Monday, 1 February 2016

Up north

Well done Flora Travel for giving us an excellent day's outing to the NW of Madeira. Driver/guide Tony was first class - funny, knowledgable and clearly loving his job especially identifying so many beautiful plants as we went. It was wonderful to see mimosa blooming with eucalyptus, and then the camellias, valerian, kapok, papayas, monbretia, arum lilies, African Tulip trees, NZ Christmas trees, swan-neck agave, avocado, passion fruits, bananas, sugar cane, chestnuts, tree heathers, natural laurel forests, mangoes, apples, cherries, grapes, masses of vegetables, roses, poinsettia, datura, bougainvillea, bottlebrush, and more...... He could name them in five or six different languages. 

Winding up and up the mountain, I fell to contemplating the many meanings of the word 'port' .... harbour, left, carry, door....

Meanwhile, the lanspdscape changed all the time, the further up we went, the further west. Bananas will only grow up to 350m.  It takes 16 months to grow to harvest - then the tree must be chopped down, and a new shoot will grow from the roots.  Olives are not grown other than for ornaments in Madeira - it never ges hot enough. Vines grow in the north. 

There were 15 of us in the bus - German, English, Dutch and Swiss. Very jolly. One was actually under 30. We had a very nice time. Recommended.

I am really tired now. Didn't sleep very well last night, and just going out and 'looking' at so much stuff is tiring. (How do school students manage?)

I am able to post photos from each day on FB - not so easy here at the moment. But I have some smashing pix. We just had supper in the apartment - bolo de capo bread (which has sweet-potato flour in it), sheeps cheese, avocado, watercress, tuna paste, papaya. Really delicious, simple.  The washing machine is doing its thing. We'll head to bed soon. I have finished my book (The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Armin) and need to find something else. It would be nice to be able to get to some writing of my own. I have in mind two poems: Limpets at Combatante, and, Everythjng has always been old....  Two days left on this holiday. I'm getting quite a lot of art done, and shared on FB. Satisfying. Even listened to Haydn's Creation as homework, as we'll have missed two rehearsals by the time we get back. 

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