An out of season tour of Porto Santo

Mystic of Holyhead (successor to Lynn Rival)
Rachel and Paul Chandler
Thu 29 Nov 2012 17:23
After getting here we spent a couple of days recovering from the passage, sitting out some stormy weather and - though quite comfortable in our berth - feeling a bit concerned about the variable and gusty wind conditions.

On Tuesday the weather forecast was better and we were ready for some sight-seeing.  We set off on foot towards the main town, Vila Baleira, about a mile away.

To reach the sandy beach we had to negotiate volcanic material and pebbles

After a short break in town we continued along the beach, lured by the promise of a good a seafood lunch at the other end.

Looking back.  We didn't cheat: the footprints are ours, not the tyre marks

The beach was almost deserted and when we got to the restaurant it was closed.  Hungry and thirsty we headed back down the road, looking for something, anything, where we might get a bite.

Empty streets, closed hotels and restaurants, not a soul about

We'd already walked about 7 miles up the beach and after walking another 3 we found a holiday apartment block that was open and a receptionist who kindly phoned for a taxi to take us back into town.  We had a late lunch and popped into the supermarket, which was surprisingly well stocked even though the ferry from Madeira had been cancelled for several days due to the bad weather.

On Wednesday we hired bicycles and set off to explore the north of the island.  Again we seemed to be the only people around and everything was shut.  Learning from our experience we had taken the precaution of bringing water and biscuits to keep us going.

Luckily the landscape has no closed season.  The road circles around the highest hill (Pico da Facha) and has some stunning views  of the west and north coasts.  We laid down the rotating footrest machines and took to our feet again, managing to climb a hundred metres or so to a good view point before Paul ran out of steam.

If anybody nicks those bikes we're well stuffed! (The view southwards. . . .)

A A it's a little brighter to the west. . .

while to the north-east - it doesn't look like Force 7 out there, but it's jolly hard to stay upright

Phew - another climb nearly done - let's stop for a photo op.  A village.

that's the eastern tip - surely it's downhill from here . . .

Well, no, we still had to go up a bit higher, to make sure Lynn Rival was OK - she looks fine from up here

And that's yesterday's walk - yes, right to the end!