It’s a fresh morning. The sun is shining but it’s still not very warm, the winds are rough. I can see the clouds underneath me. There’s mountains everywhere. I’m trying to take a deep breath and keep it together as I take a step. I can’t help but think about the steep deadly drop next to me and it scares the living daylight out of me. I repeat in my mind, eyes on the path, eyes on the path now…

I’m clinging on the fragile handrails knowing very well they probably wouldn’t protect me from falling if I lost my balance. One step too left or too right and I’d fall. How long would I fall before I’d hit the ground? How long would it take from the rescuers to find my cold body? – eyes on the path…

The view is so beautiful, literally breathtaking. Thank god my boyfriend is walking as carefully as I am. The feeling of seeing him fall and hearing him shout would be so traumatizing.  But if my life ended here, what would be my last thought? “Oh fuck”? Ugh, I must focus now. Gotta keep breathing. What if I’ll get the mountain disease and I can’t walk straight anymore? Damn I’m thinking again. Still hours to go…

Those were my thoughts when I was in Madeira, a small island in Portugal, hiking from the mountain called Pico Ruivo to Pico de Areeiro which is the highest peak of Madeira. Probably the scariest and most challenging thing I’ve done in my life.

It’s a very funny feeling, looking at the most beautiful view you’ve seen while fearing that’ll be the last thing you’ll see. I went skydiving once but it was nowhere near as terrifying as hiking a steep mountain. When jumping out of an airplane you have to control your mind only for a few minutes but hiking takes hours and while you kinda do enjoy it, you still wish it would end soon so you could lay on the solid ground feeling grateful. It’s exhausting and a huge challenge for both your body and mind but it’s one of those things when afterwards you’re like “did I REALLY do that? Crazy!” and I live for those moments!

Overall Madeira was a nice place to travel. It’s located in the Atlantic Ocean southwest of mainland Portugal so it’s warmer and more exotic than Europe usually is. The nature was really beautiful and for a plant lover like me, there’s a lot to look at: there’s flowers everywhere and all kinds of plants in the streets.

It is lovely for people who like to take pictures: if you’re staying in Funchal and the sky is clear, you can see the sunset and sunrise everyday. It’s also a great place for someone who likes to be active, there’s lots of “levadas” as the locals call it, paths to hike around the island and mountains.

Some of my favourite things there also include the cable car ride, where you can see the whole city, and the garden it leads to. We rented a car as well and drove around the island. Coming from a country that has no mountains, it’s always so much fun to drive through so many tunnels, U-shaped roads and never-ending hills. Overall I can recommend this island and would definitely go back someday!

Have you been to Madeira or would you like to go? What’s the scariest and most challenging thing YOU have done in your life? Tell me in the comments!

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