Night Canyoning in Madeira Island
If you already know how awesome it is to canyoning on Madeira Island, imagine doing it during the night.
That is what we went for last Friday night, to celebrate the epic birthday of the person who started it all and still lives it like no one else, the boss Francisco Pereira.
We have chosen a canyon that we have descended countless times and had in mind, for a long time, to do it at night.
We have had done before other advanced canyons at night, but the “Ribeira Funda” is a special one for us all.
Its highlight is undoubtedly the 60 meters waterfall surrounded by enormous dark basaltic walls and narrow passages.
Still, the ending is magnificent, as well as a 25mts rappel with a stunning ocean view.
And here we go…
So, there we went in a group of 5, equipped with our canyoning gear, ropes, flashlights, and some delicious snacks freshly prepared by the teams’ psychologist and chef, which also brought some of our favourite chocolates.
The night was dark and no moon in sight, the sky filled with stars shining ever so bright. We just knew we were in for a magical night!
When we arrived at the first waterfall, we could already hear the roaring sound of the water dropping down on the highest one.
Since we have used sportive canyoning techniques in less than a few minutes, we were high up on the 60mts waterfall while Peter rigged everything.
The ones on the safety line had the opportunity to let the magic of the moment sink in.
MAGICAL is the word.
As soon as we started rappelling down, the effect of the lights showing a curtain of the sprayed water was just out of this world.
Some of us went down utterly in the dark. Yes, some switched off the lights to rappel down, only feeling the ropes and the water on the top of their helmets.
As soon as everyone was down and the rope retrieved, it was time for some pics.
Everything was so magical, but something was missing, and we have come to realize it in an instant. We had to stay there in that magical wonderland in silence with the lights out.
And that is what we did.
To lay down in complete silence on the bottom of an enormous waterfall, seeing the silhouette of the trees and the stars shining at the sound of the water, was nothing less than the most intimate nature experience, even though we were there as a team, this moment belonged to every single one of us and nature.
We would have stayed there forever…
But it was a celebrating the night, and we had to keep moving!
So after that, we have changed the fuse and went into sportive mode through the entire canyoning, jumping in the dark into deep dark pools, fast rappelling down the waterfalls, all of that with only a little light and a whole spirit.
Sooner than expected, we have reached the final waterfall. And what a sight it was.
To end this journey with the ocean below, dozens of glowing lights from the fishing boats on the horizon, the sound of the water the silhouette of the mountains, left us speechless.
It was yet another moment to switch off everything and let it all in. Magic time and time again.
We were all just so much tuned out (and in) that no one noticed that someone has already gone down to make it even more EPIC and rigged a zip-line for everyone to get some air time in the dark, which none of us have ever made.
On the way out, heading back to the car, we were gifted with Neptune’s symphony of waves breaking on the shore and the orchestra of marine birds.
It was a bonding time, an epic birthday, some deep feelings, and the most connected to nature than we have ever been.
Of course, after all of this, it was time for some Poncha. But that’s a story for another time.