A few days holiday with Mrs PJZ (or, to give her her full title) Mrs CT9/G6PJZ/P gave me the opportunity to bag a few more hills and participate in the trans-Atlantic event (from a little further west than usual).
But first came the holiday! Day 2 we walked from CT3/MI-004 to MI-001 (by way of a recce ). Beautiful weather and fantastic walk, but boy was it busy! I’m glad I didn’t bother taking the radio as it was far too busy on each summit for anything other than handheld operation. Apart from the crowds the only slightly disappointing observation was the lack of a “leave no trace” attitude. There are a few popular toilet stops along the route. You won’t miss them, the discarded paper tissues were very obvious. It’s a beautiful island with fascinating flora and fauna, but I do hope they find a way to balance the impact of tourism to preserve what people go to see.
Day 3 we took a tour round the east of the island (including a 2nd visit to MI-004). There was a lot of rain and cloud which obscured the views but it also kept the tourists away from the summit! Not great for electronics though.
Today the time invested in the holiday paid off and we walked up MI-006 to allow me to participate in the trans-Atlantic event. It’s been a while since I drove on the right (and even longer since I drove a LHD car). It required a bit of concentration and a fair bit of courage on the part of Mrs PJZ . Don’t hire a car here if you don’t like bends, steep hills and tunnels! The walk up MI-006 isn’t challenging and the views are stunning. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of operating/P in shorts and a T-shirt. I was set up right beside a comms mast near the summit pillar. I concentrated exclusively on 20m and made a satisfactory number of contacts and S2S even with my simple low power setup. Sadly though I heard nothing from across the pond. In fact I think there were only 2 NA spots whilst I was there and they were both on CW. Thanks to all chasers and below is a rare sighting of a British activator’s knees at a summit
I was operating in Spain (mainland) yesterday doing a bit of POTA and on 20m using SSB I couldn’t get any responses at all but switching to 17m got immediate replies. Worth trying 17m if you can. I also tried 15m but it wasn’t as good.
I then switched to FT4 and the PSK Reporter map showed me my 20m signals were not being heard in NA but 17m and 15m was.
Understood on the driving front and despite being very comfortable on either side the strangest experience I had was to drive in St Kitts and Nevis, which like England is on the left but given its proximity to the US all cars are left hand drive imports. Very weird going around a roundabout.
Well done mixing holiday and radio Andy. It was great to speak to you during the Trans-Atlantic S2S event. It’s a shame you didn’t work 17m as that was where the action was. Hopefully your activations on MA-001 and 004 have been a great success.
Andy, I don’t think I did a report on here, however 001 features in this video. The hike is mainly paved. The final section is steeper and more of a mountain path, with zig zags and steps. The summit will potentially be crowded, so be prepared to perform in front of an audience!
Thanks Fraser we walked to the summit of 001 from 004, then down to the car park earlier in the week. Lovely walk, but as you say very busy. Unfortunately my beloved vetoed the early rise to activate 001, so that one remains unactivated for me (though conquered without the radio).
We did get up early on our final day to allow me to activate 004. Despite arriving before 0800 UTC, it was still very busy! I got a parking space near the summit building (beginner’s luck ) and set up beside the car park which avoided the hordes. 3 Spanish and 1 Portuguese chasers and I called it a day. Sorry but it was just too busy to linger.
We spent the rest of the day doing some gentle touring and sightseeing. I wonder if car rental companies offer a rebate for under utilised gears ? I might never find out as I’ve been told we’re not hiring a car on any future visits to Madeira. Some of the roads are “sporting” and negotiating oncoming traffic added to the spice . I think the brake pedal in front of the right hand seat was worn out by the end of the day!
Loved the Island and hope to return
Indeed they are. Much more so than the wee lanes I took from Binsey G/LD-041 to my B&B.
What is special is there were many when I was there in 2012 where the Armco isn’t steel with steel posts into concrete but wooden planks into wooden posts into soil etc. They wont work as well as steel or to use the technical expression “bleedin’ useless”. I suppose the splintering sound will alert all in the car that a sudden plummeting is imminent followed by darkeness
It’s the first time I’ve regretted not asking for an auto. Day 1 required conscious effort to drive, day 2 my left hand only flapped futilely in the air above a non-existent gear stick a couple of times and by day 3 I was driving like a pro .
Plummeting is painless. Only the landing kills.
I have to say that there are some exceptional roads on the island - given the topographical challenges. A lot of money has been spent there. The Portuguese Ferrari club (I assume) was on tour whilst we were there. Nice looking cars but they wouldn’t be my first choice on the roads there. They didn’t seem to be any faster than my Seat!
You have missed the vintage car time trial (mid May) on closed roads in Funchal - brilliant fun.
Back there next month but not driving (too chicken ) and unlikely to activate unless I can get to MI-001 really early or persuade memsahib that she wants to climb hills accessible by public transport (nearly killed her on my one activation on MI-008, just the walk from the bus stop was enough!!!).