Day 10: Madeira

Back again and hopefully the situation with my blog is fixed. I heard back from some of my loyal readers that it was very difficult to see my posts since posting via e-mail. Luckily, it was while I was in port, so I was able to actually log into my blog & fix it. Since I was short on time I just did a quick fix. I'm not happy with the look of it, but I'd rather my readers be able to see what I'm writing. I'll fix it once I'm in Fl.

So today was our day in Madeira, Portugal. This port I wasn't too interested in but it ended up being my favorite... well, out of Spain, Portugal & Gibraltar that is. Nothing this trip will top Ireland. Anyway. It was a beautiful country! It's basically an island off the coast of Portugal and it's basically like one big mountain with houses built into it. All the building by law have to be painted either white or cream and have to have these orange(ish) tile roofs. It's just gorgeous. It reminded us a lot of Hawaii. It had the same look. The island is basically a giant lava mountain, so it has all the gorgeous flowers and lush green trees. Just beautiful. This port I had hired a private taxi tour guide named Carlos. He had to be our best tour guide this trip- which was good for many reasons. The roads were tiny & straight up. The highest we went was 3,000 feet above sea level and we could have still gone higher. These roads were a car sickness person's worst nightmare. I got a little sick on the way up. It was still worth it though. The best part is how we started the day. Madeira is known for their toboggans. These are giant whicker basket sleds that they use to carry goods up and down the mountain with. Now they use these for rides for the tourists. Two men are dressed in white paints, stripped shirts & whicker hats. They stand on the backs of the sleds and use their feet for the brakes and steering. They wear shoes with giant rubber soles. We decided we'd go for the ride. That was probably the scariest thing I have ever done! I had seen it on youtube and it looked so nice and peaceful. Not so much. We were doing about 20 mph in a whicker basket going straight down these winding streets- that cars were still driving on! Worst part- we would cross intersections as we were flying down this mountain! I took video of the entire ride and the best part is my mom screaming the whole way down. You could probably hear her back at home. The guys "driving" the sled were having fun with her. The one behind her would say, "Okay, Bye, bye now." Then my mom would freak out. He'd laugh. Then while she was screaming he would say, "Mama mia.". She'd freak out more. It was hysterical. The best part though was when we're flying down this mountain freaking out & he assures her, "Don't worry... this is my first day...... No, no, it's actually my second." He was hysterical and so was she. We were in a 3 person one and so apparently it's harder to control the bigger ones, so the worst part was to keep the weight balanced we had to have the lightest part of the basket first. Yeah, so I was sitting on the left side of the basket, so we rode the majority of the time sideways- me first! It felt like we were going to tip the whole time. Then our tour guide came driving by- passing us laughing hysterical. Then for a good portion of it we had a truck driving behind us. It was quite the experience. They also take your picture as you're riding which is a sight to see. My mom is smiling, I'm in the middle of saying the word "picture" and my dad looks like he's about to have a heart attack. Priceless. I'll post it once in Florida. 

After we cheated death via whicker, we headed back up the mountain to see the 2nd highest cliff in the world- the highest in Europe. Talk about scary. It took me about 5 minutes to ease myself all the way up the the edge. My dad made it about 5 feet from the edge and then disappeared. He didn't do well on this Island as he's afraid of heights and that's all it was. It was a great tour and we really enjoyed it- well my mom & I did. I think my dad's eyes were closed the entire 4 hour tour.

We headed back on the ship after the tour to have some lunch. After that we all found a comfy chair out by the pool. They slept while I wrote up the two days I was behind for the blog, fixed the blog's text issues and wrote some post cards. Carpal tunnel- table for one.

After that I have no clue what my parents did, but I headed back to my room where I watched a classic that I haven't see since I was a kid- The Mighty Ducks. What a blast from the past! After the great movie I got ready for dinner. Tonight's theater entertainment was a hypnotist comedian. I wanted no part in that, so I just had a more relaxed time getting ready for dinner. I will never forget what a family friend of ours said about hypnotists- "If you're not in control of your body, then who is?" No thank you. I wanted no part in it.

Dinner was great. Our waiters are hysterical- Renaldo from the Philippines especially. We left Madeira tonight and we're really booking. The seas have been like glass so far, but we've been going pretty slow so far. Now that we've started our journey across the atlantic we're moving quick. Right now we're going 20 nautical miles (per hour?). The ship's max speed is 26 or 27 nautical miles. So we're feeling that we are actually on a ship for the first time. It's not bad at all and we've had worse. We're hoping that this is all it will be, but we're ready for worse. At dinner we started taking ginger tablets just in case and we also have ginger hard candies. Normally any other cruise isn't like this and we never really take anything- however the Atlantic Ocean is not even close to cruising in the Mediterranean or Caribbean. The Atlantic is where hurricanes are born. You never know what type of seas you're going to get. 

After dinner I was pretty tired. The movement of the ship is very "calming". It's kinda like being rocked to sleep. So I headed to bed and I think my mom did too. My dad stayed up to see the other comedian. Tonight before bed we got to move our clocks back another hour. I could get use to this. 

Talk to you guys soon!


mayo3dill said...

You created the most hysterical image in my mind with the wicker coffin/ride. Can not wait to see the video!!!!! LOL

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