Hello Catamaran?

You know you’ve stayed too long when you are walking along the street and a man says “Hello, Catamaran? Bus tour?…Oh! It’s YOU!” and then proceeds to apologise for trying to sell you a catamaran tour. This particular man we have passed many times on the way to and from the boat so we have got to know each other by sight.

So as you have gathered we are in Madeira still but we are very much hoping to leave tomorrow and travel to the Canaries so long as the forecast we had the other day is still relevant. We will have to go and get internet from Macdonalds in a while to get our latest forecast and try and send a few emails as terrific rainfall here yesterday has led to no internet or water supplies, including flushing loos or showers. Thankfully, having learnt from previous trips where we left everything to the last minute, and got very stressed, we had the foresight to fill our tanks and containers up a few days ago 🙂

Amazing amounts of rain- this is usually a trickle

In the ten or so days since I last posted a number of exciting things have happened. We have finally had a taste of Madeira wine along with a tour at Old Blandy’s Wine Lodge. They had some pretty huge barrels of wine stored, one of which can be bought for five hundred euros per bottle…ouch.

Madeira wine

Pete and Caroline wine tasting

Chris has perfected his bolo bread recipe and can now produce bread much like that of the bolo stall just outside the marina. Recipe to follow.

Chris proudly presents his bolo bread

We were also very cultured and went to one of the free concerts in a series celebrating the Madeira Organ Festival, which was started after they’d renovated quite a few in various churches. It’s the first concert I’ve been to where the performer is behind you and broadcast onto a TV screen in front.
The strangest thing happened the other week. We had just had a picnic in the park and had been discussing who the most surprising person we could meet randomly. This didn’t seem an odd question as Chris had met someone from work in Gibraltar. On the way back we were met by Emma from Chris’ church (and our housegroup for a short time) and her grandma. It was great to see someone from home. We met up a couple of times which was good and she and her grandfather got the boat tour. We hope you had a good journey back Emma, thanks for walking that way down the street at the same time as us!

Emma and Stan visit – time for guest biscuits

One quite famous thing to do on Madeira is to take a basket sledge down from Monte to another small town. We decided to give it a go in a three person sledge. The sledges have no wheels and are controlled by two sledgleteers who push you down the hill and control the basket using a rope and some heavily soled shoes for brakes. Though not the fastest ride in the world it was novel to travel this way. Now we know what the goods that used to be transported that way felt like.

Basket travel

We have done a bit more walking too including a walk on the north coast from Canical to Porto Cruz. It was probably the scariest coastal walk we’ve ever done with ledges and sheer drops to look down on. Actually it was more exciting than scary really and well worth having done despite having to take a rather large uphill detour where they were repairing a landslide along one of the roads.

I’m not sure I trust that hand hold, it looks a bit rusty

Passing terraced farm land – Canical to Porto Cruz

Pete and Chris near Porto Cruz

I am both excited to get to the Canaries (whichever one we end up in) and a bit nervous again. Sailing is a bit of a mental game as well as getting everything ready and looking at forecasts etc there are the inevitable “what ifs” to contend with before leaving. We have been in port for quite a few weeks now so have got used being in the almost flat calm of the marina so “what if I get ill” is particularly relevant here. I know we’re as prepared as we can be so we’ll just have to see how we do. It’s also difficult to know which Canary we will head for so I think the plan is to go out to sea and see which angle feels OK to head for. Luckily we have quite a few options for that.

4 Responses to “Hello Catamaran?”

  1. James & Laura Says:

    Hi everyone

    Glad to know you’re all doing ok – we enjoyed the video diary (although Laura’s unconvinced about the tinned turkey…), thanks for making it. Dolphins looked cool as did the sea. I have to say I skipped the photo with the whole cliff/path/rope thing as my hands immediately went a bit clammy. Still not keen on heights! Good luck with the Canaries passage – presumably you might even have left by now.

    All the best

    James & Laura

    • maidofmettle Says:

      “I have to say I skipped the photo with the whole cliff/path/rope thing as my hands immediately went a bit clammy.”n
      Lol! 🙂 Yes we made it to the Canaries! Tenerife! Glad you liked the video.

  2. Let us know what island you’ve ended up in!! Hope you’re on your way and the trip is going okay!

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