On holiday in my island, I have planned for some time now a weekend tour in the magnificent scenery that Madeira has to offer to those who have never visited or who live in it but have forgotten why it is considered the pearl of the Atlantic.
Only one rule governed this trip: try not to use the highway and, if possible, go by the old routes, the more curvy the better!
For those who don't have a deep knowledge of the island this is it:
We started in "Funchal", at 11am on Saturday. First stop was "Cabo Girão" and it starts badly: a message appears saying that the XM receiver of my GPS is not compatible.
I concluded that the said receiver is not waterproof and as a downpour had caught me the day before, he was frying. Solved the problem (I ordered one cable without the receiver), we headed towards "Ribeira Brava", Cabo Girão was as full of fog so I didn't take any pictures.
Having reached the sightseeing of Ribeira Brava, you can see here the two mnotorcycles that were part of this trip most of the route (for a few miles we were joined by a gtr1400) a T-Max 500 from 2001 and a 2010 Versys, two very different generations, two distinct concepts but that provided a smooth ride without any problems.
In the old path to the Ponta do Sol, we found this gem. I think the images clearly show the smile that was left on our face.
After this treat, we stopped at "Jardim do Mar", with several miles of curvy, attractive and surprisingly well-kept roads
The ascend from "Jardim do Mar", to "Ponta do Pargo" was simply wonderful!
In this next picture you can see the curve where I got the above photo (bottom right) and the road through a tunnel (left side, more or less in the middle)
Next destination: "Ponta do Pargo", the most Western point of Madeira, well known for its windy climate . I did catch one or two scares with the switching lanes due to the strong side winds.
From here we continued to "Porto Moniz" by a simply delicious road! I was sorry not to take any pictures but I was so focused on driving that when I thought about it, the road had ended.It was only curves with tar preserved and surrounded by trees, hydrangeas and Agapanthus (for those who do not know what they are, here's) gave a wonderful color to a very different road.
Here we paused for lunch. The journey so far is as follows:
After refueling the drivers, it was time to climb up the mountain, another road with magnificent landscapes! I stopped too many times, just to take photos or enjoy the view. Up, in "Rabaçal", I was completely in love with the scenery and started to understand the success that this island is for tourists.
And so we ended the first day going through a VERY winding descent that made me feel like going back the same road, but upwards! It should be a joy ...
In sum, many curves, 153 kilometres , starting at 11 am and coming home at night by 20h.In a very moderate pace, discovering what Madeira has to offer!