|View from the hike trail in Ponta de São Lourenço|
So what did I learn on vacation?
1. Airports stress me way too much. My solution? Why, reading, of course. Fortunately I brought the perfect book to introduce me to Madeira - O Último Cais, by local author Helena Marques.
2. Renting a car is less difficult than I thought. Driving said rented car comes more naturally than I thought.
3. Scuba diving is magical. I had a living seahorse in my palms! This is something I want to repeat, and maybe at some point get my diver's license. If I can control my anxiety. Breathing underwater freaks me out.
4. Whales are very interesting creatures. Did you know part of Moby Dick was filmed in Madeira? I'm starting to not dread the book so much.
5. I could live on fish and fruit. Such a variety of fish, and so tasty. And the espetadas were awesome, too. Bolos do caco and bolos de mel were the cherry on top. I find myself randomly craving bolo do caco - I will have to learn how to bake it. I've also discovered I don't dislike cauliflower if it's cooked the right way! Portuguese cooks are magicians.
|A levada in Madeira|
6. My frail, untrained body is capable of way more than I thought. The diving equipment weighed about 40% of my body mass and I was able to haul it from the cabin to sea all by myself. It was around 20 meters max, and all the while I was thinking my back would break, but it turns out it didn't! I was sore the next day, but very proud too.
7. I was also able to walk for miles. The island is very steep and has lots of beautiful walking paths and hiking trails through it that run parallel to artificial water canals, so we really did a lot of walking. I got quite strong legs after the ten days!