National Geographic : 1934 Jul
THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE © Publishers' Photo Service ALL ABOARD FOR A PLUNGE OF 3,000 FEET! A broad "armchair on runners" tugs at the leash. In a moment the two attendants leap on the back and they're off down the slippery, serpentine path from Terreiro da Lucta to the capital (see text, opposite page, and illustrations, pages 86 and 106). Sight-seers hold their breath and hang on. Away goes dignity-and maybe a hat! wild native canaries of greenish hue (see page 99). The parrots, monkeys, and coco nuts hail from Portuguese Africa. With the little boats come the diving boys, who beg the traveler to toss a coin into the sea (see illustration, page 84). "A shilling, Mister! Please, a shilling!" And down into the blue a lithe brown body follows the gleam of silver. It is always a shilling they ask for, no matter what the ship's flag. British money is as acceptable as Portuguese, and has a fixed value on this island which owes so much to British patronage. "OXEY-CAB, SIR?" Once on terra firma, the newcomer is met by a throng of chauffeurs singing the praises of various motor trips, and shawled countrywomen offer for sale violets, roses, and camellias. Automobiles, motor busses, and trucks now crowd Funchal's narrow streets, but it is the native carro, or sledge, drawn by a pair of patient oxen, which catches the eye (see Color Plate III, and illustration, page 87). In one of these two-seated, curtained and canopied "oxey-cabs," which resemble big baskets on runners, he glides along the smooth, polished cobbles to the cog railway, which carries him up a steep incline to pine-clad heights 3,300 feet above the sea. At one of the mountain restaurants he lunches on a terrace overlooking the villa-strewn Funchal valley, the red-roofed town, and the scintillating expanse of ocean beyond.