Calheta beach
  • Madeira's Carros de Cesto

        One of Madeira's most legendary activities is taking a wicker and wood sled from the top of Monte to Funchal. The downhill journey is around 2 km long and is made in about 10 minutes. Sledges can reach speeds up to 48 km/hour!

       As the toboggans have no real breaks or controls, two 'drivers' run alongside the sled to keep control as it slides down the cobblestones.  These men are often dressed in the
    traditional white cotton clothes and a straw hat.  To control the sledges, they use their rubber-soled boots as brakes to slow the descent.

        These toboggan sledges appeared around 1850 and were originally used as a fast means of transportation between the two villages.

    They are no longer used as everyday transport for the locals but t
    hey do attract thousands of tourists every year.  This makes for quite an exciting ride when speeding through the small, snaking streets down to Funchal!
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