Cost: 32 euros per person
Tour operator: Green Devil
I had to hunt for this tour as there’s not many operators who do these 2 together. Anyways, we had pickup from our hotel by Hugo, who would be out tour operator today. I would put him at around 40, slim, and kinda sounded like Borat but was really informative n a cool dude. He turned up in this awesome buggy that was a 4×4 and had an open top roof.
Hugo then took us to a lookout point that overlooked Funchal and the South. He told us that every peak was a volcano and that the peaks were referred to as a “Fish”. As you have the tail, the spine and the head.On the way into Nuns Valley we stopped off in a small town for a coffee. Hugo took us to the cheapest place as other places apparently ripped you off there. This small town was within the Valley of the nuns and was very beautiful.
All drank up we headed back in the buggy and as we drove out the small town we saw the fish man. Due to this town being cut off from supermarkets etc, a fish man comes into town selling fresh fish. We saw the back of his truck and it was basically a slaughter house for fish, but was interesting seeing this tradition.
He then took us above Nuns Valley. Basically this is a place the nuns in Madeira ran too to hide from pirates. Here there were also slaves who had escaped their masters living here. The slaves helped the nuns settle up. It was a really secluded place and also very beautiful
Hugo then took us higher up into the tops of the mountains. We were now above the clouds. Something that Hugo referred too as “The countries largest candyfloss collection”. With the top open on the buggy we could put our hands out and touch these clouds. It was weird as up there you can see how fast the clouds are moving and they are all going different directions, where as below you just see a huge hefty cloud moving slow.
Once up top we reached the famous Pico Do Arieiro which is the 3rd highest peak on the island. Also the highest peak that you can reach via vehicle. Hugo let us out here where we could go and stand at the sumet of the peak. Now it was friggin windy up ere, however first thing we saw was the sign, so naturally gorra have a pic doe ya!
I could hardly stand up at the top and several times me and Ang nearly got blown over. Nether the less this place was amazing above the clouds.
Heres me attempting to walk up to the sumet
and here are the amazing above the clouds pics …
Amazed and cold, we headed back to the Buggy. Just as we headed down from teh peak Hugo pretended to “accidentally” go off road. This was pretty awesome and we went over uneven terrain. We then headed back and through these woods. At this point Hugo slipped it into 4×4 and we went off road up this rocky track. We were allowed to stand up whilst going up this track which was pretty awesome. At one stage we got stuck and Hugo had to get out to remove rocks etc, but with his expertise we soon got out. This was taken as we went up the hill in the forest handing out the top of the buggy. It was hard to keep still hehe
Off road done, we headed into a small local town where we stopped for Poncha (amazing local drink we loved). This is where Ang filmed the lady making it for so she had recipe back home. Now this bar was soo cool It had fake cobwebs everywhere and weird decoration stuff. It was my kinda bar.
Ang loved the nibbles they gave with Poncha, these seed things that were dosed in garlic butter that you prised out their shells . They were called Marinated Lupini Beans. They gave them free in most places and were soo nice. So nice that Ang decided to purchase a big bag from the barmaid here for 1 euro to take back.
All Ponchad out we headed back to Funchal where Hugo dropped us off. This day was one of the best we had here. It was so fun going off road and seeing the sites we did. We were fortunate we had nice weather and a great tour guide. We were going to do more tours with him in the week however the other tours were more pricey so didn’t. AWESOME TRIP!