Tunnel Walkers, Levada Death, New Flights

Source : Diário de Notícias 17/1/2008

Did you know that it is prohibited to walk through some of the many tunnels that drill through Madeira mountainous terrain, even though you can see pavements on both sides? The ones you cannot walk through are supposed to be marked at the entrances. However, many people do walk through these tunnels, and the numbers are increasing every year. A aside from running the risk of an accident, they also run the risk of a fine.

So, as I had always suspected, Madeira is developed firstly for drivers, and lastly for pedestrians. You have to ask is that fair for those locals who don’t have a car or a convenient bus service. Imagine the alternative of having to walk around or over the mountain to reach your destination. So why did they build pavements inside these tunnels, and yet ignore the needs of pedestrians?

Yesterday, a French tourist fell from the Levada walk that runs from Ribeiro Frio to the Portela, in Machico. The 61 man year old died after slipping and losing his balance, falling only 4 metres but sustaining fatal head injuries. Sad news indeed, but it’s very surprising that these incidents are so rare, and I can’t remember the last time I heard of this happening. I haven’t been levada walking for 2 or 3 years now, but on some of the walks the paths were terrifingly narrow without handrails, and the sheer drops in places were huge. So much so, that often I just turned back. Thankfully though there are plenty of very safe walks, and the best thing to do is get a levada walk guide book and check out the safety rating and other characteristics before hand.

The article doesn’t say whether the walker was here for the Madeira Islands Walking Festival which started on Tuesday (and runs until Saturday), but I bet that’s cast a cloud over the whole event.

On 15th March, TAP airline is to commence new flights between Madeira and Venezuela (Caracas), and also a weekly flight between Madeira and Madrid, starting in the summer. More details will be put on the website as I get them, just in case anyone is able to afford them!

Bye!

www.madeira4u.com

3 thoughts on “Tunnel Walkers, Levada Death, New Flights”

  1. Have just come across your article on immigration and integration. An interesting read-I have to agree with you about the importance of learning the language. I've been working at it for about four years now as our neighbours near Loreto are elderly and speak no English. It's a slow process but worth it.
    –Karen
    <mailto:karenpelling@clara.co.uk>

    Reply
  2. Have just come across your article on immigration and integration. An interesting read-I have to agree with you about the importance of learning the language. I've been working at it for about four years now as our neighbours near Loreto are elderly and speak no English. It's a slow process but worth it.
    –Karen
    <mailto:karenpelling@clara.co.uk>

    Reply
  3. Everyone says that Portuguese is one of the toughest to learn Karen, and it's nearly 4 years I have been learning. I know the grammar that well I could almost teach it, but I really struggle with understanding people speaking to me.
    –Der

    Reply

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