Easy Driving in Funchal – Again?

As a result of several requests we received from readers …. here is a second movie of Madeira’s ‘rollercoaster’ drive … that took place in Funchal … area called Rochinha (above the Zona Velha).

For those that missed part 1 … click here.

This time we have added (surf)music from the band called ..… The Madeira. The title of the song is ‘Rogue Wave’ which gives an extra dimension driving through the city of Funchal.

BASE Jump from Cabo Girão

Last 4th of May (2006) a BASE Jump took place at the 2nd highest cliff of the world (580m) namely here on Madeira island, Cabo Girão.

But first … what is BASE Jump?

BASE jumping is the sport of using a parachute to jump from fixed objects. “BASE” is an acronym that stands for the four categories of objects from which one can jump; (B)uilding, (A)ntenna (an uninhabited tower such as an aerial mast), (S)pan (a bridge, arch or dome), and (E)arth (a cliff or other natural formation). BASE jumping is much more dangerous than skydiving from aircraft and is currently regarded as a fringe extreme sport.

Now I was already wondering why not any jumper did discovered the island of Madeira … which offers a lot of great S and E. Mário Pardo did! He is Portugal’s number 1 BASE jumper …. came to Madeira to take a view from Cabo Girão …. and did what thousand of tourists were afraid to do …. To take a step and see what is on the bottom of the cliff. Well Mário did not take a step …. He took his motorbike instead … to get down there much quicker!

Check the video at Google

By the way … I heard some rumours that, after this (successful) jump, the tourist board is planning to move the toboggans from Funchal to Cabo Girão and to create a new attraction called TOBOJUMP. Parachutes are included …. Plus the extra that you, the toboggan and both drivers will be picked up by the replica of the Santa Maria. 😉

Ferry between Madeira and Canary Islands

Company Naviera Armas has announced it will have new route Canarias – Madeira (Funchal) during the summer of 2006. The season will consist of 10 journeys (10 weeks) and starts on July 1 and will last until September 2. Departure from Las Palmas of Gran Canaria on Saturdays at 7h30 and arrival Funchal port at 20h00. The return trip is on Sundays at 7h30. Voyage between the islands takes almost 12 hours.

Their ship, the ‘Volcan del Teide’ is the newest of the company. It is a mixture between a ferry and cruiser. It has 250 cabins and can carry about 1000 passengers. The prices will be between 50 and 90 euros per person. Car transport will be around 110 euro.

Madeira Easy Driving (?)

Driving on Madeira is like taking a rollercoaster ride … going up and down. Most of the times you will find narrow roads … and if you are lucky you will come across some busses or big trucks on those narrow roads. Then you will understand why there are no Fancy Fairs here on the island …. because the whole island is one!

Now this is not to scare you off in not taking a car here to drive around. As long as you are fairly careful there is no problem. Most locals understand about a tourist’s apparent indecision whilst navigating the island. You will find the majority of Madeiran drivers are in these cases friendly and courteous. The locals obviously know their way around and therefore tend to drive very fast. Avoid the feeling of being chased and just give them room for them to pass you by, when possible.

To give you an impression how ‘easy’ driving is here on the island of Madeira … my wife and I filmed on a Sunday driving to Funchal. A trip which we take each day to go to work ….

If you like the music in the film …. it is played by the band ‘The Madeira’. Click on the following image to order the CD.

Bailinho da Madeira

I came across the next short film of Anton Withagen from Eindhoven (Netherlands). It gives an impression of the traditional folklore dance called Bailinho da Madeira (The dance of Madeira).

Now … do not go thinking that all inhabitants on the island of Madeira are dressed like this … and that they all love to dance this. If you think that …. then you also believe that all Dutch walks around in wooden shoes and are all living in windmills.

Flower Festival 2006

Yesterday was the main highlight of the traditional Flower Festival of Funchal, the parade of flower. More than 1000 of participants, mainly children, covered with the most beautiful flowers parading the streets of Funchal.

And as I am man of few words … let the pictures tell you how beautiful it was.

Click here to see more pictures

(Update 2006-05-01)
I saw more than hundred photographers walking yesterday around capturing the flower festival with their cameras and I was wondering how many of them will put it (also) online?

Daniel Jove (from Spain)

Capturing the Pro capturing

A few weeks ago my friend Hugo invited me for a levada walk … Queimadas to Caldeirão Verde … the path starts at the guesthouse (Queimadas) and goes through a beautiful emerald green paradise … with waterfalls on the way. It is a moderated walk of approximate 4 hours.

Madeira Images - madeiraarchipelago.com

Just a simple levada walk … you will think. But in Hugo’s case it was different … namely … he wanted to take pictures of the levada. Not just the standard holidays-pictures … but the more professional approach.

Carrying a Nikon D100 SLR camera, a bag full of films, lenses and a tripod … we went to the levada. I took my faithful Canon PowerShot with me … a little bit ashamed hidden in my bag …

While Hugo took pictures of the beautiful scenery we came across the levada …. I took pictures of him taking the pictures. I must say the images that I took with the PowerShot are not bad … you can see the Pro with his Nikon D100 High performance digital SLR camera in action … capturing Mother Nature’s handwork of waterfalls, levada channels, Laurisilvia offspring and other beauties this wonderful path offers.

Madeira Images - madeiraarchipelago.com

We also came a couple of tourists on our way. One was even riding on a (mountain)bike … on the levada. Another Spanish tourist wanted to show off to his walking companions by taking a dangerous path that goes right under a waterfall. Hugo captured the moment … and I captured Hugo capturing the moment.

It was a fun day …

Link to Hugo’s website: Madeira Archipelago.com


For those who think that life on an island, such as Madeira, is about relaxing … sitting on a terrace …. enjoying the sun and a cold drink …

… that ONLY applies to the tourists! When you decide to live on Madeira than you are not a tourist any more. There is no hotel service … no room cleaning … there is no departure back to home …. And you will need to set-up a life that you normally had when you were in your home country. In fact … this is your new home country … and NOT your holiday destination. Your are part of the community in which you will be categorized as a foreigner resident on the island. You will feel that this time there will be no travel agent or guide waiting for you in the hotel or the airport with a sign. There will be no rental car waiting for you. There is no total of days or weeks you have left over before you leave the country / island and go back home. No …. you have a new home …. and you need to settle and get things organized yourself … a new life.

In other words: it is your turn now to look at the tourists … who a all relaxed … sitting on a terrace .. enjoying the sun and a cold drink …. looking at them while you are carrying 5 plastic bags full of groceries from Modelo going back towards … your home.

Video – Funchal’s Gala-dress

Funchal Gala-dress

I have launched a new video of the Madeira series. A terrific view of the gala-dress that the city of Funchal is wearing during the New Year’s Eve. The lady capital of the island Madeira (Portugal) displays her with lights embroider dress, awaiting the countdown for the fireworks.

This was filmed aboard the catamaran Seaborn and the music is none other performed by the band … The Madeira. For more about this band and the video, follow the links below:

Video Funchal’s Gala-dress (at Google.com)
Video Funchal’s Gala-dress (at CastPost.com)

If you like the music in the film …. it is played by the band ‘The Madeira’. Click on the following image to order the CD.

Previous blog about Surf Music