Wednesday 4th February 2015. CT3/MI-006

Waiting in hotel reception for the guy from Avis to turn up to take me for the hire car at 9am, hobbling around with very blistered feet from so much walking the previous day (not a great start!)… he never turned up… until 10am.. Marvellous.
So, eventually, by 10:30am, I should be on my way, Final word from Filipe at Avis, was “if anything goes wrong, even a puncture, just call the ‘helpline’ you are covered for everything” (more on that later!)

So, equipped with a paper map, and a copy of ‘locus free’ and an offline map of Madeira, I was off to CT3/MI-006, only nearly 2 hours late.. still it wouldn’t take too long to get there… would it?
The Locus Free ‘map’ showed that, more than likely, the road from Encumeda to MI-006 wasn’t open, although nobody could tell me for definite that it was.. So, I decided to drive along VR1 to Ribeira Brava, then take VE3/ER101 along to Ponto Del Sol, then the ER222/ER209 up to ER110 just along from MI-006 – easy!

Well it would have been if I hadn’t taken a wrong turn right at the start, and found myself in the middle of Funchal.. Never mind, soon on VR1 along to Ribeira Brava, where… ummm, I took a wrong turning, into the middle of town! After getting stuck behind 2 taxi drivers sitting in their cars next to each other, having a little chat, I managed to get back on the right road again!

Then, a little further along the road, missed the turn off onto ER222, and ended up in Arco Da Calheta, where I managed to pick up a road signed ‘Pico da Urze’ – That would do, not too far along ER110 from where I needed to be.
(This would have been a lot easier with a navigator! Then again, it’s fun driving around narrow roads with hairpin bends on holiday, on the wrong side of the road! smile )
I was held up some more by a tourist bus, obviously on a day trip, winding up the same, narrow road!

Eventually making it onto ER110, past the hotel at Pico da Urze, and to the cross roads, where it was made clear that, as suspected, the road through to Encumenda was indeed, still closed. Only a little further along the road, and I found the side road, along to the car park.

Finding the hill to be shrouded in cloud, I pulled on my boots, and started the relatively short walk.. Turning back after a couple of hundred yards as I’d left the camera in the car!

ct3-mi-006fTake a right turn through the woods!

Still, it took less than half an hour in all, along the track, right, through the woods, and left to climb up the hill, much as described in previous reports, and I was up the top..
There were probably another 10 or so people there, and the cloud was swirling around. The sweeping vistas from the couple of viewing platforms consisted of… grey clouds…. ah well.

I had a quick look around, and decided to bungee the 4m pole to the end of one of the fences, one end of the link dipole wrapped around the top of the fence, the other end chucked unceremoniously onto the top of a gorse bush. (Only unravelled as far as mid way between the 20M and 40M links as I didn’t think 40M would be very useful)

ct3-mi-006aNo need for a guying kit!

Looking at RRT, I saw that Carolyn, GW6WRW/p had just been spotted on 21Mhz, and set the antenna up for that, 5W from the 817nd saw her as the first contact, s2s, not a bad start!
I then spotted myself on 20M and attempted with the 5w, rapidly finding that attaching the amp would be a better option! So on it went. Quickly followed by 22 or so QSOs
Once they had dried up, 10M seemed to be very lively, so the antenna was dropped and the links changed to 10M. 34 QSOs later, and Mike, 2E0YYY came on, asking if I could drop down between 28.3 and 28.5 to enable US Tech chasers a go, one in particular, N2BTD, who was very patient as I struggled to get him in the log, but got there in the end, Thanks, Brian!

ct3-mi-006bThe extensive ‘shack’

A quick change to 12M saw another 8 QSOs, and a final change back to 10, saw a further 2, by which time, since all calls seem to have dried up, it was time for a couple of photos, and get packed up.
One last wander across to one of the viewing platforms allowed me to snap a peak above the clouds, just!

ct3-mi-006cAt last! A view, of sorts…

Walking back down, it appeared that I could possibly be able to take a pic of a Brocken Spectre..

ct3-mi-006eWas I going closer to the edge to take a photo? Absolutely not!

However, I thought it best not to get too close to the edge of the hill, just in case!
About 20 minutes later, I was back at the car, the only one left in either of the 2 car parks.

DSCF0402-aJust about ready to descend, clouds started clearing!

71 QSOs in close to 2 hours, many thanks to everyone who called in, and apologies to anyone who I missed.Getting back to the hotel, was a lot easier, drive along ER110 to the cross roads, turn left, and follow the road downhill until I reached VE3, then onto VR1 and turn right at some point before getting to the middle of Funchal!

Time Call Band Mode
13:31z GW6WRW/P 18MHz SSB
13:40z EA2LU 14MHz SSB
13:45z G6TUH 14MHz SSB
13:45z G0RQL 14MHz SSB
13:48z EI9GLB 14MHz SSB
13:48z EB2CZF 14MHz SSB
13:50z M0IBC 14MHz SSB
13:50z G4WSB 14MHz SSB
13:52z EA2CKX 14MHz SSB
13:53z HB9MKV 14MHz SSB
13:53z DL8MLD 14MHz SSB
13:54z GB2IWM 14MHz SSB
13:55z DK7ZH 14MHz SSB
13:56z G0VWP 14MHz SSB
13:57z EA2GM 14MHz SSB
13:58z OE7PHI 14MHz SSB
13:59z G0HRT 14MHz SSB
14:00z AC1Z 14MHz SSB
14:00z GW6WRW/P 14MHz SSB
14:01z OE5FSL 14MHz SSB
14:02z F6BKD 14MHz SSB
14:05z EA8/DL8NSB/P 14MHz SSB
14:09z ON7KJW 14MHz SSB
14:20z G6TUH 28MHz SSB
14:20z N4EX 28MHz SSB
14:21z DF5WA 28MHz SSB
14:22z HB9AGH 28MHz SSB
14:22z DL2HWI 28MHz SSB
14:23z DL2EF 28MHz SSB
14:24z M6KVJ 28MHz SSB
14:25z AC1Z 28MHz SSB
14:25z M0IBC 28MHz SSB
14:26z G6ODU 28MHz SSB
14:27z G0RQL 28MHz SSB
14:28z MW0BYS 28MHz SSB
14:28z OK2PDT 28MHz SSB
14:29z G4BLH 28MHz SSB
14:29z G4WSB 28MHz SSB
14:30z N0UN 28MHz SSB
14:31z W8ALP 28MHz SSB
14:32z OE5FBL 28MHz SSB
14:35z DL7JAN 28MHz SSB
14:36z N3CDA 28MHz SSB
14:36z DL8DXL 28MHz SSB
14:37z G4ERO 28MHz SSB
14:38z R4FCJ 28MHz SSB
14:40z IZ8OFO 28MHz SSB
14:40z UA6BNC 28MHz SSB
14:42z G0TDM 28MHz SSB
14:43z LX1KF 28MHz SSB
14:44z OE6WIG 28MHz SSB
14:44z OK1DPU 28MHz SSB
14:45z VE2JCW 28MHz SSB
14:46z DK4MO 28MHz SSB
14:46z DK7ZH 28MHz SSB
14:47z PD1HBW 28MHz SSB
14:48z OM1AX 28MHz SSB
14:50z 2E0YYY 28MHz SSB
14:52z G3MWV 28MHz SSB
15:00z PA0INA 28MHz SSB
15:06z N2BTD 28MHz SSB
15:15z G6TUH 24MHz SSB
15:18z DL3JPN 24MHz SSB
15:20z M0IBC 24MHz SSB
15:21z YL2TQ 24MHz SSB
15:22z HB9AGH 24MHz SSB
15:24z OK1SDE 24MHz SSB
15:25z M6KVJ 24MHz SSB
15:26z WX4ET 24MHz SSB
15:42z M3MVZ 28MHz SSB
15:44z M3FEH 28MHz SSB