Funchal 500 underway, 'Parallel beds', Caniço festa, Car inspections, & other snippets.

TODAY’S PHOTO : Thanks to Alan … “The local kids tried to drown themselves, Tobi was lucky he couldn’t find a place to swim, and Calheta was like Blackpool”.

Front Page News : source : Diário de Notícias 20/8/2008

Funchal 500 celebrations are upon us, and the 500th birthday of the city will be marked today with a procession of around 700 participants. ‘The Discovery and the Colony’, ‘The Society of the Powers’, ‘The Discovery of Funchal by Europe,’ The Revolt’ and ‘The Autonomy’ will be the five themes of the history of the city portrayed in the procession.  The spectacle will include dance and musical pieces in the procession, with songs of the XVI to the XX centuries. Also amongst other things there will be an air display, and classic car parade. The day’s celebrations finish with a large fireworks display at 11.30pm (what else could it be!). The newspaper doesn’t state a time for the procession, but Andrew says it’s between 9-11pm. I can’t go unfortunately, so if anyone has any good photos, I would be delighted to receive them for the blog … many thanks.

A sad continuation to the story of the 8 year old boy who died from wasp stings at the beginning of August, as his mother, who is separated from her husband and disabled, and has 4 more young children who live in institutions, doesn’t have the money to pay for the funeral. She lives off her disability pay. As a result something like a paupers funeral will take place today. How sad!

Porto Santo Island seems to be the news just about every day recently, but I suppose it is high season, and President AJ Jardim is there, and that fact just makes news on its own. Today the news is about ‘Parallel beds’, a practice which takes place to accommodate tourism when the hotels are all full or to avoid the high seasonal room rates. By asking on the street, or a friend of a friend, or in a shop, someone somewhere will find you somewhere to sleep … for a price of course. It is an illegal activity, but that doesn’t stop it going on. Then are those who make a business out of the situation, by letting or even sub-letting holiday homes or accommodation, without any permits or paperwork changing hands … just cash.

Friday sees the start of the 9th gastronomic festival in Caniço de Baixo. Thousands of locals and visitors are expected to attend the sea front during the festival, where entertainment has been arranged to start after 8pm every night. The theme of the music generally seems to be folk, and there will be groups of Venezuelan, American, and Australian origin taking part.

Other news :

The bus company SAM, which covers the east side of Madeira and the airport, was robbed at the end of last week. An office based in Nazaré (not the most salubrious place on the island) was hit early on Friday morning netting the thieves around €5,000 in cash, and a couple of expensive computers.

During less than a week, 11 sick people have been airlifted from Porto Santo to go to the hospital in Funchal, although one was a pregnant woman. The Força Aérea Portuguesa carried out the flights in its airship C212, because the hospital on Porto Santo has limited facilities. Lets hope if they get called up today, they don’t get accidentally mixed up in today’s air display!

New car inspection rules will please many motorists. From today, it will be possible to take your car for it’s inspection up to 3 months before the date of registration, whereas previously it was during the actual month of registration. New cars are only required to be tested when they reach 4 years old, thereafter the inspections take place at 6 and 8 years, and annually thereafter. It is hoped that the change will redistribute the workload at the inspection centre particularly at the end of each month, when there are huge queues for ‘last minute Joes’. Somehow I doubt whether the end of month problem will change, but I guess there will be a slight implication for road safety if an old car can now go 15 months between inspections.

One other thing before I go, don’t forget that if you know of an event or you are organising something, please feel free to email me the details and I am happy to give it a mention, preferably it will be something open to all those who read this blog.

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!

3 thoughts on “Funchal 500 underway, 'Parallel beds', Caniço festa, Car inspections, & other snippets.”

  1. a lot of squawking and screaming on the radio just now and Olympics being mentioned as well … could only mean one thing! I checked, and in the Athletics in the Men's Triple Jump Nelson Evora WON the GOLD medal … hurrah!

  2. Blimey its quite on here today, is everyone in Funchal, i waited up at Garajãu at 4pm for the aircraft display, 4.30 nothing, 5 pm nothing so it started at 5.30, is was on the radio that it was to start at 4.30 , by the time it started most people had gone , and those of us still there had sunburn, anyway what a waste of time just 2 planes doing a display, they were good but if i knew it was just 2 planes i would have stayed at home.

    Well done portugal for the gold medal.

    Hope your all back 2moro, feels a bit lonley….



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