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Thursday, 14 March 2019

Mooching round Madeira...


We were lucky jetting away at the time we did though Storm Freya interrupted our departure - a little.  In the week that followed, while Yorkshire was shivering under snow and gale force winds, we were running, walking and swimming in 70º of glorious sunshine 2,000 miles south in beautiful Madeira.
Here are a few pictures.
Our runs were mainly pre-breakfast, this one into Funchal and back
(Click to enlarge pictures)
Along the harbour side, past all the cruise ships at sunrise
..with early morning sail boarders..
.. past the statue of Christiano Ronaldo 
. over the bridge at the forbidden Baranca with its colourful shrubs

 ..back to the towering Allegro Hotel for breakfast

On a walk along the coast on a breezzy day
It was a bad hair day (sorry!)

Gulls squabbling over a piece of bread
Rough sea round this lido

Then some welcome sunshine
A happy 160 year old couple
 Derby and Joan relaxing.  Not us, relaxing is not allowed!
 
The Santa Maria , from which I once jumped overboard to swim in the Atlantic.
The boat owner dived from the crow's nest.

We swam a little this time too - but in the pool
Had to protect my vulnerable eyes
Then lunch on our balcony
Caught a bus to Monte to suss out start of the Levada dos Tornos intending to run it next day, 
but things didn't quite work out like that...
I wasn't allowed to retreat in one of these...
especially with a perishing phone in my hand

..or one of these...
...but once we'd located the Levada finished up walking the whole 10 miles to Camacha sans food, sans drink!  (and we'd already run 4 miles in the morning)
passing this cat on a hot tin roof
...and a hot dog asleep in the road
before we got a bit lost and had some scrambling to do to bypass a tunnel because we'd no torch
Don't step back, for goodness sake
Mimosa I'm told, though didn't care cos' I was knackered and glad the walk was over!
 Relaxing next day at Botanical Gardens - Orchid grafted onto tree

One of the many lizards enjoying the heat
While frogs cooled off in a pond making a hell of a noise to disturb our coffee break
Views down were spectacular, at roads on stilts and boring through mountains
A closer look at this marvel of engineering
built without Telford or Brunel
Bird of Paradise flowers, as everyone knows
and wonderful bougainvillea

Start of a run from Baia d'Abra to Ponta de sao Lourenco
Let's go...
Along the undulating trail
Ger' after 'em
Coastal scenery - blue sea and blue sky
Tea room at 2 miles
Happy couple at the turning point, Ponta de sao Lourenco
Steps to start the journey back
It was a long way down
..still going down

Solar panels at the tea room - Cais do Sardinha
We've been here before
I fell here and put a hole in my knee - but nowt to worry abaht.
..and got left behind - for a few minutes
But soon got back into gear
Wonderful running country
C'mon, we've a bus to catch
It's a popular path
Back to the start after 5 miles and around 1,500ft of ascent
Daybreak at start of our last morning run
Love running in the sun
Pigeons are used to runners and don't bother to move
86 year old flying machine - Ahumm!
Back up a steep hill to the Allegro - and a well earned breakfast
Me holding up a big tree - with one hand!
A final sunset picture from our room balcony 

 Looking forward to our next trip south, celebrating my 87th birthday in magical Menorca, running on trails lined with flowers, serenaded by nightingales.
It may prove a fitting swan song to my running and blogging career.
My body's idea, not my minds!