Our plan for today was to get as close to Pico do Arieiro as possible. I can tell your already that we got very close!
The path today was much easier to follow. We only had to follow the levada from Portella to Rebeiro Frio. The path next to the levada is sometime very narrow with the rocks on the left side and the abyss on the right side.
The path goes though small tunnels and we see a lot of rain forest vegetation.
The 11km from Portella to Ribeiro Frio took us longer than expected. We walked at least 4 hours along the levada. At the end there is a hotel, a restaurant and a bus stop. We also met Nico and Freija again here.
We still needed to find gas to be able to cook something warm while in the mountains. Nico and Freija told us they bought their gas (Primus) in an outdoor shop in Funchal. We had to get some food anyway so we took the next bus to Funchal to get supplies. We were lucky since there are only two buses and we arrived just ten minutes before the last bus arrived.
We had lunch in Funchal and bought some food for the next two days in the mountains. Apparently some of us already needed some extra rest.
We took the bus to Poiso from where we continued to Pico do Arieiro. A strong mist blocked our view while we started walking.
It’s a long road so we started hitchhiking. Very fast we could catch a ride. We were dropped at Pico do Arieiro where we immediately found a good pitch for our tent.
Stunning views on all sides of Pico do Arieiro. With an altitude of +1800m we are now far above the current clouds. There is a strong wind though.
Thanks to a good timing for the bus connection and an easy ride for the last part to the top of Pico do Arieiro, we succeeded in our goal for today. Pico do Arieiro. Sometimes luck is all we need.
I have to say, I never camped with a view like this. Goodnight!
(Green: Walking / Blue: Bus / Orange: Hitchhiking)