Madeira riverbeds ready for heavy rain ; Giant pumpkin in Calheta ; Petrol sales down

TODAY’S PHOTO : Thanks to Tobi … A great photo from the Flower festival in 2008. Tobi sent me so many great photos of the event that I couldn’t show them all, but I kept this one back to brighten up a rainy day, and this does seems to be the appropriate time.

Madeira blog Flower Festival 2008 tobi 7 

Madeira riverbeds ready for heavy rain ; Giant pumpkin in Calheta ; Petrol sales down 1 ‘Rivers Ready For The First Rains – Government Assures That The Cleaning Works were Already Done’. The water courses of Madeira have been cleaned ready for the rainy season, as they always are at the end of the Summer / early October.

The giant pumpkin weighing 45 kg in Calheta, as mentioned yesterday. 

Madeira riverbeds ready for heavy rain ; Giant pumpkin in Calheta ; Petrol sales down 3









Nacional managed a  1 – 1 draw in Austria last night in the Europa League. The Madeiran Ruben Micael scored for our boys. Austria Vienna only managed one shot on target according to one website … and scored, so Nacional might feel they were a little unfortunate. MATCH STATS That takes up most of the front page of the Diário today.

Académica host Marítimo tonight at 8.15 pm. SportTV1


For anyone planning their weekend here, the Diário weather forecast might be useful : ‘Madeira On Orange Alert – Rain is going to continue until Sunday’. At times the rain will be heavy over all of the archipelago. The wind will also be strong, especially in the high zones. An orange alert is the fourth highest on a scale of 5. The Regional Service for Civil Protection advises against trips into the mountains by car and on foot. Cancel those bbqs and fishing trips, and stay at home and write something for the blog instead, or send in some of your favourite photos or videos … that’s my advice.

Madeira riverbeds ready for heavy rain ; Giant pumpkin in Calheta ; Petrol sales down 5

Madeira riverbeds ready for heavy rain ; Giant pumpkin in Calheta ; Petrol sales down 7








A couple of photos from yesterday, and as usual the tunnels can’t cope with the heavy rain.

One of the articles today is about leaking Rodoeste buses, where apparently two buses leaked under the heavy rain, and passengers had to use umbrellas inside. The Diário says there were two cases reported, the company says it was only one.

The PSD had to cancel their political rally in Santo António, and the concert by top Portuguese artist Mickael Carreira. The rain in this case is a bit of a political leveller, with the social democrats unable to outperform the other political parties that have no money for such events.

Today’s main Diário news headline : ‘LESS PETROL – The Madeirans consumed 4 million less litres between 2007 and 2008. And the crisis favours the cheapest’. Petrol consumption dropped from 58.8 million litres to 54.9 million last year. Diesel was the most purchased fuel with 129 million litres sold, nearly two thirds of the total of fuel purchased (183 million litres). The cheaper ‘sem chumbo 95’ actually increased in consumption, as people switched from the more expensive unleaded 98 octane.

Many thanks to Paul for sending this, and Elaine for writing it :

Popemobile will Carry the Pilgrim Statue of Our Lady of Fatima. The statue will arrive at the airport on the 12th October. Religious, civic and military personnel, the Bishop of Funchal, philharmonic band and children’s choir will celebrate the VIP arrival. It will be then taken by the Popemobile towards the Praca Municipio and Se Cathedral. It remains there until the 18th then goes on tour around the island. Last visit was in 1948.

For the Protection of the Poor Reinforce Food Service. The Social Services will help the charity to now serve all meals on Sunday and want the homeless to be directed towards its building. Serves 25 breakfasts, 80 lunches, 45 snacks and expects to serve up to 50 dinners to the needy. Not needed so much during summer due to seasonal agricultural work but now increasing in usage due to poorer weather. 380 people registered, 178 use its services regularly.

Exportation of Douradas Expected to Increase 80%. 700 tonnes of the farmed fish Dourada expected this year. Mainly exported to the Portuguese mainland. The aquaculture here competes with the Mediterranean aquaculture. Warmer Atlantic waters increase the reproduction cycle so the commercial size of the fish is reached in 10 – 12 months rather than 13 – 16 months.

Regional Government Funding of Social Housing and Lots in Porto Santo. Rental property needed for the elderly and lots for self-build for young couples. Helped 380 Porto Santo families so far.

Economy. The ECB find it ‘reassuring’ that the banks are ‘adequately capitalized’ as they may only loose 400 billion Euros by 2010. The Euro falls against the dollar and gains against the sterling (0.9142). Ireland has its 2nd referendum vote on the Lisbon Treaty today.

BE Propose New Versions of ‘Park and Ride’. The political party BE (Left Block) want to help reduce congestion in Funchal by increasing public transport use without affecting the taxi drivers.

Revalidation of Passes Clogs the ‘Horarios’ Balcony. Students have had since the beginning of September to renew the annual bus passes but have queued for the past three days. 35.50 Euros per month.

Culture. Madeira surfer ranked 8th out of the world top-10. Fatima Lopes, the Madeiran fashion designer, has had her ‘Air’ collection shown at the Paris Fashion Week. Fado singer, Mafalda Arnauth, returning to the Choupana Hills Resort on the 29th, 30th and 31st October. Exclusive dinner, 75 Euros, including drinks.

Rain. More road accidents, damage and political campaigns affected. Two areas of Funchal need the water diverting as the rainwater is not draining adequately. (Long holiday weekend here as Monday is a National Holiday).

And also many thanks to everyone for the various snippets in the comments!

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25 thoughts on “Madeira riverbeds ready for heavy rain ; Giant pumpkin in Calheta ; Petrol sales down”

  1. For sure it’s Anadia, as you can see the shopping centre, the photo was created yesterday, but that doesn’t mean it was taken yesterday, so it could be a stock photo Martin.

    Yesterdays newspaper had several stories about problems created by the rain including Funchal and Santa Cruz.

  2. Following my post yesterday regarding my friend having her handbag stolen, when I spoke to her again yesterday evening it turns out that the theif actually came through the open front door and took the handbag that was on the sofa – he could not have seen the sofa from the doorway and would have onyl been a few metres away from the room my friend was in having her breakfast! I originally thought he had entered the room upstairs when she was downstairs, but how blazen of him to jump a high wall, go through the open door where he must of heard voices, and then scout around for something to nick – even more frightening in a way that he was prepared to take such a risk of getting caught. He must have been extremely desperate or exceptionally stupid , but he is certainly a total b*****d.

  3. I would say that photo was taken yesterday , as a frind of mine said the rivers were full, and last time we had heavey rain like this , i dont think those stupid TV screens were in place.

  4. In Ford Anglia, here in Suffolk, it’s a gloriously sunny day with a nasty nip in the air.
    I see a cartoon coming as a result of the last sentence

  5. Ah, that’ll be the Japanese frost then Martin…..
    Well, soaked guests just about dried out now – ready for the next deluge?
    However, it is gorgeous and sunny in Gaula at the moment (and Machico, PSL).
    JPP Music flatbed just passed below us blaring loadly and flags fluttering in the breeze – nice music actually, guests like it!

  6. Just checked the satellite image/weather forecast and it looks like the heavy rain/wind will return for Saturday night and all of Sunday = any action taken by the reader should be based on verified information! {*,*} !

  7. Well yesterday was a challenge taking my ‘domestica’ back to Camacha the mist had even entered the tunnels, and here was me moaning about the fog in Belgium on Monday morning at least I had fog lights on that car – if I have them on my Modus I haven’t found them yet!

    We were not here last October and thought may be we had missed it but the hairdresser informed me no October was fine last year! Obviously in its own way the Island is having climatic problems.

    It is the humidity that is bad, changed the bedding this morning as I insisted they felt damp last night!! it is this arthritis problem …

  8. Hi,

    I just found your website and I think it is great. I’m still struggling with the language so it is particularly good to be able to find out what is going on in Madeira. Keep up the good work.

    Would just like to know what you all think the powers that be should do about the vagrants who all seem to surround the flower market and the fish market. I was in Funchal at 10 am on Tuesday and there was a guy sleeping on the steps leading to the fish market. I think it is awful – not a great image of Madeira for tourists who nearly all visit these places. Does anyone know why no one does anything about this?

    On a brighter note – you all sound very chirpy and I have been enjoying your comments – particularly the one from Martin about ‘the outlaws’. I wonder if his wife read it too – ha!!!

  9. I have always found that the humidity is a problem in the winter months and everything seems to feel damp. Last year seemed to be particularly bad weather wise with a lot more rain that average – many of our local portuguese friends were really fed up with the weather and the long winter that they just didn’t seem used to!

    Betty – agree about the vagrants around the market and it has been discussed on here many times! It doesn’t give a good impression of Funchal but there seems little that is done to stop people lying about on the steps etc. There are a couple of vagrants who have been regulars outside the market area for years – one of them thinks he is a parking officer and will leap to assist anyone reversing in to the parking bays around the markets cobbled streets – probably in the hope of getting a few coins for his trouble!

    I also dislike being approached by small children trying to sell postcards etc around the restaurants and cafes and think that this also gives a bad impression to tourists.

  10. Betty, The Mental Health Department/Psychologists have recently opened a new place for the homeless as they are slowly implementing their Care in the Community programme. They know of 50 people living on the streets but cannot force them into treatment for alcoholism/drug addiction. The hostel is near the market so they are having trouble with them visiting that area. The ‘Methodone bus’ stops in the Admirante Reis park as that area is a problem for toxicodependents. There is also a ‘injection salon’ near the Fort for the heroin users. The alcoholism problem on the island is particularly targeted in this newly-funded Mental Health initiative (2008-2016). In yesterday’s paper, they said that in April they are going to upgrade the worn wooden walkway in the Admirante Reis park and replace the grass as it is not suited to the Madeiran climate. An international architect designed the ‘wave’ structure but complaints were made that the problem of drug addicts using the park would still remain.

  11. Apparently less traffic should be apparent in Funchal from Friday due to the new link via the Express-FunchalPort to be inaugurated tomorrow. – It will be interesting to see if this has any effect!!

    The Classical orchestra of Madeira will be at the Congress Centre on Thursday for World Music Day with tickets costing 10 euros. Performance to start at 9 p.m. (sorry if this has already been posted elsewhere).

  12. Hi,

    Just me again. Thank you for that information.

    Next few questions: (you’ll be sorry I joined in here!)

    Where is there a good market garden for buying plants?

    How do you cope with the health service on Madeira? Where I live there is a newly opened health centre. When you go in it is a bit like a ghost town. My problem is -apparently the doctor only writes prescriptions on a Tuesday (only 5 and if you are too late (No. 6) the receptionist says you would be better to go to the emergency clinic in Calheta). He only comes to the health centre on a Tuesday and a Thursday each week. Is this normal? My husband has to have a prescription every month and this is making our otherwise wonderful life on Madeira a bit worrying. The doctor in the emergency clinic never looks too chuffed at us going there but what can you do?

    Look forward to your comments.

  13. Hello Betty,

    My local garden centre in Ponta do Sol (Sao Caetano area) is brilliant for plants, although it is called a Geranium Nursery they sell so many different types of plants and shrubs as well. As a major supplier to most of the shops and other nurseries, buying directly from them is far cheaper as you will spend between €1 for a small pot plant and up to €3 for a shrub. They close at weekends.

  14. Hi All , thanks for the rain info Jon , the cloud is getting low above caniço npw, but it has been a smashing day , but hate the humidity.

    welcome Betty, there are quite a few garden centres on the island , one on the road behind the hospital , one in porto nova , but i dont know there names , im sure someone will come and let you know , also the market at Santo Serra has a good selection of plants on sundays.

    Emily i think the new tunnel to the port is being opened today , and yes it should make a difference to traffic in Funchal.

  15. Hi Betty

    Also great garden place on the road past Monte towards the hills called Tulipa, you can get the small and the big stuff there and great choice.
    The one Samantha recommends is also good and easier to get to from Calheta side.

  16. The yachts in Funchal leave tomorrow at 2pm, i just hope the weather is good , they will be racing to Brazil , and is expected to take at least 20 days. I will dose up on pain killers in the morning and see if i can get some photos.

    we have had a nice day this side and no rain, cloud has been very low though up above caniço, but i have heard there has been lots of rain in the west.

  17. My ”trouble and strife” will need repeat prescriptions for her many and varied defects when and if we reside ‘en Funchal’.
    I will be interested to hear how you get on Betty.
    It could be those vagrants you see around Funchal are the ones who didn’t get their prescriptions on time??

  18. easy jet are advertising 25% off, but as they don’t have a fixed price list I can only assume it’s ‘con’ trick again.
    I’d rather they INCREASED the gap betwenn seats by 25% to allow the table to fold flat and not rest on the top of my tum at an angle of 25 degrees

  19. Hi Betty,

    When you have applied for “residencia” you will be able to register at your local health centre. When this done visits to the doctor, nurse and hospital are free of charge unless you need to see a specialist when you have to pay the 55 euro’s. If for any reason you do have a problem registering at the local health centre you will need to go first to the main one in Funchal (near to the Windsor Hotel) where you will be given a form to take to you local one.

    Once you are registered at your local health centre you will be able to request a repeat prescription much the same as the same as anywhere else (give or take a week or two’s notice and less once you are allocated you own family doctor)!
    repeat prescriptions will be issued when you have shown your current requirements from your current general practicioner and possibley registered with the local health centre nurse.

    I have been receiving my own repeat prescription from the health centre in TibeiraBrava on a 6 monthly basis for 2 years without a consultation.

    Elaine ?

    Good health!

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