The Sunday Skim

 

 
 

We’re in Portugal with friends and it’s fabulous!  We traveled for 24 hours from Nashville to Boston to Lisbon to Maderia Island!  I haven’t been so exhausted since Clyde was a baby in the NICU.  But, it was well worth the trek.  This has been the most adventurous vacation of my life.  This isn’t your sit by the pool and drink vacation. We’ve been on excursions everyday.  The streets are basically one lane roads.  The road to our house is at a 30% grade - terrifying in the rain and when other cars are passing on the road.  We definitely have had serious fear bonding with our friends.

No. 1

We rented a van for the six of us, and Bryan has been scooting us around the island!  The van is a manual - you can imagine the fun on the tiny roads with steep inclines.

Maderia Island - Crew

No. 2

We hiked the most beautiful overlooks on the Eastern most point of the island.  We FaceTimed Clyde to show him the ocean.  It was one of those moments we’ll never forget, ever. 

Maderia Island - Hike
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Clyde Coston

 

No. 3

The island has miles and miles of levadas - a water conservation system to transport rainfall runoff from the mountains to the island. We hiked a trail with a 1/2 mile of uphill steps which led us to some foggy views of the valleys and close-ups with some levadas.  Visiting Portugal during the off season has it’s perks, but the weather is a little hit or miss.  Some parts of the island are raining and other parts are sunny.  So we chased the sun!

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No. 4

Our favorite adventure so far has been the basket toboggan - basically rode a wicker basket down a steep hill with some Portuguese men driving the back of it! 

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No. 5

We visited some crazy overlooks with whipping winds. The Valley of the Nuns nearly blew us off the cliff! 

Valley of the Nuns - Portugal

 

No. 6

To end one day of adventures, we stumbled into a restaurant off the beaten path.  By far, the strangest experience we've had!  No menu, no wine list and an interesting owner that we are pretty sure is in laundering money and in the mob.  But, we left that restaurant with a lifetime of stories. 

No. 7

On our flight from Lisbon to Maderia Island, our plane “processed a bird and lost an engine” (terrifying).  Mid-flight we had to make an emergency landing back in Lisbon and switch planes.  We swayed and bounced back to the airport. All great stories only because we survived!