Take a tupperware container, knife and spoon as you will have to make your own lunches on walk days.
The vegetarian soup at our first meal contained meat, most tomarto soup contains an egg, yummy if you are expecting it.
The quality of vegetables was poor so take your vit tables with you. Most of the meat was good but on our last night for our guides "farewell meal" the stake was ordered rare to med and was cooked well done, when this was pointed out to the staff they refused to replace it and although I could not eat it was charged full price.
Take walking poles with you as lots of the trail was missing and extremely slippery, with narrow mud cut steps.
I did not do the sunrise at Achada do Teixeira as it did not sound like fun and was told I would be taken to the next hotel at 8am, i was not picked up till 10am which meant I had to sit by the road side for 2 hours in-case I missed the lift. I was rewarded with a fantastic hotel and some down time to read and explore the grounds at Residencial Encumeada the food was the best of the trip and the hotel staff were great to speak to.
1 - Ponta de Sao Lourenco - lovely introuction to walking but we had to cut the trip short by a couple of hours due to transport limitations. Stunning views of coloured rocks etc
2 - Levada do Caniçal - stupid walk up the very steep tarmac road to the starting point, when I had already stated I was asthmatic, I could have caught the bus to this point, also strained a muscle trying to keep up with group. Then nice walk althought some bits of trail had washed away.
3 - Levada do Caldeirão Verde - lovely day and walk but again some of the trail had been closed and washed away, we could do it as we had a guide with us, but be ware the drops and slips.
4 - advertised walk had been washed away so we started the 25 fountain walk, which was lovely but our guide thought too crowded so we ended up walking along levaders which were having repair work carried out so althought it was quiet it was not very photograhically interesting
5 - Funchal - fun day visited the market, sampled the fruit, took the cable car to the botanical gardens but they had been damaged, sledged down the mountain I think 25Euros for two, well worth it, walked into town and explored the local area including the castle.
If its fun you are looking for I cannot recomend this holiday to my friends, but have and do recommended the Trins winter walking (a place for your inner child to play) and Turkey turquoise coast.
I do not feel I was in contact with the local customs, people and heritage as with other trips, this could be due to the faster pace and the fact that we were quite isolated.
Thank goodness I had visited the country before else I would not be left with a very good impression.