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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for São Vicente, Madeira, Portugal

Feb 11, 2018 - Rural Madeira

A bit of travel advice: if you plan to go anywhere in the world on a vacation and expect good weather, ask us first where we are going and stay away from there!! On one of our outings, the temperature was 4C and there was snow on the ground. This brought hordes up from the city to look at this phenomena. We rented a lovely Portuguese house in Sao Vicente on the north coast – this despite numerous warnings that this part of the island is colder and gets less sun. The house was unheated, as we assume is typical here, so when it is cool...

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Feb 11, 2018 - Hiking in the Levadas

Having begun the settlement of the southern coast where the climate was more favourable for living and growing, there was a need to bring water from its source in the high elevations to the farm lands. Beginning in the 16th C, farmers began to build waterways or levadas and today there are about 1400 km of levadas across the island. Little did these 16C farmers realize that these levadas would provide the biggest tourism draw to the island! Despite our terrible, unpredictable, stormy weather, we got out every day to hike one of the levadas...

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Feb 11, 2018 - Carnaval in Funchal

After our cold, windy and wet two weeks in São Vicente, we arrived back in Funchal to bright sunny skies and 20C. Our last day in Madeira coincided with the big Carnaval, like Mardi Gras in New Orleans, a celebration before the start of Lent. It was colourful, noisy....and long! We decided every resident of the island who was not working was in the parade! Only we tourists were spectators, especially given the arrival today of a humungeous cruise ship.

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