Filipe was the star of this experience (after his vehicle, of course!).
Meeting at the cruise terminal, we spent nearly three hours in his company, sharing his knowledge of and passion for his island. I rode pillion, with my wife in the sidecar, with several photo stops where we could have swapped places if we’d wanted to. We’d been on a coach tour in the morning, visiting the usual tourist hotspots, so he took us to less well visited and less accessible places, out of the city, along the coast, up through the banana plantations, through the vineyards and way up into the hills. It was brilliant (and what a contrast to the limits of the coach tour). The trip was well paced and we felt safe at all times).
Filipe was very personable and patient, teaching my wife the easiest way in and out of the sidecar (more accessible then you might think). His commentary was informative and entertaining, communicating through the headsets in our helmets.
I haven’t ridden pillion for decades, so this was a real thrill. I cannot recommend this experience highly enough, and look forward to negotiating the route of a longer journey if and when we return to Madeira. Thanks Filipe.