Barreiros going upmarket, River rubbish, 'Meals on wheels', Top beers, & other snippets

The problems with the blog fault continue, sorry. I am having another go at the software providers today, and will explain the situation in full tommorow.

TODAY’S PHOTO : Thanks to Tobi … The Atlantic Festival firework display competition held in Funchal on Saturday night. That was the Italian contribution. 3 more to go on the coming Saturday’s this month, each one starting at 10.30pm.

Main News : source : Diário de Notícias 9/6/2008

It seems that the area known as Barreiros in Funchal is becoming a bit upmarket and a bit of a haven for the wealthy. One resident quoted said a T2 (2 bed) apartment there costing €100,000 in 2000, would now cost €150,000. The area is renowned for several things, mainly the Marítimo football stadium, but the horrendous parking and lack of policing are also a source of annoyance to many. The fear is of that dreaded word ‘speculation’, which is driving the prices up, and estate agents are lying to potential buyers claiming that properties outside the area are actually in it. Estate agents lying, property speculation … what is going on!

Throwing rubbish in the rivers is a favoured pastime for many living on Madeira (as is, in my opinion, littering generally), and it also seems that ’emptying smelly sewerage’ into the river is popular. Quoting plastic bags and yogurt pots, crisp bags, and beer bottles as the most popular items, it seems that that is an improvement, as it used to be mattresses, refrigerators, and old TVs. Aside from being unhygienic, smelly and unsightly, the actions of many can cause much greater problems, for river and sea fish, and wildlife, increase the risk of flooding, and pollution of fresh water. I should mention, that the article refers to the river systems in Funchal. My local river in Rib. Bra. is pretty clean these days, I can remember it being much worse. Could be down to the fact that very few people come here to spend money any more … no money spent = no rubbish.

Other News : 

Something I didn’t know was the the social security system here provide a meals distribution service (´meals on wheels’ as it used to be known on a planet far, far away). If you qualify through whatever factors are required, you can expect someone to turn up with your dinner. All this for a symbolic €10 per month. However, not all works as it should, as the case of a 94 year old man in Santana reveals. He is unable to prepare meals for himself, but has family who can help him at night. He is fed only when the SS remember or can be bothered to do so, and never knows what day the next meal will be coming. His family also complain about the quality of the food. The SS of course pretty much deny the allegations. The service does not operate on public holidays, so you can imagine that Christmas must be a real jolly time for those who don’t have family to take over the feeding.

I don’t know if we have any beer drinkers who read this blog, but in a national analysis of 28 beers sold in Portugal by a consumer protection group, the best place achieved by a local brew was ‘Zarco’ (6th). The winner was Sagres (Portugal), and Coral of Madeira came in 12th. I didn’t even know that Zarco was made in Madeira, and I have never seen it in on sale anywhere other than in a supermarket.

Industrial action over fuel prices is diminishing the working hours of Portugal’s 20,000 truck drivers, and that in turn means that imported goods are running out in the supermarkets. I presume that will also affect Madeira?


Peter Roy, the author of a book about Madeira that has an outrageous title, lived on the island for 5 years before moving to Australia around 2003. Does anyone know him / remember him? I would like to contact him about including some excerpts on the blog … can anyone help please? many thanks, especially to Tobi for loaning the book.

If you got up this morning and thought everything seems very quiet on the island today, then maybe you didn’t realise it’s a public holiday today. It’s the National Day of Portugal. It commemorates the anniversary of the death of Luis de Camões, Portugal’s national poet.

25th to 28th June sees the 21st classic car rally on Madeira, organised by the Madeira Classic Car Club. It’s an event of international renown, and as such all entrants must be driving vehicles in their original state during the 400km event.

Aside from your valued blog responses (you can reply direct using the form at the bottom of each blog comments page), please send any unreported Madeira news, photos, events information, or snippets for the madeira4u blog to – anyone can join in! Thank you!

10 thoughts on “Barreiros going upmarket, River rubbish, 'Meals on wheels', Top beers, & other snippets”

  1. Peter Roy – Madeira The Floating Dungheap.

    Here is the blurb.

    There have been numerous books written on the subject of Madeira. All, without exception, wax lyrical about the island – the pearl of the Atlantic, the island of flowers, the floating garden, a subtropical paradise and the lost Atlantis are but a few of the colourful descriptions bestowed. Hundred of pages devoted to the flowers and fauna, the wonderful climate, the landscape, the wine and agriculture, the facilities for the tourist, and, of course, the people – quaint, old fashioned, hard-working, honest people, and their folklore and festivals.

    This book is different; it sets out to expose the dark underbelly of the island, born in feudality and laboured by slaves, prisoners, and the poorest of the poor brought in from Northern Portugal for the benefit of a few privileged farmers.

    Twenty years of holidays there was no preparation for the culture shock of meeting the medieval mindset head on. A democracy where there has been no power shift in twenty-five years, and government departments run themselves answerable to no one, fines and penalties handed out without evidence or justification.

    Failure to wear a seat belt can result in an on the spot broken nose, the rape of a young boy can be 'put right' by the defrayment of some cash and a cow, and the decapitation of young children caused by drunken driving can be settled in similar fashion. Builders who look on in wonderment at a spirit level and improvise a bed from the dust sheets provided and where 'Care in the Community' means keeping a mentally handicapped relative in the shed with the dogs, and feeding them together, if at all.

    Many nights disturbed by the roar of gunfire, as the locals followed the age-old tradition of 'lamping' – hunting for rabbits at night by torchlight – and if their path takes them through patios and gardens then so be it.

    Isolated communities, especially islands, cultivate an 'us against the world' mentality, which when combined with religious intolerance, incest, ignorance, greed and an envy of the outside world creates an unhealthy and unnatural atmosphere.

    From the factual sexual assault trials on Pitcairn in 2005 and recent murders on Norfolk Island to the fictional Summerisle in "The Wicker Man" there is a common thread. Isolation.

    Here is a very personal and subjective account, by an Englishman, of five years living on the island of Madeira.
    Why on earth would you want to contact this bloke? I have never read the book granted but have read a few reviews all of which were highly unfavourable.
    For those who know the real Madeira it is an island with it's fair share of problems. Show me a government without corruption. Show me a country without animal cruelty. But why write a book highlighting these issues? Could it just be sensational journanilsm to earn a few extra quid to get him to Oz? I think Madeira is a better place without Peter Roy.
    For the Brits that live in Madeira it is done through choice. And if you don't like the island you can bugger off again. Oh and don't bother writing a book about it either.

  2. Well i dont think things have got much better since the book was written, what country's president would backtrack on the smoking law, it would be great if we could all change the laws as easy as that.

  3. The fact is the majority of the Madeiran people think that Alberto João Jardim is a good president. They have had many opportunities to change their leader, but didn't want to do so.

  4. If you are using extracts from the book will it be with the grammatical and spelling errors and expletives or an edited and improved version?!! Curious after seeing the book mentioned on the blog I got a copy from Amazon. Not finished it yet but I don't think i've ever seen so many errors in a published book.

  5. Reading that ALMOST makes me happy to go back to UK for six weeks.LOL , but I know it's worse over there.
    See you soon, have a good summer.
    Kind regards Alan F

  6. well he obviously did'nt like or get on well here so he what.
    those of us here have the same choice,nobody forced us to come or to stay.
    if he EVER finds an island that is perfect in every way ,perhaps he will write in and let us all know.until then quite happy as we are

  7. I think its more a FACT that more than half the island work for the govenment, in one way or another, so he always gets voted back in as they dont want to lose their jobs or any benifits they get, thats the Only reason he is still in power….

    And karen your right there are hundreds of mistakes in the book , im not great at spelling, but even i noticed how bad it was…

    Have a good time in the uk Alan.

    Hope it is possible to get the blog back to normal again Der, Someone must be able to help..

  8. Controversy … love it! I will give my opinion on Thursday's blog re the 'Floating Dungheap' comments, and it won't be anonymous, promise!

  9. Idont know a thing about about this book ,
    ileft Madeira when i was 17 I'm now 47 and that island is more beautiful than ever and I hope to go back sometime and take my husband and kids so that i can show them where i was born.So nice of you to start this website with all this information,now when I speak to my mother I can relate to the conversation a bit more.When I was a child the only brits that we knew lived over by the Campo dos Barcelos and of course when we would go to the PIER(we lived in Funchal)We would get a laranjada at the cafe and there we would see some of the brits who played for our soccer team at that time called Maritimo-good times.By the way I did watch the game betwen the cheks and portugal ,3 to 1 I enjoyed we probably got it late here in the States but better late than never.Iwill check in again!

  10. Hi Pequeniha, nice to hear from you. I am not sure that Madeira is more beautiful than ever, due to the road, tunnel, and coastal developments, but it is still very beautiful. Glad you enjoy the website


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