Quinta do Lorde
Marina, Madeira: 33:03.594N 016:19.332W
12 October 2010, 1330 hrs
Having sailed non-stop for the last 450 miles it was a
bit of an anti-climax to wake this morning and find the wind had died, so our
last 30 mile trip to our destination in Madeira was under
motor apart from the last half hour. We were greeted by the marina staff at the
Quinta do Lorde Marina with great efficiency and courtesy.
Once tied up, and having completed our mission of
arriving in Madeira, we celebrated with a couple of
strong “anchor nips” followed by an excellent lunch at the marina restaurant
with one, oh why not, two bottles of wine. Given that I had had only four hours
of sleep the night before, when Nicolas, one of the rally organisers, caught up
with me and suggested we went through all the paperwork, I was all but
unconscious. One of the great things about rallies, apparently, is that you are
given free Rallye T-shirts. I now have eight of them, ranging in size from Tiny
(that’s yours Venetia) to Enormous (Colin, of course).
The marina is, seemingly, surrounded by an entire village
community of streets, houses, apartment buildings – even a church, stretching up
the steep hill behind. But on closer inspection it is, as yet, a charade. This
new development is under construction and the only bits completed are on the
harbour front itself – a bit like a Hollywood film set.
Whilst I was checking in, Adrian
wandered into the sales office for the development and was staggered to find the
asking price for a one bedroom apartment was €400,000 – as expensive as central
London. Yet the development is at
the tip of Madeira, 45 minutes by road from the capital
Funchal, and has little to offer in the way of beaches or any other amenities.
Not surprisingly he found that only a tiny proportion of the properties had so
far found buyers. I wish the investors luck.
Most of the other rally participants had arrived some
days ago and few were around to meet, but Lawrence and I have signed up for a
tour tomorrow visiting the fabled Botanical Gardens, lunch in Funchal and a
visit to a Madeiran winery to sample the world famous export of the island,
during which I hope to become acquainted with some of my fellow-rallyists and
constant companions over the next three months.