Fabulous day out and about…Unreal photos from one year ago…Burj Khalifa, tallest building in the world…A building anomoly…

The view of the ocean as we explored the area and dined.

It was definitely time to get out after two weeks with a few outings due to my recent illness. Although not yet 100%, the fresh sea air, and sunshine were exactly what we both needed to freshen our enthusiasm and usually joyful spirits.

As summer approaches, we expect this area to be jammed with tourists.

Starting the day with our first walk in the neighborhood, we were enthralled with the sights and sounds as we made our way up the very steep hill. I was surprised how easily we tackled it after weeks of laying low. For me, this will become a daily occurrence as I rebuild my health stamina. Let’s see if I can get Tom to join me most days.

The Don Luis Restaurant is located on the right with many tables outdoors and inside. 

Later in the day we easily found our way to the boardwalk in Ribeira Brava and after parking the car in the modern ramp, we were enthused to stroll along the shops and narrow streets lined with a variety of vendors selling local wares.

The outdoor area of the restaurant, a popular tourist spot.

We felt liberated when it suddenly dawned on us how this beautiful island and lovely home made us feel comfortable and free of constraints and unfamiliar customs. We freely held hands and took photos with nary a vendor’s opposition. Our perusing presented no pressure to purchase.

We chose a table closest to the ocean under a bright red umbrella, casting a red glow on all of our photos.

It was interesting to see new merchandise as opposed to the common items we walked passed day after day in Morocco. Without a doubt, Morocco had its charm and unique persona. Madeira is more relaxed, moves at a slower pace, and provides the expanse of fresh cool ocean air, so appealing to our senses. 

Tom was more relaxed than I’d seen him in months.
It felts so wonderful to be out in the fresh ocean air.

During the later fabulous dinner at Don Luis which we easily found in the area, we discussed the possibility of returning to Madeira someday. Similar to South Africa, in the warmth of its people and magical surroundings we’ve easily embraced our surroundings in no time at all, feeling as if we belong.

My prawn and squid skewer.  Delicious! I haven’t had squid since we were in Kenya

Our house overlooking the sea feels like home with its views, spaciousness, and clean lines. Everything is comfortable from the L shaped leather sectional to the leather-bound dining rooms chairs to the fluffy down comforter on the bed (to which we’ve adjusted, sleeping well), to the easy to use modern kitchen, to the huge soaking tub, I use every morning. 

Tom’s mixed grill with a side of chips (they call fries “chips” here, too).

Dining last night was divine as shown in these photos. The price for our meal including one large beer for Tom, two bottles of sparkling water for me, a side salad, and our entrees came to a total of US $63.39, EU $46.50, similar to the cost of our dinner out a week ago at Muralha. 

A side dish of steamed veggies was seasoned to perfection with garlic butter and spices.

Based on our budget of US $1200, EU $880, for restaurant dining, we plan to dine out no more than twice every 10 days or so, choosing the nicer establishments. Most less expensive restaurants have few suitable options for my way of eating when many items include gluten and starch.

Had I realized the extra cost for this small salad I would have passed on it.  It was US $6.82, EU $5, not worth it. From what we’ve observed, salads aren’t served with salad dressings outside the US unless specifically requested which I don’t bother.

The service at Don Luis was superb and to our delight both of our wait staff spoke excellent English.  At the end of dinner, they poured us each a shot of banana liqueur. I handed mine over to Tom as usual.  He chugged them both down with a scowl of his face.  He’s not a “shot” kind of guy.
Ice cream cones and other ice cream bars are often seen in these freezer carts outside of restaurants and shops.

Last night when Gina stopped by she suggested we try two of the local less expensive restaurants here in Campanario.  She pointed us in the direction of the restaurants. The trick is finding them on these maze-like mountains.

GPS doesn’t help  in these mountains and turn by turn directions are confusing when many streets aren’t clearly marked.  Today, we may try to find them when we head out to the nearby local market.

View as we were leaving Ribeira Brava at 7:00 pm.

We had a wonderful afternoon and evening, settling in for the evening after dark with a few new shows to watch, hunkering down on the comfy sofa with a blanket on our laps and content to be “home.”  Life is good.

More photos of our trip to the village will follow tomorrow. 

Yes, even a pigeon holds our interest fluffed up and standing on one foot, in this relatively wildlife sparse area.
Hummm…the pigeon pair that hung around us as we dined managed a little action of their own while they too, enjoyed the romantic setting.


Photo from one year ago today, May 31, 2013:

 Tom took this photo from the 124th floor observation deck of the tallest building
in the world, the Burj Khalifa, with a total 163 stories.

Oh. Here’s the most intentionally crooked skyscraper in the world in Abu Dhabi, UAE, the Capital Gate, built at a full 18 degree angle.

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