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Sunday, 12 January 2014

Amazon Cruise on the Marco Polo - shortcut to Day 7 - Saturday 11 Jan 2014

Anybody reading my blog is probably going to say "Huh? She got off the Marco Polo in Tilbury last Sunday. What's she doing getting back on it again in less than a week?"
Well it's all down to work. I had to work for a week, and now I'm heading back to the ship. Yesterday I left work early to drive to my daughter's home in Oakham, Rutland and enjoyed a bit of family time. This morning I set off to meet the ship in Madeira using planes, trains and automobiles. As usual, it takes some planning and went as follows:
Step 1 - car ride to Peterborough station (It worked out £50 dearer for a train ticket from Oakham to Gatwick than to get one from Peterborough to Gatwick! Scandalous when you consider Peterborough is only a 25min car drive from Oakham. You could get a taxi for less!) Thank you to my nearly son in law for the lift.
Step 2 - Train from Peterborough to Kings Cross, tube from Kings Cross to Victoria Station, and then miss the planned train from Victoria to Gatwick. I was having one of my numpty moments and got the train times all wrong. Fortunately nobody worried, and I was able to get another train thirty minutes later and still be at Gatwick in plenty of time.
Step 3 - Flight from Gatwick to Madeira, on a lovely cheap flight with Easyjet. I saw the queues to check in and then realised that I had checked in online and I didn't have any luggage for the hold, so I didn't have to join them. Yippeeeee. I just went straight through to departures. The only downer was that I couldn't get my kindle to work. Methinks I might have broken it somehow?
Step 4 - I got a taxi from the airport to B&B I had booked in Funchal. That was a rip off, he charged me €35! I recommend anyone else doing the same thing do as I did last year and book it online with one of the transfer companies. It was a lot cheaper.

Step 5 - The B&B I am in is weirdly brilliant. It's a bit of a cross between Fawlty Towers and Rising Damp. I'm in a room with furniture that goes back to the 60's and threadbare carpets. The bathroom has a bath about the size of a child's cot, faulty plumbing, the most gaudy green tiles you've ever seen and a little shaving mirror over the sink. Something in the room smells musty and damp (I think it's the wall behind the chest of drawers), and the twin beds have old brown blankets and the oddest pillows? But it's still brilliant......... Because despite everything, it's clean, it's very, very cheap, it's very close to the city centre and to top it all, I am two floors up and have a little balcony looking out onto Funchal, not a sea view, but I can watch the cable cars go up, and see the lights and the life of the city. How fantastic is that! The little dining room is brilliant, fantastic coffee, and the owner is really friendly and speaks excellent english.  What more could you ask for!
It's called Mirasol Pensao Residencial if you're tempted.  

So I'm here, but the ship isn't. I've had a quick walk down the front, had something to eat, and watched a couple of cruise ships leave the port. Tomorrow the Marco Polo will arrive and I'll be waiting. Time to start another wonderful adventurous trip to the Amazon. I am so excited!

Funchal, Madeira 2011
Funchal, Madeira 2012
Travelling to Funchal, Madeira 2013
New Years Eve Fireworks, Funchal, Madeira 31 Dec 2013
Funchal, Madeira 2014

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