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Levadas: More Watery Thoughts

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Levada is Portuguese for "that which has been carried" - in this case: water.

This is the element that springs to mind when you think about what makes The fast rush of water at Ribeiro Frio Madeira different from other islands.

Unlike the more southerly Canaries group, which suffers from a chronic shortage of water, Madeira gurgles, streams, gushes and flows wherever you look. If you need an illustration, take the 25 Fountains Walk from Rabašal to the waterfall called the Risco; let nature hose down your car on that unbelievable north coast road, where water seeps from unseen clefts in the rock and cascades off the cliff; or, after winter rains, watch in awe as mountain waters roar into the sea at Ribeira Brava, literally "Wild Ravine".

A German scientist once calculated that the island was sitting on a natural cistern holding 8 billion cubic metres of water ľ enough to supply the needs of millions for years.










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