Friday, 21 April 2017

Have Some Madeira M'dear? (4)

Literally "Corral of the Nuns", although it is not certain whether the nuns are corralled or doing the corralling! Some articles translate it as "Valley of the Nuns"; but as you can see it is a remote mountain-locked community north of Funchal serviced by bus 81, a route of many varieties as we saw in yesterday's blog.
Essentially the service runs to the luxurious terminus as illustrated on Tuesday's blog.
This is the terminus at Lombos Chão.

The route leaves Funchal innocently enough passing through residential areas, mainly apartment blocks ...
... but climbing all the time. the road can be narrow ...
... but opens up to reveal posher housing and views of valley and mountain up ahead.
The open country is, at first, wooded with only glimpses of the magnificence to come.
Hairpin bends proliferate and the bus is ever climbing until this happens:-
The left turn leads to the first of the route's "double runs.
This is the access road that predates the tunnel but it is eschewed by google Streetview, so fbb can only offer a sample touristy snap of what the diversion offers.
Is this why the service 81 no longer uses the old road?
It re-appears at the northern end of the new tunnel.
  The next "double run" ...
... is likewise unvisited by Google's clever noddy car. But Fajã Escura offers a restaurant for walkers and explorers using the extra and even more occasional wiggly bit.
Fajã dos Cardos looks equally splendiferous although fbb's ability to understand the lingo means that reaching these mountainous views might well involve some physical exercise!
Having diverted or not diverted the 81 bus returns to Streetviewable Curral das Freiras ...
... something of a tat shop and caff metropolis, before continuing to its terminus. But fbb did spot something of a public transport luxury on the route, namely a bus shelter (gasps of astonishment) complete with "real time" bus stop flag (more gasps of astonishment).
Somewhat more inviting than the spartan terminus!

And, you may ask, did correspondent Andrew enjoy his ride on the 81?

Despite being a Portuguese speaker, he admitted that he couldn't make head or tail of the timetable and went on a tour bus instead!
But thanks, kind sir, for the prompt. I has been a fascinating virtual visit.

fbb now needs a bigger bucket ...
for his list.

Amongst other things, there will be a bit more about the long closed Funchal Funicular railway tomorrow.

 Next variety blog : Saturday 22nd April 

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