Walking with grasshoppers’ on Porto Santo island, Portugal

As I embarked on one of my walks in Porto Santo, Madeira, I never anticipated encountering a multitude of grasshoppers along the way. 

Portela's viewpoint at Porto Santo Island, Madeira, Portugal
Portela’s viewpoint at Porto Santo Island, Madeira, Portugal

The walk we did that day

From Portela’s Viewpoint to the Porto dos Frades restaurant, there wasn’t a designated walking path, but we found no necessity for one as we followed a dirt trail toward our destination.

Trusting chance and intuition to guide my steps, I felt at ease to capture photographs along the journey.

Though not towering, the hills of Serra de Fora presented a windy terrain under a promising weather forecast despite the arid surroundings untouched by rain for quite some time.

The landscape, adorned with golden straws, resembled the Alentejo region, while the reddish, stony land and scattered houses evoked memories of São Vicente in Cape Verde.

Surprisingly, the area was devoid of tourists or fellow hikers. Passing cars regarded our presence with curious glances, indicating the rarity of walkers in the area.

Grasshopper at Porto Santo, Madeira, Portugal
Grasshopper at Porto Santo, Madeira, Portugal

Grasshoppers, an unexpected spectacle

Yet, as we approached, the most unexpected spectacle awaited us—an eruption of thousands of grasshoppers launching into flight, blending seamlessly with the golden backdrop.

Their sizable forms, resembling adult fingers in length, added a touch of whimsy to our journey. Intrigued, I ventured closer to observe them in their natural habitat, unaware of their presence on Porto Santo island until I delved into research later on.

As it turned out, these grasshoppers had been swept in by African winds, posing potential threats to crops elsewhere.

Though unaware of any agricultural repercussions on the island, their lively presence became a charming aspect of our stay, accompanying us throughout our visit.

Windmill, Porto Santo, Madeira, Portugal
Windmill, Porto Santo, Madeira, Portugal

Now, reminiscing about walks in Porto Santo invokes images of grasshoppers in mid-air, a delightful reminder of the unexpected marvels found in nature’s embrace.

David Monteiro