Background: most foreigners in Algeria need to leave every three months to renew their visas. Last “visa exit,” I went to Barcelona to meet up with my sister, which you can read about here and here. For the last couple of weeks, Sarah and I took our visa exits together on the island of Madeira, Portugal.
I posted about my experience of community and the body of Christ that I found in Madeira, here. This is the adventurous part – check the other post out if you want the deeper side of our experience!
I love exploring, and I think one of my favorite things about this place is just how open and free the exploring is. In Barcelona, there was a lot to see and a lot to do… but nearly everything had hours and fees and lines. Here, exploration was just around the corner, to be randomly found and freely enjoyed.
In Porto Moniz, our first adventure started out as a simple trip to the grocery store to see what they had. Less than halfway there, we saw a narrow, old-looking set of stairs stuck between two buildings. Without reason not to take the stairs, we set off to see where they went.
The most fun thing about this adventure was just how completely unplanned and unknown the whole thing was. Our other adventures were at least semi-planned, but barely more structured, leaving us the freedom to see what we wanted. Also in Porto Moniz, we went to the farmers market, saw a coastal cave, and hiked the “Levada” trail, which wound through the mountains along a man-made river thing to carry water down.
While we only spend a weekend in the city of Funchal, we were able to get a decent amount of exploring done then, too! Thanks to our hosts, who showed us around all weekend 🙂 Our adventures included a beautiful hike, new food, their lovely church, and a glass-bottom overlook.
So, there’s Madeira! We had a blast and a super encouraging time, and I feel ready to push through my last couple months here this year. It does feel nice to be back in the familiar here, in the house I know and especially with some of the people I love. Here’s to the next couple months!