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Date: 16 Oct 2013 12:15:46
Title: Madeira's still nice.

Very enjoyable couple of days visiting other parts of Madeira. Yesterday we drove into Funchal, a very busy city centre, the type I normally want to avoid. Had couple hours on parking meter to amuse ourselves. Visited coffee shop for coffee and Madeira cake (a tasty gooey cake - not the 'orrible-looking sticky brown rock type. OK what we had might not have been the real McCoy - very nice though! Then we walked past a lorra shops and finally into the fish & veg market. In the veg part we were invited to taste lots of different flavours of passion fruits, as well bread fruits & mango's. Silly buggers we are, agreed to buying 'an assortment'. Yes it was a fairly big bag, which went on the weighing scales as Sue put her hand forward, offering a €10 note as payment. No chance! €59 was the price for our passion fruit folly. We did have very good tasting session and could easily have felt 'passioned' out at the point of sale. Nevertheless, like meek and mild people we are I said "Just pay, we'll know what to expect next time!" We had a late supper yesterday evening, followed by couple of different passion fruits. They are very good indeed and we are not sorry to have paid so much this one time.
The drive back was more than interesting. The local farming is almost all done on terraced hillsides, small'ish plots. Many hills are nearly too steep for even first gear and our little 1200cc Cleo struggled on some of them. Winding, narrow, cliff side roads turned into single-pass tunnels in places and many of the tunnels are steep uphill and steep downhill. One or two blind bends on the brow of an incline was not for the faint-hearted. An excellent and thoroughly enjoyable 3 days here ashore on Madiera. All good things come to an end though. So we're now fully-paid-up checked-out of Quinta da Lorde Marina, washing done and nearly dry! Water tanks full, batteries full and almost ready to slip lines for our next passage. A relatively short passage to Baia de Abra, where we spent couple nights before entering here. We will be on hook for tonight and underway early in morning heading towards Ilhas Selvagens, approx 160NM S of here. We have obtained permit to visit Ilhas Selvagens, nature reserves belonging to Portugal, where we should get to appreciate the local bird life and swap stories. The other reason we're heading that way tomorrow is because there is a couple of nasty 'Lows' to the NW of us, which are likely to kick-up some un-tasty SW'ly winds here abouts by Friday, as well early next week. We don't welcome SW'ly winds, which funny enough, should pass to N of us, as we make way S. Yeah............. good plan eh!
Bye bye for now. Love to S,F,T&S xxxxxxx

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