Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Pico Ruivo – after a few attempts

It is one of the most popular high level walk on the Madeira Islands. Pico Ruivo is 1,861 meters high and that makes it the highest peak on the Island. It provides some of the most incredible views of the island and a variety of flora and fauna. However, the weather condition is unpredictable. It is best to check the weather condition before climbing. 

15 January 2012

So it was planned, we were going to climb the highest peak on the Madeira Islands today. The weather was good and I was thrilled. At 8.00 o’clock in the morning, my husband and I first headed to Santana by car. We were about to reach Santana border, the weather suddenly changed. It was no longer a bright sunny day when we had started. Grey cloud had made its appearance and blanketed the blue sky. My conscience told me we might not be able to make the climb today. Crossing our hearts, we proceeded to the meeting point where we met four other friends. All of us then decided to try our luck. It was another thirty minutes drive to Pico do Arieiro, where the route should start. Half way there, we were welcomed with fog that was soon getting thicker and thicker. We made it to Pico do Ariero, but the visibility was terrible and impossible to start walking. Hence, we headed home with a promise we would come back next time.

20 May 2012

It had been four months since our first attempt to climb the highest peak of Madeira Island, we decided to try again. It was in the middle of springs and the weather was incredible. I woke up in the morning with a bright sunny day and thought we might get a chance this time. We then drove all the way to Pico do Ariero but we could not believe our eyes once we got there. It was so foggy we could not even see where the route starts. Once again we had to leave without even having a glimpse of the peak.

24 Jun 2012

It was almost end of springs, the weather seemed hotter and brighter. We would not be satisfied until we did it, hence, just the two of us my husband and I decided to make another attempt. It took approximately one hour to get to Pico do Ariero from our house. And we liked to make an early climb, so we left home as early as 8 o’clock in the morning. After about thirty minutes drive, we saw two policemen were standing in the middle of the road waving at us to stop the car. The road in front of us was blocked and we could not drive through. My heart sank in despair, “what now… we are not going to make it again today?”

One of the policemen told us there was a bicycle race ahead, the road will be closed for another thirty minutes. Either we would wait until the road would be opened again or we would have to turn back. There was no way we would turn back, so we waited at one and only coffee shop nearby. There were a few other cars waiting to go on to the same road.

After almost an hour, the road was finally opened, all of us started to make a move and proceed with our journey.

I was getting more and more excited. We finally arrived at Pico do Ariero slightly after 11 o’clock. It was sunny and hot noon but we were happy that we were finally here and able to make the climb.

This is Pico do Areiro where we parked our car and your can see where the route starts the end of this car park.

The route was in good condition and easy to find directions. With great relieved, we finally made it to the top.

We spent thirty minutes at the top taking pictures and had lunch that we had packed from home. Then we made our way back to Pico do Ariero by the same route. After a half day’s walking, the car park seemed interminable, but we anjoyed and cherished our memorable and fantastic levada walk.


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