Friday 16 September 2016
This was the second of the two guided walks we took. Alvoro was our guide today, after picking us and other walkers up he drove us up to Santana. On our journey Alvoro was concerned about the weather in the area we would be walking. When we did got there a number of other guides met with Alvoro and discussed the conditions. They made the decision that it would be better to do a similar walk but at a lower level. So Alvoro turned the bus around and we drove down to Marocos.
We could see the weather improving as we approached Marocos where we left our transport. Alvoro was very knowledgeable, he told us many interesting things. One of which was about the impact of a new road in the area and how it increased the price of property but also improved peoples lives. We took the path up onto the Levada do Canical.
We could see the steps up and down to peoples homes and Alvoro told us about the hard work involved in living in such places. Everything had to be carried either from the road or back to the road. This included the bricks and building materials to build the houses.
Most of the levadas can be followed by walking along the maintenance path however the one in the picture below Alvoro informed us that the people responsible for checking and maintaining the levadas have to walk in the water trough itself, as there is no path.
We passed houses selling bananas and other fruit they grew on their land and a local gent who came out to sing to us.
Much of the levada twists and turns on the edge of the hills. As we swung into the valley of Ribeira Grande it started to rain, and it was heavy rain. After a while we passed through a short 25m tunnel.
It was still raining when we came out and stretching below us was Machico.
In a short while Alvoro pointed out the bar on the far side where we would stop for lunch, Bar O Jacare. Although about 500m directly from us, we continued by the levada along the edge of the valley, which would be nearly 1 km distance before we reached the bar.
As we arrived the weather turned nice and therefore we planned to sit outside however within minutes heavy rain clouds returned and chased us into the bar.
Along with our sandwiches we had a couple of glasses of the local drink poncha, after these the rain did not bother us. Once the rain cleared we set off again.
Alvoro knew every dog on the walk and had them all barking and howling to our delight.
We passed the signs of a new road being built.
We continued meandering around the side of the hills.
A brilliant walk, Alvoro provided us with a lot of local knowledge and was very entertaining. We had covered approx 11 km.
More to follow
Follow link to our previous walk in Madeira Rabacal, Risco Waterfall, 25 Fontes.