Check the weather out, before leaving. Often it's cloudy around Funchal, but you climb above the clouds, and have a clear walk along the ridge. If you want the complete ridge walk, you'll need to arrange to be collected at Achada de Teixeira. Done this walk 4 times now, reaching different points, depending on the starting time, before having to turn back and return to Arreiro. In general it is a well made path, crossing step cliffs and and twisting from top of curriel de Ferreira valley to faja de Nogeira valley. There are lots of steps, so be prepared for these, but they make a better path. DON'T GO OFF the path, as the slopes are very gravelly and have lots of loose material, making it possible to slip towards the cliff tops, with serious drops, there are occasional injuries resulting from this.
If trying to get to Pico Ruivo, start early and arrange a return lift, as its a long way down to road, and probably too far to comfortably get across the ridge and back.
At the car park, there's a cafe and a exhibition centre describing the work on the storm petrel which nests on the cliffs. Originally the species was though to be extinct in 1969, then a few pairs were seen and now there are over 60 pairs.
The whole ridge was badly hit by a forest fire in 2010, and hence please be careful with your cigarette endings. 3 years later the vegetation is just beginning to rejuvenate.
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