Saturday, May 21, 2016

Another Epic Hike

Today, I am happy to say, was the latest in a string of "wow we lucked out with great weather" events on this trip.  When we arrived here in Madeira a few days ago we looked at the weather forecast and then booked two tickets with a tour for trekking from Pico Arieiro to Pico Ruivo to Achada do Teixeira...  not because we like tours, but because hitching a ride with them was much more affordable than a half-hour taxi ride on either end of the trip :)

After some sort of mix-up in the morning pick-up for the tour - which ironically involved us taking a taxi (albeit for free) - we began our hike around 10:30am.  This hike is pretty nice in the sense that you can literally drive up to the starting point at Pico Arierio... which immediately delivers some spectacular scenery, as you are far above the cloud cover:

The hike itself proved to be easier than Pico in the Azores, but still challenging; long stretches of relatively easy walking, punctuated by sets of steep rock steps here and there.

Luckily for Leslie, she walked down these daunting stairs without realizing that they were the same ones they gave her nightmares in some videos we saw before hand. :)

The climb progressed at a decent but not overly-challenging pace, partly due to the fact that we were with a group.  In all, we covered 8.5km, and an elevation climb of 540m.  The first major stop was Pico Ruivo, the highest peak on Madeira (and whatever-th highest peak in Portugal.. I googled it but sources do not agree). Anyways - more photos!

After a 2pm lunch at the peak, we moved on to the peak of Teixeira, before finally (mercifully) descending down to where our bus picked us up and brought us...

... to the bar, of course! For a really big cold beer.  And then ultimately we made our way back to our house where we ordered pizza and rested our feet and watched some Netflix.

Tomorrow - we move to a hotel in a smaller town here, Ribera Brava... with a hot tub to rest our weary bones!  We're both looking forward to that. :)

- Brad

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