Portugal - Madeira - SNP - April/May 2015

Below you will find a list of pictures, taken on our trip on Madeira, Portugal from April 27 2015 to May 4 2015.
The most interesting images will have a red bullet in front of them. In a hurry? Just want to see the pictures? Check out the slide show.
The days we were walking we kept track of how much time we spent walking. This is excluding the time for breaks.

April 27: Home - Punta do Sol

We got up around 2 a.m. and drove to Schiphol Airport. The flight was comfortable and we landed at 9.55 in Funchal. There we met the rest of the group. Around noon we headed for our hotel in Punta do Sol (Enotel Baia). After lunch (we had bought some buns and sardines and anchovis. Around 2 p.m. we got some explanation about the tour and then we did a short walk to a small village down the road and back. We saw some things we would see a lot more of the next days: waterfalls and beautiful blue flowers. After dinner we discussed the next day and went to bed early.
This day we walked approximately 1h15m.

April 28: Punta do Sol - Rabacal - Calheta - Punta do Sol

Around 8.45 we gathered at the bus that drove us to Rabacal, the startting point for this day. From teher we walked down to a small house of a forrester and from there, alongside a levada, to Cascado do Risco, a high waterfal. We then went on to "25 Fontes". We had lunch there and as it is a very nice and popular spot, we weren't the only ones. A bit too busy for me. After lunch, we continued alongside a levada, but that path was blocked after a few hundred meters. We retraced and took a different route. Eventually we reached a very long tunnel. At the end we arrived at Calheta, where the bus picked us up again. On the way back to the hotel, we stopped for lunch groceries for the next two days. Back at the hotel we took a shower. After dinner in a restaurant across the street, we went to bed.
This day we walked approximately 3h30m.

April 29: Punta do Sol - Paúl da Serra - Encumeada

We had to pack our stuff as the next night would be in a different hotel. After breakfast, the bus drove us to Paúl da Serra, a plain, from where we walked down to small forests of bushes. After lunch we followed some levadas, now and then through tunnels, and around 5 p.m. we arrived at Hotel Encumeada. Our luggage was already there.
This day we walked approximately 4h30m.

April 30: Encumeada - Colmeal - Funchal

We had to pack again as we would stay in Funchal the next noight. After breakfast we started walking around 8.50 a.m.. First in the direction of the Encumeada pass, but before we got there, we turned right towards another pass. Beautiful landscape with manay different flowers, views of the hills and, in the distance, the ocean. At the pass (1.310m / 4,298 ft.) we had lunch. A couple of us decided to go higher up the hills. Two had already stopped at a plateau and together with Meike we decided it was time to head back when we reached another plateau at 1.410m / 4,626 ft.. It was a long zigzag down to the small village of Colmeal. There we took a small bus to Curral and from their the bus to Funchal. Via the market we walked to our hotel (Hotel do Centro). Nextdoor was a supermarket - perfect for doing some shopping for our lunch for the next day. We had dinner at "Dos Combattantes" - quite good and went to bed relatively late at 11.30 p.m..
This day we walked approximately 4h30m.

May 1: Funchal - Pico Ruivo - Santana

As it would be a short walk, we had the morning in Funchal. We walked along the ocean shore and visited the cathedral. The bsu drove us to Santana and then up to the parking place "Texeira" (1.596m / 5,236 ft.). We had lunch there and then walked up to the Pico Ruivo, the highest point in Madeira (1.865m / 6,119 ft.). On the way up we had great views of the ocean and the hills. We followed the path a bit further and could see the pass we had crossed the day before. Then we went back to the parking place - stopping for coffee at a small "restaurant" on the way down.
We waited for the rest and then were brought to the hotel (O'Colmo) by bus. After a shower we had dinner in the hotel's restaurant. Very good.
This day we walked approximately 2h.

May 2: Santana - Queimadas - Caldeirão do Inferno - Queimadas - Santana

From Santana, our bus drove us to Queimadas. There we started walking alongside the levada. We would follow it almost all the way up to the Caldeirão do Inferno. On the way we had great views of the hills. We stopped at the Caldeirão Verde for lunch. There's a great spot near a very high waterfall. Our tour guide had been told there was a landslide a bit further on, so officially we could not continue. We asked for permission to (at our own risk) walk to that landslide. Turned out there was none and using my offline navigation app, we were able to wlak all the way up to the Caldeirão do Inferno, passing some tunnels and waterfalls on the way, and having very nice views as well. It was a shame not the whole group went there. The rest hadn't been at Queimadas very long when we arrived there. Some walked back to the hotel from there, but as we had already walked a few miles more, we decided to take a taxi. After a shower we had a beer at the cafe. Dinner was very good again; Arjen had the local specialty: espenada, a skewer with very tasty meat.
This day we walked approximately 4h35m.

May 3: Santana - Pico do Facho - Ponta de São Lourenço - Santo da Serra

We had to pack again. After breakfast we were brought to Pico do Facho. From there we walked to a small village. Not much to see here, apart form some lovely flowers. After we had coffee in the village, our bus dropped us at the parking place near Ponta de São Lourenço. As the sky was still cloudy, the colours of the rocks didn't come out very well. We started walking towards the furthest point (a hill) of the peninsula. In the meantime the weather improved and by the time we reached the top of that hill, the sun was shining again. This made it a much nicer scenery. From there we walked back to the parking place.
After a while the whole group was complete. Our bus then brought us to Santo da Serra - Enotel Golf. After dinner we thanked our tourguide and went to bed.
This day we walked approximately 2h25m.
This makes for a total of approximately 22h45m for this holiday!

May 4: Santo da Serra - Home

We had to get up quite early. At 8 we drove off to the airport. Our flight had some delay (the plane from Schiphol had left too late), but due to favourable wind, we could catch up a bit of the lost time. Just after 6.30 p.m. we arrived at home.