Not exactly tour bus air conditioned comfort, (but actually beautifully air conditioned with the jeep's top down), this was an exciting fun trip with Nicolau. He collected us on time at our hotel as arranged and off we went on a very special drive to Porto Moniz: over the tops through forests; on dirt roads no tour bus would even look at; high across the Paul de Serra and down an incredibly steep and winding route to an excellent lunch stop at Porto Moniz.
After lunch, time to stroll around Porto Moniz before driving along the north coast, past small bays and towering waterfalls, before cutting inland with a stop at a small tabena da poncha for a glass of this Madeiran speciality. We were returned to our hotel a little shaken but very stirred. Nicolau is the exact opposite of a tour guide sitting at the front with a microphone. You are his guests, but quickly become his friends as he shows you the hidden Madeira and chats away with both insight and pride in his island home.
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