It’s a strange time of year to be talking about skiing but that’s how I came to be in Madeira last week. Husband likes nothing better than to risk life and limb off piste and I like nothing less. So, after many years of slavishly following him to resort after resort, I decided enough was enough and that I would start taking the odd holiday without him.
|The runway at Funchal – a daunting task
even for experienced pilots!
I was after sun, spa and strolls so, accompanied by a female friend, N, we jetted off and landed – rather bumpily/alarmingly – at Funchal airport. We found out later that it is one of the world’s most dangerous airports due to high winds and a runway that’s built out onto the Atlantic supported by 180 pillars.
We stayed high up in the hills overlooking Funchal atThe Choupana Hills Resort & Spawhich only deserved 4 of its 5 stars: rooms fantastic, spa sh*t; food good, activities few and far between. So, making our own amusement, N. and I set off every morning for a levada walk. This is – surprisingly – a totally flat walk along the mountain following an irrigation channel. In places, the path is eroded and 10″ wide at best, with a sheer 600 ft drop on one side – not for anyone with vertigo! We had to stop and compose ourselves on several occasions, summoning up enough bravery to proceed, step by cautious step. We definitely felt a sense of achievement when we reached our destination – in particular N. who completed the perilous walk wearing highly unsuitable straw flipflops and carrying an emerald green Louis Vuitton handbag!