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Clare
Clare

Day 7: Ponta de São Lourenço

The boat trip we'd originally planned to take on Wednesday had been rescheduled to today, when the weather was expected to be better. It did indeed seem like a bright sunny day in Funchal when we woke up and the sea looked a lot calmer than it had last night. Around 09.30 we set off on the 4km walk into the centre of Funchal.

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We were about 15 minutes away from the harbour area when I realised I had an unread WhatsApp message on my phone. The trip had been cancelled again due to bad weather :( 

Bad weather?! It looked like a beautiful day as far as we were concerned!

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We had no choice but to turn around and start the long walk back to the hotel. It's not a route that's entirely flat; if you zoom in on the next photo you'll be able to make out the steep path leading up over the cliffs.

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When we got back to the hotel the weather still looked amazing. Definitely the warmest December day we've ever had :) 

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We decided to jump in the car and drive to a location which I'd read was best visited on a calm sunny day. We got as far as the car but unexpectedly found we were unable to open it! It was normally opened by pressing a button on a keycard but today the button was having absolutely no effect. It had been a bit temperamental over the past few days so we thought maybe the battery in it had died. Tim phoned the car rental company to explain.

The rental company were exceptionally helpful and said they'd send someone out to help us in 7 minutes! We went to sit in the hotel reception while we waited and sure enough in around 10 minutes we had a call from someone who was outside and had already located where we'd parked the car. It turned out that the battery had died, but not the battery in the key... it was the battery in the car itself, seemingly as a result of us accidentally forgetting to turn the lights off yesterday :( 

Oh dear! I get the impression this must happen all the time because the man was already equipped with a new car battery, which he proceeded to install in around 5 minutes. It was all very efficient and the car was soon back to full working order. We're not sure what we're going to be charged for this when we hand back the car, though!

The plan was to drive to a place called Ponta de São Lourenço. This is a peninsula at the far eastern end of Madeira, which we'd already seen from the air when we arrived on Saturday.

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As we drove towards the peninsula, we started to notice a major change in the weather. First it became cloudy, then we could hear the wind howling around the car, next it started pouring with rain. When we emerged out of the final road tunnel and onto the peninsula itself the rain eased off at least, though it was still nowhere near as sunny as it had been in Funchal.

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Everywhere was really busy at this time of the day so we didn't manage to park in the main car park I'd originally intended. We did, however, manage to find a space at a secondary viewpoint.

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There were some beautiful views of the coast here.

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This part of the island felt so different from where we were yesterday. It was so rocky and exposed and there definitely weren't anywhere near as many trees as yesterday!

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It was extremely windy - as you can probably tell from my hair in this photo!

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We felt like we could have been somewhere in Scotland rather than in Madeira.

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Once we'd finished admiring the views we began driving back down the peninsula.

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There were these amazing red flowers growing by the side of the road.

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I don't know what they were but they were so pretty.

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And if you zoom in you can see that their leaves were really spiky.

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We'd enjoyed our lunch so much yesterday that we decided to drive back up to Ribeiro Frio for another meal. If anything, it was even wetter and cloudier when we arrived there today!

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We got a nice seat in the restaurant though, with a view out towards the forest.

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Today we decided to try garlic bread with our bolognese. It was so different to garlic bread in England; a soft flat bread rather than a crusty baguette.

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Of course, we had to have pudding again. The pineapple was just as delicious second time around!

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We were given two free shots of liqueur again to finish. I drank both of them before I found out that they were made from passionfruit :o 

The weather hadn't really cleared up much by the time we'd finished eating, so we decided against doing yesterday's walk again and instead started driving back to Funchal.

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On the way Tim had to negotiate some incredibly steep streets!

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We made it in one piece though - and definitely remembered to turn off the lights this time!




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