Serenity of Swanwick
Phil and Sarah Tadd
Tue 20 Oct 2015 18:59
On the third day of car hire we drove out to explore the south coast first visiting Camara de Lobos, a fishing port beloved by Churchill, and apparently well known as a place to take afternoon tea. Then on to Cabo Girao which has a view point with glass platform 580m above the sea and is said to be the second highest cliff in the world. Here Phil had to hold Sarah’s hand before she would step gingerly onto the glass. We had been told before coming over from Porto Santo that Calheta had a nice marina and very cheap but that the pontoons had been removed for the winter. This was something we thought we ought to check out in case we wanted to spend longer around the area and yes about half of the pontoons had been removed. We could probably have found a space here if we had needed to but not guaranteed. Then on to the pretty village of Jardin do Mar, with its narrow tiled alleys and gardens. This whole area seems like a continuous market garden with planting in terraces taking up every available space, the roads down here in the south are also noticeably better, generally wider and smoother to drive on. On our way back to the Marina we tried to find Funchal’s tropical gardens but failed and we gave up when it hammered down with rain.
Tuesday. A day to do jobs and a walk out toward Pointe de Sao Lourenco about 6Km each way from the marina mostly on made up paths but also with narrow sections and steep drops, and some quite tough ascents. Anchored in Baia d’Abra way down below the walk was Troll a yacht from Estonia which we had last seen in Falmouth.
Wednesday. Today we bought an umbrella! Having caught the bus to Funchal, where it was pouring with rain, we went into the first shopping arcade and bought an umbrella deciding that we would spend to long sheltering and see nothing otherwise. We had a look at a couple of gardens which were nicely laid out and I can imagine would be delightful places to walk or sit in the sun. We followed the historic walk around town, including up a steep hill to a fort which was closed, and had lunch in a small bistro, ‘Brick of roast vegetables with Mozarella cheese wrapped in filo pastry’ served with a salad and chips, so filling that Phil didn't eat anything else all day and at 9.50 Euros each a bargain.
We are now trying to decide when to head south again. Opinions amongst the boat community vary between Thursday or Friday. Its about 300 miles to Lanzarote so three days if the wind is right, we’ll look at the forecasts and make a decision.
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