Ponta de Sao Lourenco, Madeira, Portugal

The Eastern, Somehow Extraterrestrial Madeira Tip


boat tail
A speedboat travels along the south coast of Ponta de São Lourenço.
lush flora
One of the few examples of a verdant plant.
lighthouse islet
The São Lourenço Lighthouse, crowning the Ilhéu do Farol.
end-sao-lourenco-madeira-portugal-costa-north
Road leading north from Ponta de São Lourenço, overlooking the north coast of Madeira.
Ponta de Sao Lourenco
The capricious shape of Ponta de São Lourenço.
Shared View
Hikers take a break on the PR8 route from Madeira to admire the north coast of Ponta de São Lourenço.
blessed fishing
Artisanal fishing off the south coast of Ponta de São Lourenço.
Elephant rock
A pachyderm-shaped rock between Caniçal and Ponta de São Lourenço.
The Sardine Wharf
Cais do Sardinha and its rocky beach.
inaccessible paradise
Emerald and crystalline sea on the north coast of Ponta de São Lourenço.
On my way
Walker travels along the PR 8 itinerary along the eastern edge of the island of Madeira.
Landing
Seabird perching on a basaltic ridge.
Red cliffs colony
Sharp cliffs off the north coast of Ponta de São Lourenço.
Unusual, with ocher tones and raw earth, Ponta de São Lourenço is often the first sight of Madeira. When we walk through it, we are fascinated, above all, with what the most tropical of the Portuguese islands is not.

The early days of the current pandemic and its confinements were taking place when the news of an undue evasion stood out from the rest.

Cristiano Ronaldo had gone to Madeira for a few days.

With the island and all of Portugal confined, he published photos of himself with his partner and son on a tour of Ponta de São Lourenço.

His, at the time, more recent whim aroused a dignified controversy, even so, far from the geological eccentricity of the extravagant peninsula that welcomed him.

Elephant Rock, Ponta de São Lourenço, Madeira, Portugal

A pachyderm-shaped rock between Caniçal and Ponta de São Lourenço.

The First and Strange Madeira Island Sighting

When passing by, if distracted, those arriving by ferry from the neighboring island of Porto Santo you may be led to think that you never left the starting point.

Ponta de São Lourenço is much more in keeping with Porto Santo or the Desertas than with the verdant, in certain points, luxuriant Madeira.

And yet, it encloses it as an oriental appendage, sinuous and bizarre, that the opposite end of the island has no equal.

Ponta de Sao Lourenco, Madeira, Portugal

The capricious shape of Ponta de São Lourenço.

In our case, we start from funchal capital. Passing Machico, the view of the port and industrial complex of Caniçal leaves us apprehensive.

Around Quinta do Lorde, we leave behind the last vestige of populated civilization.

North Coast, Madeira, Portugal

Road leading north from Ponta de São Lourenço, overlooking the north coast of Madeira.

A roundabout that houses a leafy palm tree and a mobile home serving food and drinks establishes the road limit.

From then on, along 9km, Ponta de São Lourenço assumes the colors and shapes that its volcanic and prehistoric geology gave it.

It reveals itself and dazzles by Nature.

Walkers, Ponta de São Lourenço, Madeira, Portugal

Hikers take a break on the PR8 route from Madeira to admire the north coast of Ponta de São Lourenço.

PR8 – A Trail Above and Below Ponta de São Lourenço

The rail that furrows received the code PR8. It begins by curving the mid-slope, above the smooth, crystalline Atlantic of Baía d'Abra.

Then, it goes down to a tight spot closed by Praia de São Lourenço.

However, it deviates to the opposite direction.

There, he leaves us at a viewpoint facing north that displays a fort of islets and exuberant rocks, punished without mercy by the northern sea.

Cliffs, Ponta de São Lourenço, Madeira, Portugal

Sharp cliffs off the north coast of Ponta de São Lourenço.

Even in the shade, we are impressed by the magnificence of the cove that extends from there to the kind of cape of Ponta do Rosto.

Its cliffs rise another hundred meters above the sea.

At several points, the track advances over the knife edge from these heights. It renews an unexpected sensation of vertigo.

In zigzags, we descend to the shallow, curved and shadowy isthmus where the “North Sea” almost merges with the South.

The opposite extreme places us at the base of the quasi-island that follows.

Fishing boat, Ponta de São Lourenço, Madeira, Portugal

Artisanal fishing off the south coast of Ponta de São Lourenço.

For some time we had glimpsed a tiny oasis, a palm grove as green as it was out of touch.

A few hundred steps later, we realized that it lent shade to the famous Casa do Sardinha, bar, restaurant, activity center and energy recovery.

For many, the main reason for walking.

Casa do Sardinha, the Logistic Heart of Ponta de São Lourenço

The name of the establishment remains that because over the years it became known.

Both were bequeathed by the former owners of those lands, cattle ranchers, as evidenced by the corral stones that still exist there, at a time when a good part of the peninsula admitted pastures and even crops.

Wheat, from the barley planted by the peasants of the fishing village of Caniçal, who made it germinate in the apparently inhospitable soil of the current Ilhéu da Cevada (of the Desembarcadouros).

We didn't take long to see him.

St. Lawrence, the reason for Holy Baptism

Ponta de São Lourenço is forever linked to the first moments of the discovery and colonization of Madeira. It preserves the name of the caravel of João Gonçalves Zarco, one of the three discoverers of the island.

The discovery of Madeira took place in 1419, a year after that of Porto Santo. In turn, the colonization closest to Ponta de São Lourenço, Caniçal, took place around 1489, when Vasco Martins Moniz and his eldest son Garcia Moniz settled on a farm there.

In the beginning of the XNUMXth century, the Moniz built a church that gave rise to the oldest of the small parishes in Madeira, São Sebastião do Caniçal, later the parish of Caniçal and one of the favorite game farms of the descendants of Captain Donatário pioneer of Porto de Machico, Tristan Vaz.

Ponta de Sao Lourenco, Madeira, Portugal

Emerald and crystalline sea on the north coast of Ponta de São Lourenço.

English Corsairs, Moorish Pirates and Related Threats

Colonization of the eastern end of the island has always proved problematic. About to turn to the XNUMXth century, in the middle of the Philippine Dynasty, the English, visceral enemies of the Spanish Crown, were in charge of attacking and plundering its inhabitants.

They weren't the only ones. The isolation of that tip of Madeira, at the gates of Africa, also made it vulnerable to Moorish looting.

The area proved to be so susceptible that the Captaincy of Machico often reminded the settlers to keep an eye out for the fires in Caniçal.

For some time, this was the only warning system for attacks coming from the Ponta de São Lourenço side. Years later, a small watch fort reinforced it.

The defense infrastructure could have been other, much more functional, if the Marquis de Pombal's ambition had passed from the mind of erecting a port in Baía d'Abra, conjectured to house ten ships.

Instead of this structure, today, Ponta de São Lourenço is served by the tiny Cais do Sardinha, the anchorage and small beach made of pebbles and crystal-clear water that delight hikers with rewarding baths. There we would also have our but, let's get back to the trail.

Sardinha Wharf, Ponta de São Lourenço, Madeira, Portugal

Cais do Sardinha and its rocky beach.

The Ultimate and Most Strenuous Ascent

It is behind the Casa do Sardinha that the last stretch of the PR8, by far the most tiring, starts. A sketch of a staircase made of hundreds of irregular and too wide terraces demands all of their strength from the thighs.

Ponta de Sao Lourenco, Madeira, Portugal

Walker travels along the PR 8 itinerary along the eastern edge of the island of Madeira.

We know that we won it and that we conquered the 162 meters of Pico do Furado when we came across the cul-de-sac viewpoint at Ponta do Furado.

On this summit once again exposed to the north, interned in the Atlantic like none until then, the gale is infernal. The stability necessary for photography disturbs us and aggravates the fear that, with no plans to do so, we'll crash into the rocky and stony bottom of the foothills of Morro do Furado.

We are dazzled by the insular solitude of the slightly balanced Lighthouse of Ponta de São Lourenço (107m), the humanized threshold of the peninsula. And to the east, with a glimpse of the slender Desertas.

Even eager to advance beyond the roped stronghold, we resisted the gale and dodged tragedy.

A few meters short of Pico do Furado, the vegetal glow of a plant that proliferated from the shade and humidity trapped between two cliffs amazes us.

Ponta de Sao Lourenco, Madeira, Portugal

One of the few examples of a verdant plant.

A Special Reserve Fauna and Flora

With an inhospitable appearance, Ponta de São Lourenço is home to such special forms of life that, in 1982, it was declared a Natural Reserve: the peninsula itself, a partial reserve. Ilhéu da Cevada, total reserve.

All in all, the peninsula is home to 138 species of plants, 31 of which are exclusive to the Madeira Island.

In terms of fauna, it is home to one of the largest colonies of seagulls in the archipelago, Corre-caminhos, Goldfinches, Canaries-da-Terra, Francelhos, Cagarras, Roques-de-Castro, Almas-Negras and specimens of Garajau-Comum, well like some unusual endemic snails.

Landing, Ponta de São Lourenço, Madeira, Portugal

Seabird perching on a basaltic ridge.

Offshore, although easier to find on the Desertas islands, you can see Lobos-Marinhos from time to time.

We revert to Casa do Sardinha.

From that providential headquarters, we return to the beginning of the trail.

Discovering Ponta de São Loureço. Now by Sea

A few days later, we completed the walk with a marine exploration of Ponta de São Lourenço. We set sail from the dock at Quinta do Lorde.

We sail along the slopes that precede the peninsula and, past Ponta do Buraco, over the calm waters of Baía d'Abra.

Ponta de Sao Lourenco, Madeira, Portugal

A speedboat travels along the south coast of Ponta de São Lourenço.

After a stopover at Cais do Sardinha, we head to the base of Ponta do Furado, from where, unlike the viewpoint above, we were able to detect and photograph the geological hole in question.

We continue along the Ilhéu da Cevada, until we reach the strait that separates it from the ocher neighbor of São Lourenço.

Now, from the surface of the sea, we are impressed to double with the fearless crowning of the homonymous lighthouse, inaugurated in 1870 and, as such, the ancient lighthouse of Madeira.

Somehow, Ilhéu do Farol protected us from the currents and capricious waves generated by the meeting of the North and South seas. It did, but not much.

Ilhéu do Farol Lighthouse, Ponta de São Lourenço, Madeira, Portugal

The São Lourenço Lighthouse, crowning the Ilhéu do Farol

The more we left the shadow of its cliffs and exposed ourselves to the vastness of the ocean, the more the waves and currents made us feel the fragility that Gonçalves Zarco, Tristão Vaz Teixeira and Bartolomeu Perestrelo knew how to tame.

With the wind dramatizing the flow of the boat, a return to the calm waters of the south was imposed. We had discovered the remote end of Ponta de São Lourenço.

In the many trips we took to the big island, we never saw a Madeira like this again.

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Pico do Arieiro - Pico Ruivo, Madeira, Portugal

Pico Arieiro to Pico Ruivo, Above a Sea of ​​Clouds

The journey begins with a resplendent dawn at 1818 m, high above the sea of ​​clouds that snuggles the Atlantic. This is followed by a winding, ups and downs walk that ends on the lush insular summit of Pico Ruivo, 1861 meters away.
Paul do Mar a Ponta do Pargo a Achadas da Cruz, Madeira, Portugal

Discovering the Madeira Finisterre

Curve after curve, tunnel after tunnel, we arrive at the sunny and festive south of Paul do Mar. We get goosebumps with the descent to the vertiginous retreat of Achadas da Cruz. We ascend again and marvel at the final cape of Ponta do Pargo. All this, in the western reaches of Madeira.
Corvo, Azores

The Improbable Atlantic Shelter of Corvo Island

17 km2 of a volcano sunk in a verdant caldera. A solitary village based on a fajã. Four hundred and thirty souls snuggled by the smallness of their land and the glimpse of their neighbor Flores. Welcome to the most fearless of the Azorean islands.
São Jorge, Azores

From Fajã to Fajã

In the Azores, strips of habitable land at the foot of large cliffs abound. No other island has as many fajãs as the more than 70 in the slender and elevated São Jorge. It was in them that the jorgenses settled. Their busy Atlantic lives rest on them.
Graciosa, Azores

Her Grace the Graciosa

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Capelinhos Volcano, Faial, Azores

On the trail of the Capelinhos Mistery

From one coast of the island to the opposite one, through the mists, patches of pasture and forests typical of the Azores, we discover Faial and the Mystery of its most unpredictable volcano.
Horta, Azores

The City that Gives the North to the Atlantic

The world community of sailors is well aware of the relief and happiness of seeing the Pico Mountain, and then Faial and the welcoming of Horta Bay and Peter Café Sport. The rejoicing does not stop there. In and around the city, there are white houses and a green and volcanic outpouring that dazzles those who have come so far.
Flores Island, Azores

The Atlantic ends of the Azores and Portugal

Where, to the west, even on the map the Americas appear remote, the Ilha das Flores is home to the ultimate Azorean idyllic-dramatic domain and almost four thousand Florians surrendered to the dazzling end-of-the-world that welcomed them.
Terceira Island, Azores

Terceira Island: Journey through a Unique Archipelago of the Azores

It was called the Island of Jesus Christ and has radiated, for a long time, the cult of the Holy Spirit. It houses Angra do Heroísmo, the oldest and most splendid city in the archipelago. These are just two examples. The attributes that make Terceira island unique are endless.
Santa Maria, Azores

Santa Maria: the Azores Mother Island

It was the first in the archipelago to emerge from the bottom of the sea, the first to be discovered, the first and only to receive Cristovão Colombo and a Concorde. These are some of the attributes that make Santa Maria special. When we visit it, we find many more.
São Miguel (Azores), Azores

São Miguel Island: Stunning Azores, By Nature

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Pico Island, Azores

Pico Island: the Azores Volcano with the Atlantic at its Feet

By a mere volcanic whim, the youngest Azorean patch projects itself into the rock and lava apogee of Portuguese territory. The island of Pico is home to its highest and sharpest mountain. But not only. It is a testament to the resilience and ingenuity of the Azoreans who tamed this stunning island and surrounding ocean.
Castro Laboreiro, Portugal  

From Castro de Laboreiro to Raia da Serra Peneda - Gerês

We arrived at (i) the eminence of Galicia, at an altitude of 1000m and even more. Castro Laboreiro and the surrounding villages stand out against the granite monumentality of the mountains and the Planalto da Peneda and Laboreiro. As do its resilient people who, sometimes handed over to Brandas and sometimes to Inverneiras, still call these stunning places home.
Sistelo, Peneda-Gerês, Portugal

From the "Little Portuguese Tibet" to the Corn Presidia

We leave the cliffs of Srª da Peneda, heading for Arcos de ValdeVez and the villages that an erroneous imaginary dubbed Little Portuguese Tibet. From these terraced villages, we pass by others famous for guarding, as golden and sacred treasures, the ears they harvest. Whimsical, the route reveals the resplendent nature and green fertility of these lands in Peneda-Gerês.
Campos do GerêsTerras de Bouro, Portugal

Through the Campos do Gerês and the Terras de Bouro

We continue on a long, zigzag tour through the domains of Peneda-Gerês and Bouro, inside and outside our only National Park. In this one of the most worshiped areas in the north of Portugal.
Montalegre, Portugal

Through Alto do Barroso, Top of Trás-os-Montes

we moved from Terras de Bouro for those of Barroso. Based in Montalegre, we wander around the discovery of Paredes do Rio, Tourém, Pitões das Júnias and its monastery, stunning villages on the border of Portugal. If it is true that Barroso has had more inhabitants, visitors should not miss it.
Porto Santo, Portugal

Praised Be the Island of Porto Santo

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Terra Chã and Pico Branco footpaths, Porto Santo

Pico Branco, Terra Chã and Other Whims of the Golden Island

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Funchal, Madeira

Portal to a Nearly Tropical Portugal

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Vale das Furnas, São Miguel (Azores)

The Azorean Heat of Vale das Furnas

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Okavango Delta, Not all rivers reach the sea, Mokoros
safari
Okavango Delta, Botswana

Not all rivers reach the sea

Third longest river in southern Africa, the Okavango rises in the Angolan Bié plateau and runs 1600km to the southeast. It gets lost in the Kalahari Desert where it irrigates a dazzling wetland teeming with wildlife.
Muktinath to Kagbeni, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal, Kagbeni
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit 14th - Muktinath to Kagbeni, Nepal

On the Other Side of the Pass

After the demanding crossing of Thorong La, we recover in the cozy village of Muktinath. The next morning we proceed back to lower altitudes. On the way to the ancient kingdom of Upper Mustang and the village of Kagbeni that serves as its gateway.
A Lost and Found City
Architecture & Design
Machu Picchu, Peru

The City Lost in the Mystery of the Incas

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lagoons and fumaroles, volcanoes, PN tongariro, new zealand
Adventure
Tongariro, New Zealand

The Volcanoes of All Discords

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Australia Day, Perth, Australian Flag
Ceremonies and Festivities
Perth, Australia

Australia Day: In Honor of the Foundation, Mourning for Invasion

26/1 is a controversial date in Australia. While British settlers celebrate it with barbecues and lots of beer, Aborigines celebrate the fact that they haven't been completely wiped out.
gaudy courtship
Cities
Suzdal, Russia

Thousand Years of Old Fashioned Russia

It was a lavish capital when Moscow was just a rural hamlet. Along the way, it lost political relevance but accumulated the largest concentration of churches, monasteries and convents in the country of the tsars. Today, beneath its countless domes, Suzdal is as orthodox as it is monumental.
Beverage Machines, Japan
Meal
Japan

The Beverage Machines Empire

There are more than 5 million ultra-tech light boxes spread across the country and many more exuberant cans and bottles of appealing drinks. The Japanese have long since stopped resisting them.
Vairocana Buddha, Todai ji Temple, Nara, Japan
Culture
Nara, Japan

The Colossal Cradle of the Japanese Buddhism

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combat arbiter, cockfighting, philippines
Sport
Philippines

When Only Cock Fights Wake Up the Philippines

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kings canyon, red centre, heart, australia
Traveling
Red Center, Australia

Australia's Broken Heart

The Red Center is home to some of Australia's must-see natural landmarks. We are impressed by the grandeur of the scenarios but also by the renewed incompatibility of its two civilizations.
Skyway crosses Jamison Valley
Ethnic
Katoomba, Australia

The Blue Mountains Three Sisters

Located west of Sydney, the Blue Mountains form one of the most sought-after evasion realms both by the. ozzies and foreigners. They are attracted by the natural beauty seen from Katoomba, the sharp cliffs of the Three Sisters and the waterfalls that cascade over the Jamison Valley. In the shadow of this tourist frenzy, the usual marginalization of local aboriginal origins and culture persists.
View of Fa Island, Tonga, Last Polynesian Monarchy
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

Exotic Signs of Life

Selfie, Hida from Ancient and Medieval Japan
History
Takayama, Japan

From the Ancient Japan to the Medieval Hida

In three of its streets, Takayama retains traditional wooden architecture and concentrates old shops and sake producers. Around it, it approaches 100.000 inhabitants and surrenders to modernity.
Cargo Cabo Santa Maria, Boa Vista Island, Cape Verde, Sal, Evoking the Sahara
Islands
Boa Vista Island, Cape Verde

Boa Vista Island: Atlantic waves, Dunas do Sara

Boa Vista is not only the Cape Verdean island closest to the African coast and its vast desert. After a few hours of discovery, it convinces us that it is a piece of the Sahara adrift in the North Atlantic.
Maksim, Sami people, Inari, Finland-2
Winter White
Inari, Finland

The Guardians of Boreal Europe

Long discriminated against by Scandinavian, Finnish and Russian settlers, the Sami people regain their autonomy and pride themselves on their nationality.
View from the top of Mount Vaea and the tomb, Vailima village, Robert Louis Stevenson, Upolu, Samoa
Literature
Upolu, Samoa

Stevenson's Treasure Island

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Fishing, Cano Negro, Costa Rica
Nature
Caño Negro, Costa Rica

A Life of Angling among the Wildlife

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Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Autumn
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

Lost among the snowy mountains that separate Europe from Asia, Sheki is one of Azerbaijan's most iconic towns. Its largely silky history includes periods of great harshness. When we visited it, autumn pastels added color to a peculiar post-Soviet and Muslim life.
The Sounds, Fiordland National Park, New Zealand
Natural Parks
Fiordland, New Zealand

The Fjords of the Antipodes

A geological quirk made the Fiordland region the rawest and most imposing in New Zealand. Year after year, many thousands of visitors worship the sub-domain slashed between Te Anau and Milford Sound.
Forested Peaks, Huang Shan, China, Anhui, Yellow Mountain Floating Peaks
UNESCO World Heritage
Huang Shan, China

Huang Shan: The Yellow Mountains of the Floating Peaks

The granitic peaks of the floating yellow mountains of Huang Shan, from which acrobat pines sprout, appear in artistic illustrations from China without count. The real scenery, in addition to being remote, remains hidden above the clouds for over 200 days.
Heroes Acre Monument, Zimbabwe
Characters
Harare, Zimbabwewe

The Last Rales of Surreal Mugabué

In 2015, Zimbabwe's first lady Grace Mugabe said the 91-year-old president would rule until the age of 100 in a special wheelchair. Shortly thereafter, it began to insinuate itself into his succession. But in recent days, the generals have finally precipitated the removal of Robert Mugabe, who has replaced him with former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Cable car connecting Puerto Plata to the top of PN Isabel de Torres
Beaches
Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

The Dominican Home Silver

Puerto Plata resulted from the abandonment of La Isabela, the second attempt at a Hispanic colony in the Americas. Almost half a millennium after Columbus's landing, it inaugurated the nation's inexorable tourist phenomenon. In a lightning passage through the province, we see how the sea, the mountains, the people and the Caribbean sun keep it shining.
Balinese Hinduism, Lombok, Indonesia, Batu Bolong temple, Agung volcano in background
Religion
Lombok, Indonesia

Lombok: Balinese Hinduism on an Island of Islam

The foundation of Indonesia was based on the belief in one God. This ambiguous principle has always generated controversy between nationalists and Islamists, but in Lombok, the Balinese take freedom of worship to heart
The Toy Train story
On Rails
Siliguri a Darjeeling, India

The Himalayan Toy Train Still Running

Neither the steep slope of some stretches nor the modernity stop it. From Siliguri, in the tropical foothills of the great Asian mountain range, the Darjeeling, with its peaks in sight, the most famous of the Indian Toy Trains has ensured for 117 years, day after day, an arduous dream journey. Traveling through the area, we climb aboard and let ourselves be enchanted.
Erika Mother
Society
Philippines

The Philippine Road Lords

With the end of World War II, the Filipinos transformed thousands of abandoned American jeeps and created the national transportation system. Today, the exuberant jeepneys are for the curves.
Casario, uptown, Fianarantsoa, ​​Madagascar
Daily life
Fianarantsoa, Madagascar

The Malagasy City of Good Education

Fianarantsoa was founded in 1831 by Ranavalona Iª, a queen of the then predominant Merina ethnic group. Ranavalona Iª was seen by European contemporaries as isolationist, tyrant and cruel. The monarch's reputation aside, when we enter it, its old southern capital remains as the academic, intellectual and religious center of Madagascar.
Sheep and hikers in Mykines, Faroe Islands
Wildlife
Mykines, Faroe Islands

In the Faeroes FarWest

Mykines establishes the western threshold of the Faroe archipelago. It housed 179 people but the harshness of the retreat got the better of it. Today, only nine souls survive there. When we visit it, we find the island given over to its thousand sheep and the restless colonies of puffins.
Bungee jumping, Queenstown, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, the Queen of Extreme Sports

In the century. XVIII, the Kiwi government proclaimed a mining village on the South Island "fit for a queen".Today's extreme scenery and activities reinforce the majestic status of ever-challenging Queenstown.