I would explore Madeiran shrubbery but mom made faces whenever I plunged into growth or squatted to observe a specimen of particularly interesting weed. which reminds me that I failed to pick some of that pretty Juncus thingy. I tried to be nice at least for a while so I limited myself to exploring Madeiran cuisine.
The local specialty, the espada fish (I have to look it up for exact name yet), baked with banana, was offered in the hotel restaurant so I went for it and it was nommy
For the day after, we had booked a round trip. I mentioned that the whole thing was meant for elderly people getting some travel. I must have ranted on and on about my hate of tourist crowd - in case you missed it, let it be noted that I hate tourists, I hate the crowds who totally need to take a picture with every odd-shaped rock, old-looking house or a place where Betty Famous sat down on her hike from Anytown West to Podunk. So, we ended up in a place where Winston Churchill spent a few days holidaying, and in that fishing village, said espada fish is fished. The guide started explaining that said fish lives in depths around 1800m, at which point I gagged because obviously, pull it out of deep waters and it explodes. Guide continued with gory details of how the fishermen never saw said fish alive because on its journey upwards, its stomach explodes, and its eyes explode, and I had a hard time of not throwing up my dinner.
I got a swordfish for my lunch and from then on, I stuck to fish of whose death I knew nothing. Yes, if I were to hunt my own meat, I'd be a vegetarian, I guess, and I thank all the developed and decadent society that I can get my dead animals dead, degutted and neatly sliced.
The Madeira landscape is magnificent, though. The trip was good for two things: some street anthropology concerning mass tourism (and reinforcing my view on that) and seeing that landscape. Among the rugged rocks or laurel forests, we started telling to each other that we totally need to bring Dad here the next time.