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Madeira: Nature, Road Trip and Dinner At The Vine

Madeira-Portugal-Pico do Areeiro-Mountain-Jeep Tour-1-Photo ©Mademoiselle Le K

Pico do Areeiro

Madeira-Portugal-Pico do Areeiro-Mountain-Jeep Tour-2-Photo ©Mademoiselle Le K

9 a.m. Departure From Funchal In Jeep

to Pico do Areeiro (1818 m), the third highest peak of the Madeira island (above photo). Different landscapes on the road (photo 1). And the view is stunning when we come to Pico do Areeiro! I think to serenely enjoy (-to avoid tourists-), you need to be there really early in the morning.

We get into the Jeep to go to Ribeiro Frio, for an easy 45 minute walk that follows the Levada de Serra do Faial. The Levadas are canals built between 1461 and 1966, to carry water to irrigate cropland. We get into the Laurissilva Forest unchanged since Prehistoric times (photo montage below). Lovely panorama of the valley from the Ribeira da Metade point of vue (on the photo montage below: the penultimate picture)!

Madeira-Portugal-Pico do Areeiro-Ribeiro Frio-Laurisilva Forest-Jeep Tour-Photo ©Mademoiselle Le K

Driving To Santana

Madeira-Portugal-Road To Santana-Jeep Tour-4-Photo ©Mademoiselle Le K

Heading To The North Coast of Madeira

to visit SantanaThe road runs along the ocean! And I love Ocean! Steep coast, hills that plunge in water: bright green on the ultramarine blue with emerald hues. Happiness! We cross Faial, one of the first places to have been populated in the North coast.

Madeira-Portugal-Road To Santana-Jeep Tour-2-Photo ©Mademoiselle Le K Madeira-Portugal-Road To Santana-Jeep Tour-3-Photo ©Mademoiselle Le K

Returning to Funchal

Madeira-Portugal-Ponta de Sao Lourenço-Natural Reserve-Jeep Tour-1-Photo ©Mademoiselle Le K

My Favorite Scenery!

I also love this part of the road leading to the most Eastern point of the island of Madeira. Where you can find the nature reserve Ponta de São Lourenço. Desert scenery and vegetation tormented by strong winds! I feel like in Sergio Leone movies… a palm tree here and there and this incredible light!

Madeira-Portugal-Ponta de Sao Lourenço-Natural Reserve-Jeep Tour-2-Photo ©Mademoiselle Le K

Miradouro Ponta de São Lourenço

Madeira-Portugal-Ponta de Sao Lourenço-Natural Reserve-Jeep Tour-3-Photo ©Mademoiselle Le K               Madeira-Portugal-Ponta de Sao Lourenço-Natural Reserve-Jeep Tour-4-Photo ©Mademoiselle Le K Madeira-Portugal-Ponta de Sao Lourenço-Natural Reserve-Jeep Tour-5-Photo ©Mademoiselle Le KMadeira-Portugal-View From Ponta de Sao Lourenço-Natural Reserve-Jeep Tour-Photo ©Mademoiselle Le K

Dinner @ The Vine

Madeira-Portugal-Funchal-The-Vine-Hotel-Rooftop-Terrace-Bar-Swimming-Pool-Dinner-@-UVA-Restaurant-And-Festival-do-Atlantico-Fireworks-1-Photo ©Mademoiselle Le K

Back To Funchal In Late Afternoon

A quick stop at the Pestana Casino Park and now I’m ready to go dinner to UVA, the restaurant of The Vine hotel. I’m very excited to discover the decoration of the hotel designed by Nini Andrade Silva.

I could spend hours on the lovely terrace deck, bathed in a golden light and views over the rooftops of Funchal (photo below). At night it’s even more beautiful! Excellent fish and vegetables at the UVA restaurant (on the last photo montage. The restaurant pictured in the penultimate photo montage is not the UVA).

Then we enjoy the Festival do Atlantico‘s fireworks from the lazy terrace of The Vine (photo montage below). Followed by a glass (no poncha for me!) to the Venda Velha. Followed by a music vintage disco … LOL!

Madeira-Portugal-Funchal-The-Vine-Hotel-Rooftop-Terrace-Bar-Swimming-Pool-Dinner-@-UVA-Restaurant-And-Festival-do-Atlantico-Fireworks-2-Photo ©Mademoiselle Le KMadeira-Portugal-Funchal-The-Vine-Hotel-Dinner-@-UVA-Restaurant-And-Festival-do-Atlantico-Fireworks-3-Photo ©Mademoiselle Le K Madeira-Portugal-Funchal-The-Vine-Hotel-Dinner-@-UVA-Restaurant-Food-Meals-4-Photo ©Mademoiselle Le K

Photos : © Mademoiselle Le K – Tous droits réservés.


Visit Madeira, Visit Portugal & TAP 

Jeep safari tours : Mountain Expedition


Many thanks for this beautiful invitation to Visit Madeira, Visit Portugal and TAP. As always all my opinions are mine.

Wat Suan Mokkhaphalaram: The bouddhist Meditation Centre

Arriving late in the afternoon at Wat Suan Mokkhaphalaram, a famous Buddhist meditation center located in a forest, my camera is low bat! But thanksfully I can use my modest smartphone: sorry for the quality of the pictures! Suan Mokkh literally means “The Garden of Liberation”. First Vision: Thai and foreign people, all dressed in white, wandering here and there among the monks in a natural setting. Paths, inscriptions and altars amid lush vegetation … Created in 1959 by the Thai monk Ajahn Buddhadasa Bhikkhu, the monastery is dedicated to meditation. Thailand, with a population of 66,720,153 inhabitants in 2011 (Wikipedia), there are between 200,000 and 300,000 monks (Wikipedia) and 32,000 temples. Picture above: we follow the monks into a building nestled on top of a hill and filled with paintings. Pictures 2, 6 and 7: this facetious energetic monk made us ​​a quick presentation of the foundations of Buddhism. And explained principles such as finding the right balance. He also told us some excerpts from the life of Buddha. And with lots of spirit and emphasis, he commented some paintings (made ​​by the monks of the monastery), as the “Human arragement by Flowers” (picture 4) that I find it quite confusing. I listen carefully. Sometimes I loose the point: some explanations are in Thai. I also try to interpret other reliefs and draws, when the guide ask us to go back to the van. We have to hit the road to the last stop of the day: the city of Surat Thani, where we will spend the night. Sarah, big up to you ; )

Photos : © Mademoiselle Le K – Tous droits réservés  

Follow my whole trip in THAILAND and Twitter. You can also discover my other pictures in the Facebook of the Tourism Authority of Thailand and the Facebook of the Royal Thai Embassy in BelgiumENJOY!

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Thaïland: On the road from Amphawa to Chumphon   


Thailand: A Beach between Chumphon and Surat Thani

Early this morning, we left Pak Tako to Surat Thani.

A long road and little sleep the night before. Along the way we stop to have lunch on a desert beach. A seafood restaurant (picture 2): too bad for me, I do not like seafood, lol! Huts and threatening sky. Stray dogs and cats and too many mosquitoes! I decide to explore lonely one side of the beach.

Fantastic light giving an emerald reflection to the sea, the tide is low. On land, post card’s palm trees and conifers. Far away, empty canoes ripple on the surface of the water. Opposite, a small fishing community. I have the feeling of walking into a movie set. Light wind, the sky is covered like waiting for an impending tropical storm.

Always impressive, the sky turns black at once, no rain yet. I go to the boats first (picture 3), and then to the fishermen sitting in a large hut covered with palm leaves. Men, women and children are busy unraveling the threads. Exchange of smiles, I show my camera to ask if I can take pictures and portraits.

I appreciate when people photographed are complicit and forget my presence. Sometimes there are meetings and great energy, as in this group. As always the best meetings are those due to chance. I barely had time to make some shots that other journalists arrive (!). It starts to rain, I have to leave in the direction of the restaurant. Many thanks to this small community for their hospitality!

Photos : © Mademoiselle Le K – Tous droits réservés 

Follow my whole trip in THAILAND and Twitter. You can also discover my other pictures in the Facebook of the Tourism Authority of Thailand and the Facebook of the Royal Thai Embassy in Belgium. ENJOY!

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