Being an island in the middle of the Atlantic, seafood is hugely varied and very popular, although cattle are reared on the island supplying excellent beef to restaurants and hotels.
Fish is landed at THE fishing village, Camara de Logos. This is a small community, with a nest of local bars lining the grey stoned harbour. It takes an effort to apreciate the grey, volcanic sands and cliffs that make up the rather scruffy coastline around the village.
However, the village centre is shared by parked cars, fishing boats, dried fish, olocal buses, cruise buses, tourist buses, cafe tables & local card schools.
Just down from the hotel is a small parade of quality restaurants. The pizza restaurant is just that. The Mexican Steakhouse its exactly that but such excellent fillet. Having gorged out on steak and a bottle of red Mr Bossman brings out his homemade bevvy. Made with honey it has got quite a kick. He boasted that my bed would ‘bounce with sex’ after sinking a few glasses of his nectar. I think it also made him blind as he guessed me to be 58.
The fish restaurant boasts to be the best on the island. Quite an accolade but true – huge portions of wonderful fish & sea food. Our waiter, Artur, King Artur, as we called him, worked for 7 years in the ‘fast food industry in Oxfordshire’. If you know Oxfordshire you will know the chain of fish & chip shops called Smarts, who it turns out is a Greek. It seems that families from Madeira work in his chain which can be found in every market town in the county. On a Sunday they would meet up in Summertown to play footy. What a small world.
It is back home later today. I’ve enjoyed this peaceful, calm island where life is slow and the locals friendly. The coastal strip is holiday territory but the core, the spine of the island reminds me of the mountains of Europe where you can walk and trek and cycle and off road. Just beware – everywhere is up, and a steep up.