We visited the Portuguese island Madeira in 2017 – and we have to admit: it was surprisingly adventurous! So we decided to make a little travel clip to pass on the inspiration. In this post we want to share our experiences from Madeira as well as give some behind-the-scenes information about shooting a travel video.
|Muktivat Crew||Alex, Benni|
P E R S O N A L L Y
... we are very excited to showcase this work in one of our first posts on Steemit! Frankly, it took us quite some time to come up with an idea WHAT we should share here first. Eventually, we figured that this video would be a good start, because the whole project evolved so naturally and we didn't have to force anything. Admittedly, this is rather rare when it comes to video work - but somehow we managed to genuinly enjoy the whole process. Nevertheless, it was a lot of work and we had some difficulties to overcome. But more about that later...
Left to right: Benni, Alex, Enno. Make a guess who is afraid of heights! - ©2017 - @muktivat
M A D E I R A I N A N U T S H E L L
- Madeira is an archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean about 400km north of the Canary Islands (Spain).
- Even though it's on the same latitude as the north of Marocco (Africa), Madeira actually belongs to Portugal and hence to the European Union.
- Approximately 300.000 people live on Madeira.
- The island measures about 741 sq km in size and the highest point of elevation is 1862m above sea level.
- Due to its extreme relief, there are various micro climates on the island and hence very diverse landscapes.
- Madeira is often called "the island of everlasting spring" – you will see why!
One of the beautiful sceneries of Madeira shot with our drone. - ©2017 - @muktivat
H A L F T H E F U N I S G E T T I N G T H E R E
Coming in by plane from the north, we crossed the rough and rocky western side of the island. After a sharp turn we landed on a surprisingly short and abruptly ending runway near Santa Cruz in the south-west of Madeira.
If you look closely you can see the airport next to the sea side. Only skilled pilots can land here. - ©2017 - @muktivat
For this trip there was no way of bringing any MUKTIVAT expedition car, so we had to rent a “normal” one. Given the fact that the infrastructure is very well developed and that the interesting spots can only be reached on foot anyways, we were fine with that. However, we did miss TOSHI and 4WD here.
T H E J O Y O F A C C L I M A T I S A T I O N
Most days consisted of extensive hiking sessions in order to get to mountain tops, epic viewpoints, remote waterfalls and beautiful ancient forests. Despite having a car at our disposal, it was a physically demanding trip.
Reaching this waterfall took us 3 hours....one way! - ©2017 - @muktivat
No words needed. - ©2017 - @muktivat
No matter how exhausted, there is always that little energy reserve to be goofy. - ©2017 - @muktivat
Just as many times as our long hikes across the stunning landscape left us breathless, the views and encounters with the wildlife left us speechless. We felt truly inspired and vitalised by the pristine beauty of this lush green island - with the deep blue Atlantic Ocean always in the background. A truly remarkable and pictographic scenery.
E V E R Y T H I N G – F O R T H E F O O T A G E !
From the safe distance of the tourist viewpoint, the waterfall on the picture below looks so peaceful. Actually, it appeared so inviting that we thought we should hike up there for an epic shot. Far wrong! After three failed attempts by trying to get to it from every possible angle, we accepted that this spot was unaccessible. We gave up. Almost.
So peaceful and inviting, yet unaccessible - ©2017 - @muktivat
"Giving up? No way", Alex thought and decided that he needed to try once more by himself. Equipped with a walkie-talkie and a wooden stick, he took on the challenge one last time. At first, he only had to cross a tiny forest and big field of fern. After that it got a little bit more tricky with muddy swamp-like terrain, followed by steep hills covered with huge cactus plants. But even the rough rock formations with dizzying slopes didn't keep him from continuing on this very untrodden path. As matter of fact, he had to CREATE the path at some point, because the thornbushes were about 2 meters high. The others could only hear groaning and the beating sound of the stick via walkie-talkie as Alex slowly carved his way through the thick vegetation.
"Maybe I should turn around"
Every now and then, Alex suggested through the radio to abort the mission due to increasing density of the bushes and the level of exhaustion, but Enno kept him motivated and focused. At last, Alex approached the waterfall: It had taken him more than one hour to cover an air-line distance of 200 meters. Relieved as he was about having made it all the way, he started to climb down the river bed in order to get to the other side, already an epic drone shot on his mind. While doing this, he held onto a small tree with both hands. Suddenly, he lost grip with his feet and found himself hanging at that very tree. Before he could even react, one branch broke off and the other one came off in an instant, too. A piercing scream. No radio signal. No response . . .
Enno worries about Alex being already gone forever. - ©2017 - @muktivat
After a very long minute, Alex finally replied: "I'm ok, but that was a really close call, guys!" Later he explained that he had fallen head down backwards and and hence with no orientation. What he felt though was the sensation of sliding down, towards the slope of the waterfall. So he spread out his arms and legs as far as possible to "get stuck" somewhere and avoid sliding all the way down to where the "fall" – as in "waterfall" – begins.
No person has been here in decades
Without the smallest sparklet of doubt, this was a truely humbling experience. We might have to review the part about "not forcing anything" in the introduction of this post ;) Given the level of difficulty (plus insanity) and endurance needed to get to this spot, it is quite likely that no person has been there in decades. And fortunately, nobody died there on this very day.
The money shot: Alex meditating at the top of the waterfall. Was the risk worth it? Absolutely! - ©2017 - @muktivat
T H E H E A V Y B U R D E N O F A V I D E O G R A P H E R
One of the biggest challenges as a videographer is to go on a trip without a camera. If you don't have it with you, there is an omnipresent fear of (maybe) missing something epic. And if it turns out you REALLY missed it because you left that thing at home...it's devestating to the bottom of the videographers soul. Maybe that's why Ben had his heavy gear with him on every excursion. He seems to be addicted to cameras. Like other people are to drugs. Or even worse: addicted to sugar, smartphones or the internet! :)
Bring as much as you are willing to carry!
Indeed, the path seems steeper with a heavy backpack. Carying all of our video equipment with us, which included a drone, two cameras and various lenses was really tiring – all the time! But since we collected amazing footage it was worth it. Here is a list of the technical equipment we used:
GoPro Hero 5
|Lenses||Voigtlaender 25mm / f 0.95
Voigtlaender 42.5mm / f 0.95
Panasonic 12-35mm / f 2.8
|Drone||DJI Mavic Pro|
|Communication||Motorola Walkie Talkie TLKR T80 EXTREM|
It is safe to say that sometimes Benni was trying to push his drone piloting skills a little bit too far. One time, he flew through a cave on the cliffs which was around 500m from his position. After he maneuvered it into the cave, he lost the connection with the drone. Hoping for the best, he randomly pushed the sticks on the controller. Miraculously, he managed to fly it out on the other side of the cave again. From this day, we called this cave "the glory hole".
The glory hole in all of it's glory before the drone entered it. - ©2017 - @muktivat
W H A T ' S U P W I T H T H E N A M E ?
After three weeks of exploring this island, our trip came to an end and we started editing the footage. During this process, we decided to name our Madeira-video ‘Mettā’. The Sanskrit word describes the altruistic attitude of love. Mettā is what Mother Nature gives to us and it is what we should aspire to carry into the world. Love others, love nature, love yourself and love what you do. Those are values we believe in and which are – in our opinion – able to unite this world. It is a mindset with the pontential to transform yourself and your surrounding. But it starts from within.
P U R E M E T T A
This video is a love letter dedicated to our journey and everything that comes with it. The good, the bad, the ugly, the beautiful, the dangerous, the daring and the boring. The act of putting it together was pure Mettā. :) And now enjoy the finished travel clip of Madeira:
Music: © James Everingham - Towers | jameseveringham.com
We licensed his music for this video. Nothing would fit better than this track! Make sure to check out his other work! :)