It was really flowering a lot up here. Sue absolutely LOVED it.
A large Mimosa tree.
There were lots of other plants to photograph too.
This bark was so pleasing to the eye, I took a picture. What a jig-saw THIS would make!
Come on Sue, not far to go now.........
Here's a really rare thing - a rock I refused to perch on for a picture! Apart from looking a bit loose..............
.......THIS was what was below if it DID break off!
That fence - not what you'd call 'health and safety', is it?

We were getting very close to the top now (and very hungry).
Time to press onwards, and upwards.........