New ferry underway, Cheque books, Car tax, and other snippets

TODAY’S PHOTO : Thanks to Andrew … another fine photo from last weekends harvest festival in Loreta complete with vegetable balls. Next week I am going to show some photos of Port Santo Island that I took myself, as I feel sometimes it does not get as much attention as it ought in the news.

The blog seems to be OK now thankfully. Sorry for the inconvenience, and thanks for persevering!

Main News : source : Diário de Notícias 14/6/2008

A front page almost football free for the first time this week! Won’t be for long I promise, with Portugal playing their final group match in the Euro 2008 (TVI / Channel 4, 7.45pm)

The ‘Volcán of Tijarafe’ set off with 90 new Madeiran passengers  yesterday morning from Funchal, on its maiden voyage to Portimão on the south coast of Portugal. The ship run by ‘Naviera Armas’ set off at 10.30am with a total of 120 passengers and 30 vehicles (some presumably already boarded on the Canary Islands).  The ship should arrive at Portimão on Sunday at 8am. 

Other News :

I beat the Diário to the scoop of the week last week, when the blog covered the ramp access all the way down to the sea at Ribeira Brava. The Diário covers that today, better late than never, but also reports a big coastal clean up on Friday along that stretch. A spokesperson from the council (Câmara) states that the ‘clean water’ blue flag will not be raised until 27th of June, and on the same day the two life guards will start work. Peering down over the beach I can see from my obscured view around 50 people in the sea and on the beach, and there are probably 2 or 3 times as many out of my sight. So why do the lifeguards not start work until 27th? I don’t remember seeing any signs saying ‘do not drown before 27th June’, nor do I see any life belts or other forms of aid for struggling swimmers. The council is fulfilling it’s minimal obligations, nothing more.

Moving to international politics, or lack of, the declining relationship between Russia and Britain will have an impact on the Funchal 500 celebrations, in particular the tall ships event in October. The biggest training ship in the world ‘Sedov’ will no longer take part, because the event starts in Falmouth (Cornwall, England) and the Russian authorities will not allow their boat to anchor there. This is all over the death of a KGB man who the Brits claim was poisoned by the Russian Secret Service.


If you bank with the Bank of Portugal and some other banks, and they issue you with a cheque book (or folio of cheques) be sure to make yourself aware if they have a printed expiry date (‘Valido até) in the top right hand corner. If they are ‘presented’ for payment after this date they will probably be rejected, and there may also be a bank charge. (luckily for me my BPI account cheques don’t have expiry dates).

The new car tax system is still causing some problems, but that’s partly the fault if Finanças. What should happen is that when your vehicle tax is due (the month of first registration in Portugal), you should be sent a notification … but as yet these reminders have not started being sent out. However, that is no excuse for non renewal as both the police and Finanças can fine you for out of date car tax. Also, there is no sticker of ticket to go in the windscreen once you have paid, but you should carry proof of payment of the car tax with you in the car.

More details on how to renew your car tax on the internet here :

I don’t know who else is taking a close look at the Euro 2008, but I have seen all the games except one and have witnessed some really good football matches. Each year football at this level seems to move closer to ‘playing not to lose’ , but this competition seems to have lost that negative approach. It’s funny that the Madeirans seem to have a dislike of several teams, including France, Germany and Italy, much like some other European countries I know. Anyway, I must thank CaboTV for showing all the matches, even on some of the more obscure channels. The strange thing is that when SportTV (paid channel) has exclusive coverage, they block the Italian channel (Rai Uno) from showing it, but leave it on the more obscure stations way down on the channel list.

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!

4 thoughts on “New ferry underway, Cheque books, Car tax, and other snippets”

  1. Well most the schools will be finished come the 27th June, so thats when the beaches get into full swing , the floating rafts will all be in place, the wooden things to lay on will be dumped on all the beaches, but why when we have had such nice beach weather, do they leave all this so late in the year, they seem to forget the island is full of tourists, who come to enjoy the weather, the beaches and pools, most the pools on the smaller beaches are still empty and still not even painted yet.

    Anyway enjoy the football tonight, lets hope we win.
    I wonder who everyone in the UK is supporting.

    Glad to see the blog back to normal Der.

  2. Good to see the blog has recovered from it's 'illness' and is working just fine now.

    Thanks Tobi for the info about the old port in Funchal. The only reason I asked was because the land there is prime real estate due to it's central location. The large aquarium sounds an interesting additional tourist attraction. At least that shouldn't blow away like the balloon did!

    Der wrote: So why do the lifeguards not start work until 27th? I don't remember seeing any signs saying 'do not drown before 27th June', nor do I see any life belts or other forms of aid for struggling swimmers.

    Well I have to agree. One thing that does worry me about the Madeiran people is their apparant disregard for basic health and safety.
    Although I hate to use comparisons with other distant lands, the UK has become like a Nanny Sate where you can't even do a 'peido' without an official inspection, Madeira is the complete opposite.
    Where I used to work there were at least four people with fingers missing due to the machinary used. Some members of my family are builders and what they are asked to do during the working day is seriously bordering on the insane.

    Whether it's with vehicles, construction, gas bottles, personal objectives etc. health and safety never appears high on the Madeiran agenda.

    Democratically elected by the good people of Madeira for 30 years.
    –President Alberto João Jardim

  3. So Anonymos , are you gonna stay ananoymos, lol, im guessing you work in a pub now in the Uk, but im prob wrong.
    As for the health and safty, its true, you cant F%&t in the uk without someone in a white coat or suit telling you u cant, but things are slowly becoming like that here, but i dont think their checks are as bad as in Uk.

    What ever happened to the new balloon , i had forgotten about that, not that i miss it i think is was a total waste of money , and the cafe still there is also , the sevice is crap and i wouldnt reccommend it to anyone.

    The weather has been fantastic, even if we havent got anything to lay on on the beach, or pools to swim in at the moment, and its looking good for the rest of the week.

    Garajau beach is now reopened, cable car still not working , but the restuarant place is open down there , and they are letting cars drive right to the bottom and park , they also have plastic sunbeds to lay on , but not sure what the charge is for them, as looking from the top today , none of them were in use , everyone was laying on the rocks…

    Have a great week people……….

  4. Tobi, we all know that you dont have time for the beach, but have a good week ys anyway.

    re Mr Anon, he is having fun with his pal Jardim, so I would say he doesnt live here for sure

    re balloon, last I heard (about 2 years ago), a new one had been ordered from France. Somehow I doubt that little gem of Madeira will ever open again.


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