PR 16 - Levada da Fajã do Rodrigues
This trail begins at Ginjas in the municipality of São Vicente and follows the walkway beside the Fajã do Rodrigues levada or the Fajã da Ama Levada, the two names by which it is known, ending at the source of the levada in Ribeira do Inferno.
This levada lies at an elevation of 580 metres and has its source in the bed of the Ribeira do Inferno stream, which separates the lands of Seixal from those of São Vicente and winds across ridges and through small valleys up to Rosário, to be used for the irrigation of the farm fields of São Vicente.
The exotic forest which you encounter at the beginning of the trail, with maritime pines (Pinus pinaster) and eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus), precedes the dense vegetation characteristic of the native forest the Laurisilva, World Nature Heritage of UNESCO since December 1999.
Waterfalls and frequent streams guarantee vitality to the species such as the Canary willow (Salix canariensis), as well as the large Madeira laurel (Ocotea foetens), Madeira mahogany (Persea indica), and the Lily-of-the-Valley tree (Clethra arborea) that abound along the levada. Youll also notice the flowering species, such as geraniums (Geranium palmatum), Mandons Chrysanthemum (Argyranthemum pinnatifidum), Madeiran orchid (Dactylorhiza foliosa), and Canary buttercup (Ranunculus cortusifolius), easily recognised by their bright yellow flowers.
Tunnels are common along this levada, and as you pass between the many, long tunnels, you will have a chance to appreciate the beautiful panoramic views of the São Vicente Valley landscape.
You may catch sight of some of the birds that inhabit the areas that border this trail, from chaffinches (Fringilla coelebs maderensis), to the tiny birds such as the firecrest (Regulus ignicapillus maderensis), which give life to this ecosystem and please the ear with their songs.
Let yourself be enthralled by the scenery that surrounds you, as you wonder at the valleys that drop down to the bed of the stream and catch your breath for the return trip.
Long tunnel en route, carry a torch; danger of vertigo.