Wednesday, May 23, 2012

our week in Madeira

Is Madeira the paradise on earth? The island has the hallmark of subtropics, from blue sea costs to green mountains you get it all in few kilometers. The island is small, 57 km x 22 km, the two highest points are around 1800 meters above sea level .
So you may ask, from a photographer point of view? It is indeed a landscape seascape paradise. But Madeira doesn't give up herself easily though. Roads are generally good but as soon as you leave the cost's highways, be prepared to climb abruptly by very windy roads where stopping is not easy. The marvelous landscapes are most of the time for your eyes only. (except of course if you are prepare to walk). Although there many trails, not always well marked, they aren't generally, as a photographer stand point, where you would like them to be. A good advice if a week is all you have, make a lot of research on what you want to see and shoot and be ready to ask for local advice at your arrival.
Paradise I said, so this applies to the weather right? People living in Madeira will tell you that it is the most perfect weather in the world. Never cold never too hot. 24ºC during the summer, 17ºC in winter time (average). Not quite, if Madeira is so green is for good reasons.Clouds are omnipresent and bring a fair among of rain. Wind can be very strong. Summarizing: The island is full of small microclimates. One day crossing the national park, we left the cost with 21º and up there we got as low as 5ºC, the fog was so thick that for 20 kilometers, we could hardly see the front of our car. One last word, although we had recent guide books we found difficult to find so some of the things describe. As an example, we were looking for the colorful fisherman boats, in vain. The photograph below is the only boat we could find and I had to fight hard to find a way to isolate it from place where it was parked! 
Below few photos that will give you an overview of Madeira Island.