Sonhos sweeten wet carnival ; Hospital at it’s limit ; New Ponta do Pargo hotel plans

Today’s photo – Many thanks to Pete … "I told you the ball was too big".

Only the one carnival photo received at ‘going to print’ , so back to normal today.

madeira news blog 1002 pete CAPTION I told you the ball was too big

Tess asked me to plug her Madeira carnival coverage on her blog A YEAR IN MADEIRA. Happy to oblige, and well worth a visit with a ‘first hand’ write up of Saturday night’s cortejo, complete with photos.

Many thanks to Elaine (out East) for this web snippet :

Demographics of Madeira. This fotopedia site has photos and information about the island. Combines Wikipedia articles and photos from flickr. Also projects for Portugal and other countries.

Tobi recommends : "This is a great site, shame there are only 2 places on the south coast covered but I hope they add more". VISIT MADEIRA

Paul asks : Could trams be a solution to traffic congestion in Funchal?

What it could be like … some video clips of the trams in Lisbon including what’s like a rollercoaster ride: Lisbon tram 28. Stay with the film to where the streets get really narrow and there’s a car parked where 2 tracks pass! VIDEO

Tram Clip from the Wim Wenders film too: Lisbon Story 1994: VIDEO

File:Tram 28, Lisbon, 20051011.jpg

This one is from Tom … did you know Cristiano Ronaldo likes blondes OVER 18s ONLY

Nacional only managed a home draw 1 – 1 yesterday against Rio Ave. Braga hosted Marítimo and won 2 – 1,  keeping the home side just four points adrift of league leaders Benfica, with a game in hand. Both our Madeira football teams are now on equal points (25), and both in reach of a European placing.

Many thanks to Elaine once again for yesterday’s top news stories & some web links :

Diário now has a slide show of 32 photos of the Carnival Parade. PHOTO LINK

They certainly had the right Carnival theme this year for the weather. Diário has an 11 minute video. I suppose YouTube will have videos soon. VIDEO LINK

This theatrical piece, God’s Garden, was mentioned in January 30th blog. A critic’s review in yesterday’s Independent newspaper. 

God’s Garden, Linbury Studio, London. Breathing Irregular, Gate, London. Don’t tell the bride – there are oats to sow in paradise. Lush: that’s the word for Madeira. The plant life, the landscape, the fado singing, even the local Portuguese dialect – all aspire to the luxuriant softness of its cosseting climate. The choreographer Arthur Pita has family there, and in God’s Garden, a striking 75-minute touring piece of dance theatre and live music, transmits the distinctive colour of island life, including its darker shades. In outline it’s the prodigal son story, a tug-of-war twixt home – all be it a poor, peasant one – and the lure of elsewhere. In a sunny courtyard (design by Jean-Marc Puissant) three generations of one family eat, drink, squabble, even sleep, when the wine and late-night fado render them senseless … Independent newspaper



‘Ponta do Pargo Resort’ opens in April 2012. (Drawing of the main building of the hotel complex). The new luxury hotel complex, Ponta do Pargo Resort, seeks a rating of five stars and is due to be completed in April 2012. This is when the new golf course will open in the area, which is to be built by the Society for the Development of West Point. An initiative of the British company, Morgan Forbes – Developing Investments, the new resort-hotel will have 68 accommodation units, some suites with an area of 80 square metres. It will be located in one of the best areas surrounding the new golf course and is so far the only hotel unit planned for the site. The project has been submitted for planning permission. The project has been designed by the Madeiran firm, MSB Arquitectos, for minimal impact on the site and to overlook the sea and golf course. The budget is 12 million Euros and will be supported by sales of units in the international market. The project has been reported in the British press and there are already 20 customers interested. The sales of portions of properties adjacent to golf courses is a widespread practice in Southern Europe and Northern America. The construction could begin later this year. Meanwhile, the project is being marketed in England and there are negotiations with a prestigious international real estate promotion and sales company in Madeira, aimed at attracting the more wealthy client. Morgan Forbes is bringing the press to Madeira, British and Swedish journalists and TV stations, to promote the resort to golf lovers. The director of the investment company, Michael Nascimento, has parents in Porto da Cruz and is a Londoner, and owns a chain of food and drink outlets around Canary Wharf. He admires Madeira and has some investments here but this is his biggest project on the island.

Hospital is at the limit. Disruptions in the supply of medicines, lack of beds, old and outdated facilities, not enough money and a climate of conflict between health professionals and administration, the Central Hospital in Funchal is on the edge. A new hospital is desperately needed but the relationship with Lisbon does not help. Marmeleiros is even worse, the hospital should have been closed years ago and the wards are cold, poorly insulated with mould growing on some walls. The President of the Union for Nurses wants it to become a home for the elderly when the new hospital is built. Medicines sometimes run out due to a lack of money and late payment to suppliers. There are also difficulties in paying suppliers of other requirements. There are also pressures from the ageing population, the economic crisis making private consultations less affordable and a poor network of primary care. The number of complaints to the management from doctors has increased from an average of five per year over the last ten years to 110 last year. The clinical director insists the unions’ complaints about the quality of health care provided are nonsense and that Madeira has good services in terms of quality and safety. The new hospital plans were drawn up in 1992 and finally submitted in 2004 to the Regional Government. Land for it in Santa Rita is still being expropriated. The same plan recommends the closure of Marmeleiros.


São Roque do Faial Carnival Parade. Casa do Povo de São Roque do Faial is holding a Carnival Parade next Tuesday, February 16, at 18.00. The parade will be through the centre of the parish as it has been for the last four years. From the Casa do Povo, along Rua da Igreja, across the new bridge to the restaurant Sanroque and back to the Casa do Povo. Activities will continue in the evening in the Casa do Povo. This initiative is to maintain the tradition.

Works in Cabo Girão close road. Access to Quinta Grande closed for three months. Upgrading of the viewpoint and access, which includes widening of the road.


Sonhos and malassadas sweeten the Carnival. The Carnival is celebrated three days before Lent, which begins on Ash Wednesday and ends at Easter. The traditional foods at this time of year are the sonhos and malassadas (deep fried doughnuts), The recipes can have either pumpkin or sweet potato added to improve the taste and lightness, and they are served drizzled with regional cane syrup. Malassadas are made from dough made from flour, water and baker’s yeast then eggs added. Pumpkin puree can be added. Spoonfuls of the mixture are deep fried. Some people use baking powder but this gives a more compact texture. Historically, Carnival time started on the Dia dos Reis, 6 January, and each Sunday was celebrated with large meals, thus known as Domingos Gordos. Each parish has its specific feijoadas de Carnaval (bean stew), the best being made in the north of Portugal, especially transmontanas where they use the regional smoked meats. In Beira Litoral, a feijoada with pig’s ears and turnip is accompanied by white rice. Recipes for traditional Madeiran food and drink on the following website, in Portuguese only. MADEIRA RECIPES

Today’s news headlines from the front page of the Diário de Notícias :

A very thin newspaper today. I reckon after a late night covering the carnival in Funchal on Saturday, the boss must have given the reporters the day off yesterday.

Abortion law reduces paternity tests – Besides the analysis of illnesses, of cytogenetics, and the tests for paternity, The Genetics Laboratory wants to move on to forensic [criminal] work. Due to the effects of the abortion law introduced in 2008, the need for paternity testing has reduced, and the laboratory in the University of Madeira is looking at new business in new areas, and is almost saturated with work. 

Today’s main news headline :  Finland is going to send five weekly charter flights – Good news for tourism : the operators guarantee to the hotels of Madeira 10 thousand tourists until May. The predictions of various Finnish tour operators that offer the Madeira option are for an increase of sales to our island, and the consolidation of an increase in capacity over the next few months. Although it is unlikely that the levels of Finnish tourism achieved in 2008 will be achieved this year, the indications are positive. A big fat welcome to our Finnish friends … lovely people.

Jardim already lost the ‘home game’ with Passos Coelho – In the previous election, Coelho won in Funchal, against the instructions of Jardim. This story, over a squabble between between these two PSD politicians, has been running for a few days since the National Council of the Social democrat Party convened  to discuss the selection of a new party leader. Jardim has a serious problem with Coelho [as well as most of Portugal] whose attitude he did not like over the amendments to the Regional Finance Law.

Change of [bus] routes leaves Horários empty.

This one is ‘off’ the front page, but I read it anyway : Mobile phones should be unblocked without charging. DECO, the consumer defence organisation, and the competition authorities are recommending the prohibiting of charging for unblocking mobile phones [tied to single operators], once the contract, called here the loyalty period, has expired. And if it doesn’t happen then then courts should force the operators to refund the unblocking fees. "There is not any reason, technical or legal, for the operators of mobile phones to continue keeping the phones blocked after the loyalty period has expired, the period in which the customer is tied into a contract", said a DECO spokesman. Fees charged for unblocking range from €50 to €116, and a study shows that only around 30% of customers currently have unlocked phones.

The main sport / football headline today : Irregular launch in the origin of the victory of Braga – Madeira lost in the stadium of the 2nd placed team, following a glaring error by the referees assistant, Pedro Proença. At the Choupana [Funchal], Nacional drew with Rio Ave continuing without a win in the premier league in 2010.

If anyone else can oblige with the translation of any of the ‘blank’ or sparsely filled headlines, or other news stories, here is the link. All contributions much appreciated. 

If you can, please contribute something Madeira related. A funny story or good or bad experience, a news item, or a story from a Madeira newspaper, a photo or video, a teaser, news of a bargain flight or item in a supermarket. Please help keep this blog going … without user contributions it won’t survive. Please don’t send in automatic translations (like Google translator) without checking them through and correcting them first, thanks.

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4 thoughts on “Sonhos sweeten wet carnival ; Hospital at it’s limit ; New Ponta do Pargo hotel plans”

  1. I looks as if the 5 star hotel at Pont do Pargo hotel, judging from the artist’s impression, won’t have any balconys.
    A serious omission I would have thought, unless there is a hazard from balls flying everywhere.

  2. Very well put Martin,

    Debbie pack wellies, pac a mac, umbrella, warm clothes l

    No only joking , its been nice and sunny here all day , but very windy, the sea is very rough.


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