Come fly with me, Forest fires, Budget deficit, Police operation, Porto Santo beds, etc.

TODAY’S PHOTO : Thanks again to Helen … a wicker’ toboggan that formed part of the parade for Funchal 500 last week. From what has been said about a a bit of a poor show, perhaps it’s time to move on and just look forward to a far better event for Funchal 1000.

Front Page News : source : Diário de Notícias 25/8/2008

Madeira is to export fruit flies to Morocco in a contract worth €495,000 over 3 years. The sterilised flies are produced at a plant in Camacha … a staggering 50 million per week. 8 million of these infertile males will be sent to Morocco, and the contract is a recognition of the quality of the insects produced. The evolution of biological agriculture reduces the need for chemical insecticides in farming. The fly breeding project started here in 1993, and they used to be released on Madeira by air, but since 2007 they are now released from the ground, saving yearly €400,000 in flight costs.

A serious forest fire in Fonte dos Almocreves, the high zone of Santa Cruz, took 25 firemen 8 hours to control on Sunday afternoon. The fire was threatening residences, and so reinforcement firemen were called in from other areas to assist. Locals are talking about arson, as it is not the first time fires have started in that area, which is quite difficult for the firemen to access. Other fires were tackled and controlled in Caniçal, Ribeira Brava, Camacha and São Martinho.

In a critical article about President Jardim, the Diário looks at the huge debt that Madeira is carrying, because the government here ignored national budgets and spending rules … basically spending money that didn’t exist. It is a quite a long detailed article, but it has far to much technical content for me to attempt to translate.

Operation ‘Safe Night’ was a police operation that started on Friday night and ran through to last Saturday morning, covering the areas of ‘nocturnal fun’ in Funchal, and the surrounding roads. 10 drivers were caught under the influence of alcohol, and another 3 were driving without licences or similar problem. Two of the drivers attempted to escape from the police, without success. In total the police checked 195 vehicles. They found 26 offences or which 5 were considered serious. Perhaps the two attempted escapees hadn’t realised they were on a small island, or maybe the alcohol had numbed their brains sufficiently into thinking they were driving bat-mobiles? (topical humour).

Other news :

Porto Santo Island is aiming to increase its current accommodation to reach 7,500 hotel beds, in a bid to become a major European beach destination. Currently with around 3,000 beds, it aims to reach it’s ambition over the next 10 to 15 years. How is it then there are a reported 20,000 tourists on Porto Santo at the moment, perhaps they are all camped out on the beach? And surely the way to attract more tourists is to extend the tourism season from the current 3 summer months that operate there, especially as it claims to offer 300 ‘beach days’ annually … or are the population there happy with 9 months off every year?

Nothing more … as I tried several time to access the non-headline stories without any luck. Either the Diário website had a technical problem, or there is no news, just a front page. OK, a bit of chat to fill in then …


I had to check it wasn’t April Fools day with that first story, but I remember seeing an Easyjet magazine with something similar in (written by Sam of The Madeira Times). So if we get 42,000,000 infertile flies let loose here every week where are they all. With so many I would expect swarms of them out looking for revenge on whoever took away their manhood. They must have some top ‘stud’ flies at this place in Camacha, how else could they produce such vast quantities. Must be top job on the island for some lucky flies, and they probably live in a luxury box, having females sent in every 10 minutes or so, living off the very best gone-off Madeira bananas and maybe SPAD (those good animal protection people) help out with the supply of other materials essential for making a happy fly. Pardon … you would like me to change the subject?

Antone off to São Vicente for the big festa that started yesterday and runs through until Sunday? I don’t have a programme of events, but if you are lucky you might get to see Mariza (Portugal’s most renowned fado singer) and Rednex (who I only remember for that awful song ‘Cotton eye Joe). Any photos much appreciated.

A couple of months ago one of our blog readers had a hefty bill to pay as a result of hire car damage whilst it was parked. Enquiries with local car hire companies reveal that they offer CDW (collision damage waiver) insurance that may or may not cover you for all liabilities, and they may not be entirely truthful if you ask. Aside from that fact, the cost is expensive, at least €10 per day. At the time one of our blog readers, Karen, recommended a company that does annual insurance policies and daily insurance cover, that you can use to decline the insurance from the car hire companies. As well as saving a substantial amount of money, you would have the peace of mind that you have no excess to pay in the event of an accident as long as you follow their terms and conditions. We at madeira4u have struck a deal with that company and you can access their ‘click through adverts’ through the website. As well as saving you money when hiring cars (Europe or worldwide) it earns us a little commission also, which helps cover our running costs. If you are hiring a car as a one off, or do it regularly, please check out the deal, or recommend to family and friends. Many thanks! Access the ‘click through’ adverts here :

Has anyone seen that yellow powder Turmeric for sale anywhere please? Boiled white rice looks so boring. Or perhaps there is an alternative?

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!

7 thoughts on “Come fly with me, Forest fires, Budget deficit, Police operation, Porto Santo beds, etc.”

  1. How could I forget! Madeira's very own Vânia Fernandes will also be at São Vicente (winner of Portugals 'Pop Idol', and finalist in this years Eurovision Song Farce). I have seen her live, and she is very good.

  2. Der, If the colour of your rice is bothering you,just use a food colouring which is tasteless and harmless. Many are the buffets I have done with requests for eg. the Portuguese or Madeiran flag etc. Time consuming being artistic but satisfying seeing the faces of the participants who of course are frightened to death of being the first to eat the art work

  3. Thanks Don, I don't have a stock of food colourings but will look out for some when I go shopping again.

    BTW – anyone out and about be warned there are very high UV readings forecast for today.

  4. hi der stick a stock cube in yr rice , it will be less white and have more taste.

    Ive just downloaded the firefox browser, everyone seems to use it these days so thought i will give it a try, it will take some getting used to i think but seems faster the IE.
    Anyone else use it regular????

  5. Hi Der

    Found your request email in my junk mail box and I have now registered, so I hope this works. You can buy turmeric, I got mine in Sa in Ribeira Brava. I found a great website where you can order your spices and herbs as the supermarets here don't have the variety that we are used to. I iwll be putting another order in soon, so if anyone has any requests for anything spicy I can add to mine or if you prefer you can do your own at
    As for the flies, I think they beeline the banana plantations in Ponta do Sol cos my next door neighbour seems to send them all over to me.
    Has anyone noticed how in the last few days we seem to have an abundance of wasps? I got stung by one today and there were loads around but then again maybe its the bananas in Ponta do Sol that are attracting them aswell!

  6. thanks a lot for the turmeric and rice tips folks. I tried Sã Sam, they didn't have any last week, but does it have a different Portuguese name? I am going to try egg fried rice one day, anyone have instructions?

    Nice picture of you Sam (I think only those registered and logged on can see it, but maybe it comes up if you click on the link on Sam's message?). That was before the wasp stung you yes? I see about 2 or 3 wasps a year, I reckon they all live over at O Sol.

    I can't access the main website this morning, anyone else having problems? Just in case it is everybody I have reported the fault.

  7. I use Firefox most days Tobi on my mini laptop PC, but to be honest I couldn't really tell you the difference with IE. I know from my site statistics that Firefox is increasing in popularity compared to IE.


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