Ponta de São Lourenço

It is difficult to state whether Ponta de São Lorenço signifies the beginning or the end of life, the universe and everything. On the Eastern Madeira tip, the landscape changes dramatically. It is a bit like going from the jungle to the moon.

There is no lushness left, now. The landscape is rugged, but colourful. At some places it reminds me of Iceland: the volcanic origin of Madeira is certainly visible here. This part of Madeira is also the one that is slowly crumbling apart – so we are advised to not stray off the path. Sounds a little “Little red riding hood” to me, but we got the same advice on Iceland (for a reason: we walked on active volcanic ground with a very thin crust) so we stick to it.

There are almost no people here.

I am in a kind of meditative state as I walk among basalt cliffs and look at the red and black rocks contrasting with the very blue waters; the occasional plant clings on to lava shelves, completely unaware that their being is not supposed to be just here. The mountain sides are striped in several colours, several patterns of rock.

We could probably have walked for ever. There are two reasons for not doing this, however:

  1. You can only go so far on Ponta de São Lourenço
  2. It is Christmas and we have a table reservation waiting in Funchal

And so we turn back, while I ponder upon what it is exactly with rugged, bare landscapes that speaks to my soul in ways forests and other niceties do not. The answer has not yet been found. I suspect it is related to the feeling of witnessing the origin or the end of the world, or perhaps a combination of the two.

On the way back, we stop at a couple of sea side towns that, at least in my mind, really are villages. We’ll get to them in a different post, though.

Recommended? Yes.  And bring proper shoes. No flip-flops, please.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *