My one week stay on the island yielded four attempts of activation from three summits.
Me and my xyl stayed at a small hotel in Estreito de Camara de Lobos, about 10km west from Funchal. The first attempt of activation was to walk all the way from the hotel to the top of Pico Chaos dos Terrerios, CT3/MI-008. We started at 0900 and without any previous experience we understood this is going to be a long walk upwards. For each km we walked we gained 100 m in altidude and after 7km we reached a top where we could see our final destination. However we stopped there due to lack of food and decided to come back at another time. The walk back home took us nearly the same time.
Second attempt to the same top we had a rental car. We drove the same way as we walked and parked the car at Bocada Corrida. From there we walked about 45 minutes to the summit and I got my stuff going and after some hours I managed to get 18 QSO into the log.
The next day we drove by car up to Pico do Arieiro, CT3/MI-004. The temperature was about +7C and clear blue sky. We took the scenic path PR1 and walked for about 2h to Pico do Ruivo, CT3/MI-001. When we arrived to the top it was completely surrounded by clouds and visibility was gone. I rigged my telescopic pole, antenna and set up my operating position about 20 meters from the actual top at a convenient not so crowded spot. I managed to get some QSO before I got cold and decided to end the activation and start walk back.
When we got back to the car I decided to activate Arieiro as well and walk to a place slightly to the right of the “white golf ball” I set up my gear once again and started to call CQ. I then saw two men walking towards me and they looked at the telescopic mast. I started to talk to them and explained what I was doing. They told me that I might disturb but after some additional explanation and doing a short presentation of SOTA and show and tell my antenna and rig they walked away. I wrapped up my activation after getting five QSO from Arieiro and as before SM/ OH and LY where the strongest on 14MHz.