We had chosen to book Canyoning Level 2 with Madeira Adventure Kingdom. I was quite apprehensive because I have a fear of heights (which I do constantly try and conquer by for example abseiling down Table Mountain!)… I was very relieved as we received an e-mail to say that due to the heavy rains they needed to change the original destination from Lajeado to an alternative one in Curral das Freiras, (Valley of the Nuns) called Ribeira do Cidrão which is in the mountainous interior of the island This one had fewer high jumps – Phew! The highest cliff that we abseiled down was 15m.
We parked up on the steep road and kitted ourselves out with wetsuits, booties and helmets. We were joined by a lovely Dutch couple. A young person had passed away i a motor cycle accident in 2017 and his motorbike was encased in a shrine on the road!
It was a steep ten minute walk into the mountains which were beautiful with the whiff of wild flowers as we chatted and headed to the start.
We were given a quick safety briefing by our two guides and were ready for action!
The guys took photos for us which they e-mailed to us straight afterwards. It was super safe and great fun (although my ribs were aching from the previous day’s bicycle accident!).
We then headed into the quaint little Village for a well earned Poncho and a pastry.
We took the scenic drive right to the top and climbed the stairs for more spectacular views of the valley.
By now we were pretty ravenous and had received a recommendation of a great restaurant Cachalotein Porto Moniz. We were not disappointed – lovely ocean views and right next to the free natural sea pools and excellent food.
Such a pretty town with gorgeous flowers. Back in its hey day it was a whaling station.
We had planned to visit the Sao Vicente Caves and lava tubes but they were temporarily closed due to Covid.
We had chosen the Estalagem do Vale Hotel as we had heard it had an outstanding Chef. We were welcomed by a rather nervous chap who said it was his first day on the job – I hope we are not that scary! Our room was comfortable and they served the best Pina Coladas of the trip. Unfortunately we were the only visitors to the hotel and the Chef was on furlough so the same person also served and cooked us dinner and very kindly made us a picnic lunch for our hike the next day. They had no cheese or fish available but they did have pineapple and smoked salmon! At least we had enjoyed a feast at lunch time!