We drove into the mountains in the Southwest, for some more island exploring. We were lucky that there was a clear sky today. The environment around Rabacal and Pico Ruivo do Paul varies from bald mountains to green woods. It’s a popular walking area. Many people, including tour groups, explore this area by foot.
Trout lake trail
We were here around 11:00 o’clock. As almost everywhere on Madeira, the trail is alongside a levada (narrow man-made water streams). The track is easy. It is more difficult to pass the people coming from the opposite side, because of the small paths. On our way back it became a bit too crowded. The views on the green mountains are stunning, nonetheless.
The walk ends at a riverbed. The so-called ‘trout lake’ is a bit disappointing. It’s a small man-made pool with some fishes. It’s more fun seeing the fish swim through the levadas. The walk just takes about 2 hours, return included.
Pico Ruivo do Paul
The short walk to Pico Ruivo do Paul (1640 metres high) is beautiful. We walked trough woods and at the top of the mountain we had wide views on the area and the ocean.
As we had walked two trails in a row, we skipped lunch. So we were really in the mood for food afterwards.
Restaurant Dos Amigos
On the hill above Ponto do Sol, there is a very simple, local restaurant with nice views on the village and the ocean. Although it was already 16:30 (a bit late for lunch), we were welcome to have some dishes here. My wife had delicious barbecue chicken (in her words: “the best grilled chicken EVER!”) and I had grilled Espada (local fish). As a dessert, we had creme caramel and fresh mango. The service was friendly. They speak very little English here, but just enough to understand each other. Do not expect anything fancy, but this was one of the best restaurant experiences we have had in Madeira. Local, simple and fresh food. We visited Dos Amigos twice. The second time we had grilled salmon and octopus. The tuna salad we shared as a starter was a bit disappointing. All in all, we rate this place with a 7 out of 10.
We were still stuffed from our restaurant visit at Dos Amigos, but we had made a reservation for that night too. We decided to go and only eat one dish. The exterior, in front of the market in Funchal, looks terrible but once you are inside it’s nice and cozy. The welcome was warm too and the service very friendly. The staff loves to make small talks with you. Then about the food: I had a skewer with fresh grilled shrimps and octopus. So simple and tasty. My wife only had a soup but she was happy with it. On the side, we had vegetables and potatoes. In the end, we couldn’t resist to take a dessert too. We had home-made passion fruit ice cream and a fresh fruit salad. It was all very simple, but decent and tasty! We rate this place with a 7 out of 10.