November 4, 2015 Funchal (Maderia) Portugal
Madiera is an island off the coast of Portugal.
Jeff was already there when we came off the ship so we were able to get away from the ship quickly, and ahead of the crowds.
Neither of us had ever been to Portugal and really had no idea or expectations of what we would see,
Jeff told us so much about the history of the area, and the timeline of that history. This is definitely a man who knows and loves what he is doing.
Madeira is a Portuguese island that is around 600 miles West/Southwest of the Straits of Gibraltar. The island is about 50 miles long and 20 miles wide at it’s widest point.
The terrain of the island is very hilly with very little flat land.
We were able to make it from the port city of Funchal to the top of the third highest mountain at an elevation of about 5900 feet in about 60 minutes.
There are two mountains higher than this on the island, but they do not have road access.
The population is about 230,000 people with the great majority of the people living on the South side of the island, of which 102,000 live in Funchal.
The three main industries are agriculture, fishing and tourism.
Once we left the busy area of Funchal, the island became a very calm, peaceful and relaxing, beautiful place. The scenery is fantastic. It almost rivals the scenic beauty of New Zealand’s South Island.