Imagine it's summer. Let's say late summer, about September. And imagine you are hiking. On a Portuguese islands, let's say Madeira. For two weeks. Up above the clouds, through thick laurel woods, among sloping hills or alike. Marvelling about the scenery and ignoring the fact that life has placed you in a
Then this can be just the best:
We bought these chorizo-style smoked sausages on our first trip to the supermarket to have something more substantial than just bread for our hikes. And from the first bite, they were a stable component of many, many meals as they mated perfectly with pasta, cheese, tomatoes and basically everything that crossed our pots and pans in our tiny apartment kitchen. I love versatility in food. Like parmesan.
But there were other yummy memories to take home, as for example the lamb chops with port wine glaze:
They are on the very right, just in case you are wondering...
Or the rabbit in white wine sauce that was so tender that it basically peeled itself off the bone to wander into my mouth.
Madeira is great for eating out. We like to find hotels that provide a breakfast buffet but also a kitchenette so that someone gets up before we do to feed us before we get out into the countryside. And in the evenings, we can decide for ourselves whether we want to eat out in local restaurants or bars as in "frequented by locals," prepare something ourselves or visit the hotel restaurant. All restaurants we tried were very reasonably priced - even the very touristy ones. The servings were always of a size that meant hard practice to clear all the plates. We made it by the end of our trip, no disappointed faces! There was a lot of fish, but more game on the table, I am not sure whether that is typical of Portugal in general or just Madeira. Anyone knows?
Back to all that hiking. I think I will share pictures soon, as you have so bravely endured the first two weeks of September with the pre-written posts. But I still haven't taken enough time to flick through them again and again myself. So how to pick the best for you? Here is one of me on top of the world Madeira's highest peak, the Pico Ruivo at 1862 m above sea level. Yes, we went there by foot. Climbing steps is good for your leg shape. At least that is what I told myself. A couple thousand times.
And here is a picture of what our little town of Canixo went through to welcome us. They spent hours and hours and days and days to engarland their entire town and come up with a very enjoyable, three day traditional festivity. It may have been for some saint or religious this or that, too, but I enjoyed it as my private entertainment. Thank you, Canixo.
And if you are ever in the need for a hotel on Madeira, pick the Quinta Splendida in Canixo. The homepage does not lie and it really was best pick we ever made for a vacation: imagine a botanical garden. With tiny houses hidden between the flora. And that is what the complex looks like: green, flowery and in full blown. Have I mentioned that the pool features a perfect view over the ocean?
I so wish I'd be there right now.