Photographer's Note

Although I walked along a levada for a couple of hours, I did not manage to take a good photo of it. The mostly cloudy weather never inspires me much. Nevertheless, I thought that in any reportage from Madeira, and especially on a website where people want to learn about the world though photography, I must show a photo of the levada.

The distribution of water on Madeira Island is not uniform. Similarly to Canary or Hawaiian Islands, clouds usually arrive from the north and stay hanging on the high volcanic peaks, while the south part of the island is predominantly clear. Portuguese settlers have built a unique water irrigation system which consist of levadas, stone channels which transport the water all over the island.
To illustrate the brilliancy of the levadas my guidebook compared them with other famous irrigation or water transportation systems:
Ancient Rome: 504 km
Los Angeles: 1465 km
Levadas: 2150 km

In addition to irrigation levadas are used these days also to produce the electricity. For tourists they offer fantastic hiking opportunities. There are countless of trails along levadas which are easy to follow. Some of them pass through tunnels, other follow steep edges of the mountains, so you have to research well the trail before you start. The public transport on the island is reasonable but if you want to use it to get to and back from levada trails, it requires some more serious planning. Instead, we were taken by a taxi driver to a starting point of a trail and for a previously agreed price, he awaited us on the other end of the hike. The advantage was that he knew everything about the island and was passionate about plants. He spoke English, German and even Swedish. He could also recommend a hike suitable for children and he knew which have the highest chances for a good weather. We had a bit of a sunshine when we started the hike.
This photo was taken along Levada do Norte near Campanário. I will add another one in the workshop. These are not necessarily great photos but I wanted to illustrate here the concept of a levada.

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Additional Photos by Mariusz Kamionka (mkamionka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6783 W: 105 N: 17701] (68512)
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