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Madeira January 2014 - East Island 4 X 4 Jeep Safari

Madeira January 2014 - East Island 4 X 4 Jeep Safari

Postby JollyJill » 20 Jan 2014 20:25

Having been to Madeira before and done the Porto Moniz tour and having seen Funchal on the HOHO bus, we decided to be adventurous and try an off road excursion. It was a bit of a gamble because P suffers with a bad back but he wanted to give it a go and in the event, despite the warnings in the cruise book blurb, he was fine.
The excursion was for 7 hours, included lunch and cost £60pp which we thought was great value.

The 'Jeep' was in fact a Land Rover Discovery, which were comfortable, provided you didn't get the short straw and get the seat(s) in the back, which according to our escort from the ship was not at all comfortable.
We were lucky however and sat behind the driver.

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We set off in a convoy of 6 vehicles. Our driver Tony, was also a great guide and chatted to us about the sights we were seeing all through the day.

We drove through Funchal and headed along the main road East and upwards. Our first stop was at a view point, where we looked down on the port where we could see our ship The Braemar and also the Thomson Celebration, Aida Stella & Costa Classica.
At this point the weather was fine and clear.

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I got P to take close ups of the ships as my camera is not up to the job. :oops:

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As we headed North, the weather began to deteriorate

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When we reached the most Northerly part of our tour, we went off road through the forest which was fun, even though one of the vehicles behind was temporarily stuck in the mud.
At the top, we stopped for a while to admire the view. :lol: Unfortunately, the weather had closed in by then and we just got wet.

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We then headed to Ribeiro Frio (Cold River) where we stopped at a trout farm. Not only the fish were wet by then!

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After some more off road driving through the forest, we arrived at Quinta Do Furao, which is a winery property with 5 hectares of vineyards, where we had a traditional lunch- very good it was too.

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After lunch, we were driven to Santana, which is a very pretty little place where each of the triangular buildings sells locally made or produced wares, especially for us tourists. We sampled the Madeira wine at 1€ a shot. I bought a small Madeira cake and bottle of wine for my neighbour who looks after my plants when we are away.

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Finally, before heading back to the ship, we stopped at the customary tourist trap, which in this case was a disused rum factory. We were taken in by one of the drivers who spoke as though rum was still being produced there. In reality though, there was not the slightest whiff of the stuff and the machinery looked as though it hadn't seen action for some time.

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All in all and despite the weather, we had a great day. This is an excursion that I would recommend if ever you visit the lovely Island of Madeira. :)
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Madeira January 2014 - East Island 4 X 4 Jeep Safari

Postby Trace » 20 Jan 2014 20:29

Great so far Jill... was the photo of the big yellow Costa funnels for Pete? :lol: :lol:
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Re: Madeira January 2014 - East Island 4 X 4 Jeep Safari

Postby tomvet » 20 Jan 2014 20:31

I have been looking forward to your review of this excursion and the one in Agadir with some anticipation! Madeira countryside looks fascinating - pity the weather did not oblige but I think Madeira is one of those kind of places where anything goes really!
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Madeira January 2014 - East Island 4 X 4 Jeep Safari

Postby JollyJill » 20 Jan 2014 20:52

Trace wrote:Great so far Jill... was the photo of the big yellow Costa funnels for Pete? :lol: :lol:


How did you guess Trace? :lol:
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Re: Madeira January 2014 - East Island 4 X 4 Jeep Safari

Postby Hannah » 20 Jan 2014 20:57

Parts of Madeira looked lovely Jill. We heard it is very beautiful when the sun shines. Unhelpfully for us it had shone till the day we arrived and just bucketed down. Thanks for the photos.
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Re: Madeira January 2014 - East Island 4 X 4 Jeep Safari

Postby JollyJill » 20 Jan 2014 21:02

tomvet wrote:I have been looking forward to your review of this excursion and the one in Agadir with some anticipation! Madeira countryside looks fascinating - pity the weather did not oblige but I think Madeira is one of those kind of places where anything goes really!


It is Tom. When we got back to the ship, there hadn't been any rain all day apparently. :roll:
The Agadir trip was even better than this one! ;)
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Re: Madeira January 2014 - East Island 4 X 4 Jeep Safari

Postby JollyJill » 20 Jan 2014 21:04

Hannah wrote:Parts of Madeira looked lovely Jill. We heard it is very beautiful when the sun shines. Unhelpfully for us it had shone till the day we arrived and just bucketed down. Thanks for the photos.


I guess the reason that Island is so green is due to the amount of rain that falls throughout the year.
We saw lots of evidence of the landslips caused by the horrendous floods they suffered 5 years ago. :o
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Madeira January 2014 - East Island 4 X 4 Jeep Safari

Postby Trace » 20 Jan 2014 21:04

loving it Jill, keep the reviews coming :)
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Re: Madeira January 2014 - East Island 4 X 4 Jeep Safari

Postby tomvet » 20 Jan 2014 21:12

JollyJill wrote:
tomvet wrote:I have been looking forward to your review of this excursion and the one in Agadir with some anticipation! Madeira countryside looks fascinating - pity the weather did not oblige but I think Madeira is one of those kind of places where anything goes really!


It is Tom. When we got back to the ship, there hadn't been any rain all day apparently. :roll:
The Agadir trip was even better than this one! ;)



I was going to add in my other comment that I suspected the Agadir trip would be better but refrained as it was based on hunch rather than anything substantive!
Despite the weather, you got fantastic shots and I am sure great memories!

As I said Canary Isl (& Norway) are on our bucket list and your port reviews have whetted the appetite no end!

Thank you!
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Madeira January 2014 - East Island 4 X 4 Jeep Safari

Postby adogap » 20 Jan 2014 22:10

Great photos Jill. Surprised to see so much flora in January

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