A Trip to the East

We got David “the taxi” to drive us for the day on Wednesday. The weather started off drab and rainy.

The Garajau Christ King Statue is located in the Cristo Rei Viewpoint with a magnificent view of the Garajau Beach. This statue is a work written by the French sculptor Georges Serraz.

The monument is a statue of Christ with open arms, facing the ocean. This statue was funded and built by advisor Aires Ornelas, son of the last scion of Reed, and was inaugurated on 30 October 1927.

This may be another aloe, who knows.

Underneath the new airport extension.

At Machico the weather brightened

Tristão Vaz Teixeira (c. 1395–1480) was a Portuguese navigator and explorer who, together with João Gonçalves and Bartolomeu Perestrelo, was the official discoverer and one of the first settlers of the archipelago of Madeira(1419–1420)

Caniçal And the Whaling Museum

http://www.museudabaleia.org/en/

During the fake dive.

Then on to the end of the road at Ponta do Buraco.

David drove us back via the wicker weaving village of Camancha

Apart from being well-known among Portuguese sports fans as the venue for Portugal’s first football match Camacha today is all about one traditional product – wicker. Harvested in the nearby mountains, it’s dried and graded before being twisted and weaved into myriad objects of varying degrees of usefulness. The industry’s epicentre is a building in the town centre called O Relógio (The Clock), which houses a workshop, shop and displays.

This being Madeira, the O Relógio building is entered on the 2nd floor, where you’ll find the shop. Half exhibition, half souvenir emporium, the wicker comes in all shapes and sizes, from huge mirror frames and doll’s house furniture to suitcases and bread baskets, mini Monte toboggans and lampshades to fruit baskets and wine bottle holders. Prices are very reasonable and the quality extremely high – items often last for decades.

Down a level from the shop an exhibition of wicker creations will have you reaching for your camera. A wicker replica of Zarco’s caravel sails towards the stairs while wicker monkeys and frogs stare back at you with old-fashioned teddy-bear eyes. You won’t be reaching for your wallet here, though – no matter how much you offer, sadly none of this is for sale. What is for sale are the large pieces of furniture, very popular among Madeira’s smaller guesthouses and quinta hotels. 

Arguably the most interesting part of O Relógio is the basement where four or five nimble-fingered local craftspeople sit on old cushions creating items for the shop. They’ll gladly demonstrate their skill and let you handle the items they make, but few speak any English. Here you can also see the crude wooden templates they use to fashion baskets and lampshades, as well as inspect the bushels of graded wicker stacked up against the walls.

We finished the evening off with a visit to the casino…

…This being Madeira, the O Relógio building is entered on the 2nd floor, where you’ll find the shop. Half exhibition, half souvenir emporium, the wicker comes in all shapes and sizes, from huge mirror frames and doll’s house furniture to suitcases and bread baskets, mini Monte toboggans and lampshades to fruit baskets and wine bottle holders. Prices are very reasonable and the quality extremely high – items often last for decades.

Down a level from the shop an exhibition of wicker creations will have you reaching for your camera. A wicker replica of Zarco’s caravel sails towards the stairs while wicker monkeys and frogs stare back at you with old-fashioned teddy-bear eyes. You won’t be reaching for your wallet here, though – no matter how much you offer, sadly none of this is for sale. What is for sale are the large pieces of furniture, very popular among Madeira’s smaller guesthouses and quinta hotels. 

Arguably the most interesting part of O Relógio is the basement where four or five nimble-fingered local craftspeople sit on old cushions creating items for the shop. They’ll gladly demonstrate their skill and let you handle the items they make, but few speak any English. Here you can also see the crude wooden templates they use to fashion baskets and lampshades, as well as inspect the bushels of graded wicker stacked up against the walls.

We finished the day with a visit to the Casino…

… to see the brilliant Madeira Mandolin Orchestra perform.

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