22 Mar
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...two travellers in search of the world's wildlife

16 March 2015

Madeira and the weather is freezing

7th February 2015

We seem to be developing a habit of holidays starting on a bum note. Our flight on Norwegian Air (flying from the UK to Madeira… odd) arrived bang on time, but then the process of picking up a rental car was glacially slow. So it was past 7pm and dark when we left the airport. The directions to the hotel worked fine, right up until the last instruction which obviously hasn’t been kept updated with the improving and changing roads, so we overshot and wandered aimlessly a while longer then slunk in at just after 8pm. The unlit car park was un-fun. And the guy who opened up reception apologised and explained that although we had booked a room in the house, they didn’t have a room in the house for us, only a self-catering cottage. Did we mind? Hahaha. If we said “yes” would he go and kick the people out of one of the rooms for us? Seemed unlikely.

The cottage was freezing, the heater inadequate, and we were too late for dinner at the Quinta so we had to drive out to Joe’s Bar in the hidden village of Jardim do Mar for a dinner of actually-quite-good beef in wine sauce and fillet of espada (a mean-looking local fish). Why do we never get used to the fact that in hot climates accommodation is simply never designed to be warm during the cold season? People who live in places that are warm for ten months of the year just wrap up for the two cold months. Then again, we picked a room in the house specifically because it would be warmer. Grrr.

I haven’t even mentioned the fact that Funchal looked beautiful as we drove past in the evening on our way from the airport, or that our first glimpses of some of the vertiginous landscape of Madeira looked stunning in the darkening twilight.

We kept the heater on all night and had a hot bath in the morning, which prepped us better for the day. We asked to move to the house as soon as a room became available and the lady on reception sucked her teeth, stared carefully at her book, and asked us to leave it with her. Je suis Monsieur Skeptical.

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