With Dave and Sheena’s
arrival, we’ve been able to become real tourists for a couple of
days. We’ve learnt lots about this island; not least is that
the bus drivers are mad and the busses brakes must be very good! The
marina is at the East end of the island and although they provide minibus
services on a daily basis, to ensure you can get around, the busses need to be
tackled. They have a good service into Funchal; however we were led
astray about the journey time. “The Express” is about
40 minutes, the local about an hour’s journey – well, double that
(and also at double the speed limit)
Anyway our first trip only gave us and hour and a half in Funchal; so we struck
out for a second time yesterday, a wee bit earlier, and had a visit to the
Farmers’ market, a cable car trip (well we did miss ski-ing this year) and a wander around the Monte Palace Tropical
Garden where we spent a pleasant few hours. Although the wrong time of
year to see it at its best, there was still lots of flora strutting its stuff.
It began life in the 18th century, built by the then English consul
and was variously a hotel and government office before the Madeiran Joe Gold
got hold of it, digging lakes, creating fountains and pavilions and importing
tress and stuff from all over the world. Pictures below give a
flavour. The laundry done, we now prepare for today’s fiesta!
View from the marina
the local bus
Bathgate Gala day preparations?