2015 arrived in style in Madeira with the usual spectacular Firework display in Funchal. Cruise ships arrived in time to join the celebrations and we spent a lovely evening with friends 'seeing in the New Year'.
The Transquadra race of 100 yachts - sailing from France to Martinique - stopped over in Madeira. They arrived in August 2014 and departed from Madeira at the end of January 2015. Festivities and a farewell dinner were held at Quinta do Lorde Marina/Resort to herald them on their way. The weather on the day of their departure promised a good wind. As they set off from the Marina, spinnakers were hoisted giving a splendid show for spectators on shore. The wind however accelarated down the valley as the yachts approached Machico bay with the result that a few of the yachts were given a hefty push. Fortunately no knock-downs, but at least two yachts broached. We wish them fair winds on their journey.
pic: Transquadra departing Machico.
Mid January saw a quick visit back to Scotland for repairs and maintenance on our property. Fortunately all the Tradesmen were available and the work was done on time.
pic: early winter morning sunrise in Scotland
With temperatures of -15 deg C, it was a relief to head back to Madeira. It was a bit of a shock to find that the average temperatures had dropped here as well and that we had snow on the mountain tops!
Pic: snow on Pico Arrieiro (courtesy of RTP Madeira - facebook page 9/2/15)
Our second Annual Burns Supper was held on the appropriate date. Our menu of Cock-a-Leekie soup, haggis, neeps and tatties, scots tart and cranachan was enjoyed along with the customary dram or two. An interactive recitation of Burns poetry, the only criteria were that everyone worn tartan and recited in their best Scottish accent, giving us a fun night.
pic: Burns Supper
Valentine's Day brought the Carnival to Madeira. This was followed by a week of 'local' carnival parades throughout the Island. At the end of the week Santo da Serra had it's own local carnival. Unfortunately the weather wasn't the best, with wind and very wet mist, however the participants put on a brave front and gave us a colourful show.
pic: Carnival in Santo da Serra - colour and music.