TODAY’S PHOTO : Thanks to the Andrew M … “Last weekend was a festa at Loreto – a sort of harvest festival. The usual huge balls of vegetables are made by local people. A real community event. Loads of people, loads of music, loads of fireworks (unfortunately – drives our dogs to distraction) and loads of vegetables! There was an auction at the end.”
Main News : source : Diário de Notícias 10/6/2008
Bypassing football, the main story is about the aquisition and use of low emmission buses to serve the Monumental Lido route between Funchal and Praia Formosa beach. The new buses will continue to be operated by ‘Horários do Funchal’, who currently run the yellow buses. The new 52 seaters “of cheerful colours” will run the route more frequently, in the hope that it will reduce the use of hotel courtesy buses. New bus shelters will also be built, giving improved access to passengers with boarding difficulties. Madeira is unable to use electric buses on many routes because they are not able to cope with steep inclines.
Madeira as a tourist destination for divers is facing problems because of the rubbish on the sea bed, resulting in increasing numbers of participants asking for their money back. Customers for one company around Garajau and São Lourenço who buy a ‘holiday’ pack for 5 or 6 dives, are giving up after just a couple and demanding refunds because of visibility and pollution problems. The company assures a visibility range of 15 to 20 metres. Câmara de Lobos and Porto Santo Island are reporting similar problems, and a company that offers dolpin and whale watching trip says that tourists are astonished and annoyed with the trash they see in the sea. A marine biologist says that the situation is better now than it was, but the rubbish from the riverbanks (see yesterday’s blog) worsens the problem when Madeira suffers from heavy and prolonged rain storms (like the one in April this year).
Other News :
A major police traffic operation on Saturday night into Sunday am covered traffic and night spots in Funchal and Santa Cruz. ‘Operation Stop’ resulted in 11 detentions (9 drinking driving), one of which had just fled the scene of an accident after knocking down 2 youths. 251 vehicle inspections were undertaken. Visits to 20 night clubs and night time hotspots revealed 16 ‘infractions’ including after hours drinking, and one breach of musical copyright. Other detentions included 3 underage drinkers, several drugs offences, and a person smoking a cigarette indoors.
Two of the ships that bring supplies to Madeira every week are stranded in Lisbon / Leixões because the docks in those places are sealed off by striking pickets supporting the transport strikes over fuel prices. ‘Apolo’ and ‘Port Douro’ are now likely to put-off this weeks deliveries. I knew buying two cases of those tinned beans during the Modelo 50% sale would pay dividends!
OK, I think I owe an explanation about the intermittent blog problems that started last Friday. The software is provided by a company that is supposed to provide support for this sort of thing. Last time I had a problem it took two weeks to get fixed, it could be the same again, but as I just found out that the software is to be discontinued they maybe won’t fix it at all. If I chase them too much, my problem will probably go to the bottom of the pile, so despite my frustration I have to be careful. Monday’s blog I had to reformatted and reloaded 4 times, and 3 times yesterday, before they were successful, so it is a real pain in the backside for me!
I spent Monday afternoon looking at alternative blog software and hosting arrangements, but drew a blank. The main reason is that I cannot import the c.250 blogs already created, into the new programme. To me that would be a crying shame to lose such a library of information, which is searchable through the search engines (yahoo does it best), and all those lovely photos you have sent in.
What I am going to do is wait until Friday next week, with a few gentle prods re getting the blog fixed, so if you can live with the ‘lame duck’ until then it would be much appreciated. The company that supplies the blog software will then later this year (?) issue a new blog programme, with much improved features, and will do the set up and transfer of old blogs for me. Why they have abandoned the old one before the new one is ready is beyond me? If they fail to fix the fault by Friday week, then it may be that a totally new blog is the only option. I will keep you informed, but in the meantime thank you for your perserverance!
If you are following the football, don’t forget tonight’s match in Geneva, Czech Republic v Portugal. It’s on TVI (Channel 4) at 5pm.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org – anyone can join in! Thank you!