Vigilance in the reserves, Exam absences, Taxi fares up in July, Atlantic Festival, etc

TODAY’S PHOTO : A proud and clever mum … got herself out of the river during the storms 2 months ago and went to raise her family in the safety to the municipal gardens in Ribeira Brava where she now has 8 youngsters. All the other chicks in the river perished in the storm.

Front Page News : source : Diário de Notícias 27/6/2008

The biggest part of the front page is a photo of Spain reaching the final of Euro 2008, where they play Germany on Sunday evening. The headline “Spain Ready To Avenge Portugal”. Somehow I don’t think the good people of Spain will be thinking that way, as from what I can work out there is no love lost between these two nations.

The body responsible for the vigilance and conservation of the nature reserves of Madeira Archipelago say that it is very understaffed, with only 34 guards or rangers covering the tasks, with at least double that number needed, but there is no money to do anything more.

At the end of a recent Festa in São António, the president of the council is alleged to have made a speech with the aim of inciting ‘collective disobedience’ in the crowd, as a result of some displeasure with the police. The matter has been reported to the ministry which deals with such matters.

Other News :

Of the 9,559 students registered to do the National Exams this month (phase 1), 2,440 have dropped out and maybe opted to go for phase 2 in July (it appears that these are normally held for retakes and grade improvements). The English Language exam registered the biggest percentage of absence, 55%.

An update on the increase in taxi fares announced yesterday, says that they will be implemented on 15th July, but they are capped at 5.5%. Currently the rate per kilometre is €0.99, but that is supplemented by an hourly rate of €0.42. The increase is a consequence of a rise in the price of fuel of 25% since the end of 2007.

Oh dear! Not a very newsworthy week for me.


Tonight is the fourth and final firework and music display in the Atlantic Festival, Funchal. Portugal do the honours with ‘Saturday Night Fever’ as the theme. Any photos gratefully received, thank you, though I expect the festa of São Pedro in Ribeira Brava will be given priority.

My contact in Funchal ran into a couple of English tourists on Wednesday, carrying a couple of bags of fruit, and were making the observation that Madeira must be a very expensive place to live. They had just come back from the Farmers / Fruit Market in Funchal, having brought a kilo or so of 5 different fruits. No apples, oranges, or bananas, but even so with cherries at a record €6 a kilo, you wouldn’t have thought that would break the bank. They were charged an astonishing €50, yes FIFTY EUROS, by the seller in the market, and they paid it. And this same couple were also astonished to hear that you can buy a cup of coffee for less than €1, saying that so far they had always been charged €2.

I might have a day off the blog tomorrow as it’s São Pedro … but if I do one it will be later in the day for sure, as this festa goes on all pretty much night.

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!

6 thoughts on “Vigilance in the reserves, Exam absences, Taxi fares up in July, Atlantic Festival, etc”

  1. Hi Der, justed wanted to say thank you for your company again yesterday evening. The Sao Pedro festivities appeared to get off to a very good start and I look forward to attending again this evening.
    Muito Obrigada


  2. Just an observation re the cost of fruit in the market in Funchal. This charge is a regular occurance unfortunately and I think gives Madeira a bad name. I know that the three major UK tour operators warn guests about this practice but unfortunately it happens regularly. Some visitors are just not brave enough to tell them where to put the fruit!!
    Went to R B yesterday and watched the beach BBQ's being started, got some good piccys of the meat, couldn't stay for the main festivities but thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere, couple of piccys sent seperately

  3. don't buy anything in Mercado unless you are friend of the person who is selling. Otherwise they will always try to rip you off. They also do that to the locals. Buy your vegetables and fruit in a supermarket instead.

  4. Or go to the weekly Mercados dos Agriculturos that every Camara has – usually housed in the local co-operative building. They are held every Sunday morning nd are signposted from major roads. We get most of our fruit and veg from the one in Prazeres. The beetroot is so fresh that the leaves on the top have not wilted when we buy it. And with (for instance) bananas at 60c per kilo, it way undercuts the supermarket, let alone the ripoff in Funchal. On top of that, the money is going to ordinary little people – the people who need it most. Give them your business!


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