Praia Formosa development, Rockfall, Electricity debts, Water quality, Cherries, etc.

TODAY’S PHOTO : Porto Santo Island … a view from the north side showing extensive erosion, a real problem for the island. Over recent years many thousands of trees have been planted around the island to try and slow down the damage, though it’s clearly not a good place for planting here.

Main News : source : Diário de Notícias 18/6/2008

Anyone familiar with Praia Formosa (the long pebbly beach at the west end of Funchal) will know that there is a large area of unused land there. CMF (Funchal Council) is “finally” putting together some detailed plans of what that land is to become, after 20 years of debate. They are planning to plough €35 million into the infrastructure to create new access roads, a public garden, two car parks (375 places) a promenade, playground, housing lots and a commercial zone. In addition to that, clearly through private investment, two hotels are in the plan … branded and managed under the world famous ‘Hilton’ brand. Plans to convert Praia Formosa into a yellow sand beach have also been discussed, but it is not considered a priority and the matter will be resurrected when funding becomes available. Sandy beach is a nice idea, but when you have to replenish it every time the seas get rough, it’s an expensive and long term ambition. Meanwhile the rest of the island will still be eating favas and patinhas.

Nasty rock fall in Lombada da Ponta do Sol yesterday morning, with some chunks weighing over 5 tons. There was some damage to property, and 3 cars, but no people injuries.

Anyone who has not paid their electricity bills for some time, should be aware that they have racked up €7 million of bad debt that has to be paid for somehow, and if passed onto us good payers could end up costing each of us €63 each. That is one of the options under discussion. Those figures do not include the debts run up by councils, government bodies, and the such, that in 2005 totalled €95 million in debt … some of those debts go back between 10 and 30 years!

Other News :

‘Serviço Nacional de Informação de Recursos Hídricos’ doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, and nor is the website http://snirh.pt that memorable, but they are quite handy to know as this is where one can find out about the quality of the water at your local or any Portuguese beach. Its quite tricky to find your way around the website, so to make it easier for you the latest test results (26th May to 8th June) show the water quality to be GOOD all around Madeira and Porto Santo Islands, except at Porto da Cruz and Calheta where the assessments were ACCEPTABLE, the latter being assessed due to traces of bacteria in the  water. E. Coli is one of them, but it doesn’t mention which strain. You would expect some sort of warning if it was a harmful strain, but there is nothing mentioned.

Price of cherries at €6.50 a kilo according to Tobi – I won’t blame the government for that, but I did get to speak to a small scale cherry grower about the matter (yes, really), and blossom damage and weather conditions were wholly responsible for the poor crop this year.

Paul & Carol contacted me about obtaining your ‘residents discounts’ for flights from Madeira to mainland Portugal, and subsequently went to CTT (Correios / Post Office) to claim theirs. This is what they told me:

“CTT is the place to go for your flights rebate. You need your receipt to prove you spent the money from the travel agents or airline if the flight was booked online (you may need to specifically ask for it), your Residency document(s) and most importantly your boarding card stubs for both legs of the journey. Unfortunately, being a tidy soul, I threw ours in the bin on our return so we cannot claim a refund …… CTT need to log the ticket number, flight number and seat information from the stubs which is then attached to their paperwork to process the claim,  – no stub, no refund. Perhaps this is something the airlines should tell passengers about (big poster) before boarding the flight at our end otherwise, like ourselves, people will not be able to claim. Hope this helps others.” Thanks very much both, I am sure this will help me and others.

Oh my … the day of reckoning has arrived for those who like football and support Portugal, as in 12 hours time we will either  be crying in our beer / wine / poncha, or drinking excessive amounts of it. Those who don’t like football will probably do it the other way around. This is a tough one to call, as one can’t help recalling the losers final from the world cup two years ago when Germany deservedly beat Portugal 3 – 1. Predicting with my heart rather than my head, I am going to predict a 2 – 1 win for Portugal. Are you with me, or do you think differently? Please post your predictions in the comments before the match starts, and no ‘Anons’ please (make up a pen name if you want). 7.45 on TVI (Channel 4).

www.madeira4u.com

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 blog@madeira4u.com – anyone can join in! Thank you!

24 thoughts on “Praia Formosa development, Rockfall, Electricity debts, Water quality, Cherries, etc.”

  1. OK by asking for a name or nickname I guess you’re wanting me to loose the ‘ Democratically elected by the good people of Madeira for 30 years’ tag line. No probs but I might remind you every now and again about that fact.

    So I have been mulling over a pen name to give myself. Before anyone jumps in I don’t need any help thanks! (To all who wonder why I remain anon I just prefer. People who use the internet a lot tend to use nicknames anyway. If I said my name was Bob, Tony or Mickey Mouse it wouldn’t mean anything to any of you.Der is that your real name?

    In Madeira we sometimes use Mr Santana and Mr Carvalho in jest as these names are quite risque if you know what I mean. I sometimes get called simply ‘English’…. But I think I’ll settle on ‘Carlos’.

    So to all readers on this blog: How do you do. My name is Carlos. I hope you are all well. There that should at least please Will featherstone.

    I don’t have a hidden agenda here. I am here simply to learn, listen, contribute and have a bit of friendly banter on all things Madeira. I fell in love with this land the very first time I arrived even though I was shi**ing myself due to the fact I was meeting the future in-laws for the very first time!

    How to spot me on our ‘date’ Der, lol. I was thinking of three disguises.

    1, The stereotyped dark glasses, hat, moustache and mac.
    2, The traditional Funchal tourist look, sandals, white knee length socks, shorts, jumper draped over shoulders, camera round neck.
    3, Wearing my ‘Alberto João Jardim rules’ T-Shirt whilst waving the PSD flag. lol.

    But if I’m buying the beers then does it really matter?

    And as an extra special bonus I’ll bring some of my father-in-laws home made wine. The best on the island! I do hope he washed his feet before he made it though.

    (PS Tobi no I’m not a chef. Oh well. But why not join myself and Der for this drink. In fact I’ll invite Will Featherstone too so I can put a name to a face, and I’ll open the door and pull out the chair for him. How’s that for manners!)

    Seriously though it would be nice to meet up with some of you when we come back to Madeira. After my last stint there I had almost forgotten how to converse in English!

    I really think Portugal will win tonight. Germany haven’t really impressed me too much so far. But saying all that will probably put the kiss of death on them tonight. And don’t forget, Ronaldo fans, it takes 11 players to win a match!

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    After creating the world God was so pleased with His work He gave it a kiss and Madeira was born.
    –Carlos

    Reply
  2. if making a prediction for tonights match, you will have an advantage over me in knowing that Portugal have 100% availabilty of first choice players, whilst Germany are probably without Frings and more importantly Podolski (3 goals so far) due to injury, and their coach is banned from the touchline and will have to see the game from the stands.
    –Der

    Reply
  3. Now I know why I visit this blog. It’s to feel younger than I actually am. Groove Armada is a decent alternative dance act. My favourite tune of theirs is At The River which has a real chill out vibe.
    I remember at Christmas when Bob Sinclar came over to the Island and the ‘Yoof’ of Madeira got a bit excited about him also.

    On the subject of the cement story the other day and to a degree the beach story today. I do get the feeling that a lot of construction is put up willy nilly, so to speak, without any real thought going into the aesthetics, environmental issues and long term impact of the structures.

    Over the years I have seen an increasingly large scar appear over much of Madeira with great swathes of concrete adorning the sides of the roads, endless new tunnels and roads, marinas etc. None of which really look appealing or fits in with the surrounding.

    Surfers were not happy with the waves disappearing at Jardim Do Mar due to the sea defenses. Then you had the beach at Calheta which was washed away in the night and the balloon that blew away. All of which costs money. The beach is a great idea, especially for the tourists but plan ahead, think about the ‘what ifs’ before spending the money.

    Then you have the new apartments. I was told at Christmas by an estate agent that in the Funchal area alone there were around 23,000 properties for sale. If that is true I find it quite staggering. It should keep the prices down though because no way is there a demand for that many properties.

    In fact we used to joke before at the height of the construction work that the most common bird on the island was the crane.

    One masterpiece of concrete was the runway extension which, in my opinion, quite rightly won awards. It’s a staggering feat of engineering and just driving underneath it you can get a sense of the immense scale and perspective of just what they built.

    I do hope, if it’s not too late already, that before any more major construction is contemplated on the island in the future that they sleep on it and consider more than just the here and now.

    (Der I think that was a little dig at my old mate, AJJ. He doesn’t always get it right you see. And this is one case where he’s cocked up big time!)

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    After creating the world God was so pleased with His work He gave it a kiss and Madeira was born.
    –Carlos

    Reply
  4. As an english person living in Madiera, I am going for a Portugal win. When you consider that the opposition is Germany (and we know how much the English love the German football team!)…..but they do have a sneaking habit of playing poorly for a while, then coming good very suddenly. Let's hope they don't do it tonight!
    –Andrew

    Reply
  5. welcome Carlos,

    as my full name, address, telephone number and inside leg measurements are all on the website, I don't think I would have much to gain by using a false name myself.

    Reply
  6. I forgot to mention this in case anyone had forgotten … sorry!

    The 'QE2' cruise ship will make it's last ever visit to Madeira on 19th June, after 80 visits to our island that started on 2nd April 1970. The Queen Elizabeth II was inaugurated in September 1967, and 41+ years later will become a floating hotel owned by 'Dubai World', who paid €70 million for her.

    Would appreciate a photo if anyone can manage? Thanks

    Bad spelling is OK with me Andrew, as mine then doesn't look so bad!

    Carlos, thanks for the essay. Me dig at AJJ, you must be kidding … just wait until tomorrow to see how restrained I have become (smoking) thanks to your advice
    –Der

    Reply
  7. Re Football Portugal 2-1 sounds good to me! Re "Carlos" I think Tobi' chef in England was directed to another Anon (at the time), If he reads back issues of the blog, he will not need your description Der, since you left a link to your photograph if you remember. Also if originality is Carlos theme his current tag line has been widely used on another Madeiran Blog. Good Luck Potugal tonight
    –Don

    Reply
  8. Sorry Der if the post was too long before I'll try and shorten things next time.

    The tag, Don, is not original. It's an old Madeiran fable that I rather liked. If that's OK with you?

    Der just had a quick look round your site and spotted a photo of another careca just like my good self!

    I noticed you had a car (your car?) for sale. If it is yours I was wondering why you imported it? Would you advise that for anyone here thinking of doing the same.
    My sister-in-law imported her right wheel drive car from South Africa and she says it was one of the biggest mistakes she made.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    After creating the world God was so pleased with His work He gave it a kiss and Madeira was born.
    –Carlos

    Reply
  9. Carlos … write posts as long as you like, as long as you keep the readers entertained. I certainly wouldn't recommend importing a RHD car unless it was something very special. The import process for any car is very long winded and pretty costly, and if you get stung for import tax that is mega-expensive. Plus more problems for RHD with car parks, headlights, and probably near impossible to resell.
    –Der

    Reply
  10. i'd love a drink with lot, i hear there's a very good poncha bar nere der's. Or so my dad tells me.

    If you out here in the next 3weeks Carlos then i'd even buy you a drink, i'm not to sure if there are many chairs in the poncha bar nere Der's as the one i've been in the only thing that rests on the floor are the money nut shells!

    I'm sure that if Me Der Tobi and Carlos met up then we'd beable to put the world to rest! I might be young but I'm quite, ermmm. . . how to put it . . Opinionated!

    And now for my every once in a while weather update,

    Funchal Sunny with occasional cloud cover water temperature of 20°C light breeze
    Madolena slight cloud cover but nice and sunny and warm!
    –Will
    <http://gallery.mac.com/will_featherstone_88#gallery&gt;

    Reply
  11. not many takers on the footie results?

    Ta for the weather update Wil, but why, just to make yer dad jealous? As for poncha, could be done, but no ladies? Come to think of it not much from the ladies here recently … any ladies out there?
    –Der

    Reply
  12. well i deffinately wouldn't complain at some feminine company!

    Are there any lady's that would like to join me for a few thimble full of poncha?

    I recon that my dad could tell you exactly how many days it will be before he's out here again! In the mean time i'm drinking my way through him fridge 😉

    But look at the bright side dad, its alot cheeper over here than over there!
    –Wil
    <http://gallery.mac.com/will_featherstone_88#gallery&gt;

    Reply
  13. Hi all , did i hear a mention of PONCHA?????

    Im a bit tired reading this blog tonight , not to mentioin a bit confused, with the tag line , which has done its rounds on another forum, i need to read again when my heads together.
    I saw the QE2 leave Der, and will send a few pics.

    –Tobi

    Reply
  14. I'm female and I'm still here, but not for long!! We come out to Madeira next Wednesday 25th until Friday 4th. July . would be more than happy to meet up with anyone , already know Andrew..
    –karen

    Reply
  15. Well, I was worried about Germany coming good tonight. I didn't think they were that tremendous, but I was very disappointed in Portugal. It's like watching England play – a couple of good results, then disappointment. And someone I am not allowed to mention on this blog was completely anonymous – even if he is the best player in the world (and I do believe that!). Great shame!
    –Andrew

    Reply
  16. Well, I was worried about Germany coming good tonight. I didn't think they were that tremendous, but I was very disappointed in Portugal. It's like watching England play – a couple of good results, then disappointment. And someone I am not allowed to mention on this blog was completely anonymous – even if he is the best player in the world (and I do believe that!). Great shame!
    –Andrew

    Reply
  17. Well im in canico Karen, or you will find me in Monumental shopping , in the lido on the first floor, The Caring company; not on a tues weds though….
    –Tobi

    Reply
  18. Der, I try my best to put my name … but your system still thinks we all are members of the family Anonymous (see above). Anyway mine is Don Amaro (not a nick … full … and the Amaro is because there are at least two Don's wandering around the island).

    Well … unfortunately Portugal did not stop the Germans. Not going into the critics and where it went wrong … they did their best.

    I think it is then up to the Dutch (German's soccer archenemy) to give them a 'beating'.

    PS Carlos … luv your signature 😉
    –Don Amaro
    <http://www.madeirablog.eu&gt;

    Reply
  19. Hi Don, this stupid blog programme works against you, but a new one is in the pipeline before the end of this year.

    lots of takers for the Poncha then. Anyone going to organise it?
    –Der

    Reply

Leave a comment

Translate »