There I stood perched atop a death-defying mountainous cliff. The salty ocean air caressed my velvet skin and brushed through my gold-speckled hair. I spread open my arms and let the powerful wind course through my body. I felt like a bird among the seagulls squawking in the clear blue sky. I have never seen a landscape so breathtaking, so captivating and so rich with colour bursting from every angle as if God’s hand broke through the clouds and painted His greatest masterpiece. How can a camera capture all of this beauty? How can a single photograph capture the taste of the salty air, the sound of the crashing waves, the feel of the cool wind, the smell of the dirt and the ocean and the blinding beauty of the landscape? Ponta de São Lourenço in my motherland, Madeira, fills me with pride, emotion, happiness and peace.
On the eastern side of Madeira lies one of the last nearly untouched places on the island. São Lourenço nature reserve offers a completely unique landscape compared to the rest of the island. Here there are views of giant volcanic rock formations and the endless ocean offering the finest cliff scenery in Madeira.
The area is completely open to all of Mother Nature’s wrath, including the northerly winds and the semi-arid climate; this exposure explains the area’s low vegetation and lack of trees. Regardless the area is full of rare plants, 131 of which are exclusive to Madeira Island. Here you can find the largest colonies of seagulls in the region, the Madeiran lizard (the island’s only reptile) and a lot of snails. There is a seven-kilometre, slightly dangerous, hiking trail through the rolling volcanic hills, which contains a path that leads down the cliff to a secluded beach of natural black sand called Prainha. Once again, Madeira proves to be every hiker’s paradise with its many thrilling hiking trails. For any visitor, young and old, this natural oasis is one of the top places to discover on the island.