Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Madeira, part nine, Ribero Frio (cont)

To continue from the last post. Well, now the levada builders really did have their ingenuity tested! The water had to get through this gap in the rocks.
I imagine they had to blast a bit out, but look what a good job they did, and covered it as well, so we could walk along it. How thoughtful!
Another tiny shrine to Fatima, done by the builders.
Glimpses, glimpses, but oh - WHAT glimpses! We want to be up there, and that is TOP of the list for next time.
Meanwhile, Sue's hair had dried, so it was time to dampen it down again ;-)
The look says it all.......I WISH..............
We stopped at a viewpoint, and guess what - more (or was it the same ones) birds that let you hand-feed them. I had the camera in one hand, and some bread in the other.
This was the view we stopped for.
I wonder why they didn't just go round the outside of this rock?? Only the levada builder would be able to tell us.
The path is quite slim here, and that drop to Sue's left is about 400 feet - sheer!
This is almost art, isn't it?

Penha d'Aguila - been there, done that, got the poncha.
The end of the levada - for now. The water was just flowing out and down the hillside. It seemed like waste, but what we didn't know was it was going to be directed into a reservoir quite soon.
A levada 'water house'.
THIS was what the new levada works were all about, they were digging out a reservoir. We had a broken English conversation with one of the workers who told us all about it.
However, the view on the other side of the ridge was MUCH better, and so we settled here for lunch.
Nice butties, Sue! I was definitely in favour, as I'd carted a couple of bottles of beer in my rucksack for us to have with our lunch.
Those clouds looked very ominous, and yet we got no rain all day, in fact it cleared up nicely later on.
There was a typical foresters house just below our picnic point. The gardens and lawns at these places are immaculate.
We saw more 'work in progress'. They were ripping up the old, small levada.
And replacing it with a new, larger and faster flowing one. This was a good example of how they made the smaller levadas. A bit finicky, but it works well.
The finished article.
A long-drop section. You don't see this very often. The drops are usually quite gentle.
This was at the far end of the walk. Here we were in Portella. It was mid-afternoon, so we went to the bus stop, only to realise the last bus was about an hour ago! So THAT'S why there were several taxis hanging around. Luckily, we met a Dutch couple in the same boat, so we decided to share a taxi to the bus station, which cost 15 euros. The driver offered to take us all the way to Funchal for another 15, but we decided not. The bus was MUCH cheaper, although it took longer (but we were in no rush).
Also, we would have probably got taken back to the hotel, and missed afternoon drinks at O Tapassol. CHEERS!
It was only drinks though, as we had a very special food night planned tonight.
See next post!.

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