Machico beach, Blue flags lost and gained, Funchal inside and out, and other snippets.

TODAY’S PHOTO : Thanks to Alan (and Jan?) … last night’s Funchal 500 firework celebrations

Front Page News : source : Diário de Notícias 21/8/2008

The yellow sand for the beach at Machico has arrived … the proof is a photo of it in the newspaper. Residents seem to be divided on the subject, some calling it the ‘murder of the bay’. Tough luck really, consultation for local and government projects unfortunately doesn’t form part of the Madeiran democracy. I know, I have to put up with two massive concrete eyesores stretching out into the sea, and Ponta do Sol has one also, … practically no one locally knew what they were until it became obvious, and even tourist information here incorrectly told me they were building a new harbour. I should blame Europe for that, for paying for it all.

The tragic plane accident in Madrid is front page news, where 153 people died, and it’s very rare ‘external news’ ever does that.  I am never quite sure of the state of the relationship between Portugal and Spain at a street level, as I get the impression it is not quite so neighbourly, but obviously the Diário thinks it should mark the tragic event in a high profile position.

You can live in Funchal, and not be the people of Funchal according to those who live outside the main city zone, particularly in the high zones. The Diário witnessed 5 families that live outside the city, without all or some of life’s essentials. Caminho da Ribeira Grande is the home of Maria and 4 family members. She has lived there for 38 years without running water and light (street?), and the fridge is bare. The roads are poor, and buses cannot reach the family, and the postman has to do the journey on foot. Another family live in a hand-built shack made of stone, wood, and metal where the roof is held down with 10 stones, not enough to protect from the wind at times. The owner there says he will not be celebrating Funchal 500. He and his wife have to survive on pensions of just €350 per month. The journalist concludes by listing the 5 problems that affect these people … poverty, accessibility, utilities, unemployment, and sanitation. The article was clearly written to coincide with Funchal 500, but whether the authorities will embarassed into dashing up there to sort out matters remains to be seen. Shame on you.

Portugal 5 – Faroe Islands 0, was the score in Wednesday nights friendly football match in Portugal. It was one way traffic throughout the game, and I can’t remember the islanders having a shot on target. Portugal scored the last 3 goals in the last few minutes, but really should have scored even more.  

Other news :

If you have a few Euros to spare, an account has been set up to help the mother pay for the funeral of her 8 year old boy stung to death by wasps (see yesterdays blog?). The NIB number to send it to is 003503950000317500033.

Another analysis of the sea waters at Ponta do Sol has not achieved the required standard, the third consecutive time. The blue flag status is now definately withdrawn for 2008. The status for 2009 is based on analysis over the previous 4 years, but the Câmara can’t afford any more slip-ups. I should emphasise that the tests all resulted in analysis results of ‘adequate’, which although not good enough for blue flag standards, may still be OK for swimming, but don’t take my word for that.

Going the opposite way, after sewerage was found on the beach, Praia Formosa Beach (Funchal) is just awaiting the thumbs-up to rehoist it’s blue flag which has been missing for just over a month. 

Anyway I hope all of you present at the Funchal 500 celebrations had a good day. May all the other towns have such lavish events when their times comes, but I expect a cake with candles will be nearer the truth.

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8 thoughts on “Machico beach, Blue flags lost and gained, Funchal inside and out, and other snippets.”

  1. We went to the Historical Procession last night. It was disappointing to say the least. There were loads of people in extremely good costumes, presumably represnting the different centuries of the existence of Funchal. However, there was no information to help you understand key events or figures – just a lot of people walking very slowly past, with bands that mostly didn't play. For an event that had been in the planning some 4 years, it was a bit of a damp squib. Didn't stop for the fireworks – seen enough of those before!
    –Andrew

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  2. It seems the whole day was a let down from what i hear, i saw the fire works from a view point, they were ok , mainly in the colours of portugal (red,green,Yellow), and Madeira (blue, yellow)
    –Tobi

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