Madeira is about 37 miles west to east and 14 north to south. It's a volcanic island rising steeply from the ocean bed 1000metres below, to a high altitude plateau and a series of peaks, one of which is over 1,700 metres above sea level. Because of this and its isolated situation it creates its own climate. The mountains generate a cloud cap (there the entire time we were) which causes rain, most of which falls on the north of the island, while the south gets the sun. To irrigate the fertile terraces of the south water is brought from the north by a series of water channels known as levadas. These can be of considerable length and contour the hillsides making for wonderful easy, but beautiful walking routes. They can be vertigenous as the hillsides can be steep, even vertical and the path narrow, just a foot wide in places.
This picture is taken on the Levada do Norte