In February 2008 we came across Madeira.  There is no other to describe how we found the island. We spent many hours on the internet.  We got out our list of ‘what do we want from our new environment’ – it ticked all the boxes!  We got a bit wary – what were we missing?

After we booked our flights, accommodation and car hire we started letting people know we were ‘going on holiday’.  As soon as we said ‘Madeira’ we got a number of reactions – all positive!  Often people said ‘I haven’t been, but know of someone who has and they loved it.’  Occassionally we got ‘we loved it when we went.’  Very close friends explained that they had looked at buying property there over the years.

We made the decision to go and find out whether what we understood of the island was true and what was missing.  As it was described – we went to see what the reasons were that we should not move.  This was an interesting approach.  We both knew exactly what we were looking for in our new environment – location, house, land, work/career/business, friends, social life, interests, ease of travel, legislation, regulation, taxation, eco/green, and the list goes on.

After a challenging month we boarded the plan to fly out to Madeira on 19th May, 2008.  This date is clearly etched in our memories.  Flying into Madeira is an interesting experience.  We had been warned about the airport, but until you experience this – it isn’t something I can describe.

The next day saw us driving out of the capital city – Funchal, around the south andsouth west of the island.  We spent the day going into and out of villages.  We spoke to a number of people – some visiting (like us) and others living there.  We were given some great tips – so got out the journal and jotted these down.

The following day we left Funchal and drove around the north and east of the island.  Today was an overcast and blustery day.  Although a number of visitors weren’t happy, we didn’t mind as this did show us what type of weather we could experience if we chose to live here.  Again we spent the day visiting towns and villages, and meeting people.

Madeira is truly an island of nationalities – although Portuguese, we had already met not only with a number of Portuguese but also with English, Germans, and South Africans.

We got back to the hotel and we agreed that we should investigate further while we were on the island.  So out came the laptops, into the internet we connected and started looking for Estate Agents.  That evening, we sent out many, many emails asking about specific properties, land and building, and towns and villages.

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