porto da cruz – a tour around town

Roaming through the surroundings of Porto da Cruz’s town center we get the green fields, the agricultural activities and the immaculate white of the manor houses and chapels as companion. At Referta, the manor house built by Manuel Telo Moniz de Menezes and at Lombo dos Leais, the one owned by Alfredo Vasconcelos de Freitas Branco, local Viscount and unavoidable Madeiran character as well as the “Borracheiro” made up monument by Jacinto Rodrigues, an artist and new artisan, in whose studio we’ve spent some time. Again at Cruz da Guarda, Mr. José de Freitas Vieira has received us in his small workshop surrounded by his wood spoons, his swine scrubbers and by the “caralhinhos” – the traditional wood tool used to stir the “poncha”. On the way to the imposing Penha d’Águia, we got to know the myth of King Sebastian and stopping at Serrado’s Aqueduct in Terra Baptista we saw then the “Levada” of Castelejo which lead us to discover the greatness of the old island’s irrigation channels.

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