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A Tourist in Madeira

Recently, São Vicente was my destination for a long weekend.  I have lived in Madeira for almost 26 years, and when a long weekend comes up, I choose my favourite place in the world as a holiday destination.

Walking out of the hotel, I wander along the country lanes, accompanied by the sound of gurgling water from the streams that run alongside the road and later discover the source of the stream at the corner of two roughly paved paths. The bees are big and bumbling with pollen-covered bottoms, and birdsong can be heard all around me.

This time of year, farmers are working in the fields, turning the rich soil with simple tools, ready to receive this seasons seeds and bring forth our favourite potatoes and carrots.

The island is blessed with water; the volcanic rock soaks up the rain and the morning dew, to pump it out in other corners and feed the levadas. With global warming, our climate will get drier and hotter, but what do we see in the countryside?  Thanks to Mother Nature, plenty of water, palm trees, flowers, shrubs, and tall weeds gracefully bending in the wind. Our Madeira is a blessed place, and we should remember that.

So I skip the airport hustle, get “boleia” to a countryside hotel, splurge a bit on the room and a good breakfast, and turn myself into a newcomer in the North or on the East side of our island. The recovery from stress is instantaneous; good sleep and the view over the mountains and the sea do the rest. Why go anywhere else?

Ursula Hahn

info at madeira-weekly.com

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