On the way to Madeira I sit next to a couple and they chat. I say ‘they’ chat, when I mean ‘the woman chats and the man ignores me’. She says that they’ve been several times and really loved Madeira. She says they spend almost all the time in their hotel complex and only go out for the occasional hair-raising basket ride down impossibly steep slops. She likes the fact that it’s safe on Madeira. There are no snakes or poisonous things, she tells me and there’s no malaria here. I say I’d quite like it if there were poisonous snakes and I’d really like to go looking for them. Then I go back to reading my Madeira guidebook.
I open it on a random page and it says Madeira suffers from Dengue fever, a serious illness from a virus carried by mosquitos. I look at her and think, “Shall I tell her?”
What would you do?
Here’s a Clouded Yellow butterfly, Colias croceus. I love the pink and yellow-green combination.
In Calheta, the beach boulders come in all tones of volcano.
The Robins here are the European Robin and not a different subspecies.
This one looks surprised to discover that:
And this one looks ready for flight. Maybe it’s worried about Sparrowhawks?
There are more of the purple-flowered bushes which have potato flowers:
There’s a Kestrel with its outsized feet clinging on to a rock.
There’s the multi-layered landscape with fields of clouds below.
And there’s the feeling you’re at the top of the world.
Thank you Madeira, for everything.