This was Madeira's original mode of transport way back when.....this and a hammock-like contraption which was used for the ladies of Madeira, to get them up and down these steep roads. Of course, things have changed somewhat. The cobbles have been replaced with tar, the 'drivers' have tyre treads for soles and this is now only used for tourists who have 15 euros to spare.... and who want to experience this piece of history for themselves. Its just one of those 'must do' things when you come to this island.
This was taken from Mont church grounds, showing pretty much the
initial set up. One can choose either a two seater or a three seater, two 'drivers' stand on the back of the greased sled and steer this whole thing with their feet and these ropes, down about three km of narrow curvy streets. At the end of the short trip, there are eager taxi drivers waiting to further rip off tourists with claims that "its far to walk...another 6kms"....which of course its not. Its a lovely, easy, albeit very steep downhill walk into the center of Funchal.
Taken on the fast downhill...your heart shoots into your mouth as
these chaps negotiates the corners...sideways....sliding all over
the place....its a roller-coaster ride without any 'ups'.