When we added the Madeira passage, Jardim do Mar rocketed to the top of my list of places to see in the limited time we’d have ashore. I had this vision in my head about the place from reading the book, and I wanted to see for myself what it was like, see how that vision matched reality and see how much of the village had changed since the author spoke so highly of it.
Old town ended as I ran high above a public bath, far below the road at sea-level, a popular place for locals to swim and sunbathe. The road continued up and into the suburbs of Funchal. I passed two men smoking cigarettes outside their home on a narrow side-street, and 30 minutes later on my return they were still there, still smoking. A Sunday morning ritual.