I have to hurry to slow down; I have to go up to go down!


Yeah! I have it all! So slow down and relax!

Relax! Slow Down! Relax! I have to hurry to slow down; I have to go up to go down! I have to go down to go up! That is a way not only to describe Madeira’s lifestyle but also the topographies of the island.

But I love the lifestyle and I admire the people of the island. No, I do not admire them only; I love them, where ever they are, even as ex- Madeira’s. They have spread all over the world, and they have made successes.

I have to hurry to slow down; I have to go up to go down!

They have taught their children well and the children will reap the benefits!
From the bottom of my heart, I hope you will teach your children to love the heritage! Where ever you are, teach them the Portuguese language and the culture of the island. That is their inheritance that no-one can take away.

Yes, they are spread all over the world. In my home country, South Africa, South America, North America, Australia, Europe, and the rest of the world.

I want to write one sentence to describe the situation: “Why the f… did I fall in love with Madeira?”
Was it José’s influence? Maybe.., maybe it was my first impression of Madeira. I think one of my first reactions was: “I would like to come and live here!”
It was not one of my first European experiences; we have been travelling or rather back packing through Europe for five months by then. This was just an amazing spot, when you know you have arrived and you know you are at home! I can still feel that WOW pain in my heart!


That is my first experience as a resident in Madeira. What a wonderful experience. My biggest love in life is Madeira, after you know who, in life. Yes, I do have the farm in Stellenbosch, I do have the house in Misty Cliffs, but If I have to choose between Madeira and the Misty Cliffs. It will be a difficult one.


Why Madeira? Why not? I want to ask you, why do I love Madeira with a passion? For the last twenty odd years when I arrive on the island, exactly four times, I cry when I arrive, I cry when I leave. I really do cry, “Snot en trane”, when the plane comes in, and it does not matter from which side, I am coming home. I am going to my second home or maybe it is the first home of my spirit. José always says that I get morbid about four days before I have to leave the island and I agree with him. No-one can keep house with me!

I have to hurry to slow down; I have to go up to go down!

Twenty one years ago, I arrived in Madeira on the 28 December 1988. Love at first sight? Yeah, maybe, most probably, but for me YEAH! It is something I cannot explain and actually I cannot explain it too myself.

Is it my spirit? Which spirit? Am I still looking for it, my spirit? or did I finally find it?

Best wishes

Schalk Visser
Photographer / Farmer, Reluctant farmer frustrated architect. Born and bred Afrikaans. Discovered Madeira in 1988 and fell in love with the island. He bought an old house in Canhas near Ponta do Sol. Calls himself the BOEREGEES! He had three photo exhibitions on Madeira in Madeira and the last exhibition is currently in Japan.