TAP continues Venezuela flights ; Carnival news ; Tourism poster promotion in Ireland

This came in at 12.55 am this morning from Migratory Bird …  many thanks for the exceptional effort. It is of course dear old Uncle Bertie disguised as Vasco de Gama at last night’s carnival. Great pic! Apparently he looked really pissed before the start, but who am I to judge Madeira’s top man.

madeira news blog 1002 migratory bird president jardim carnival 2010

Today’s normal photo – Many thanks to Pete … "Madeira life starts here …"

madeira news blog 1002 pete Madeira life starts here ...

Many thanks to Becky for some more videos and a web snippet :

Some dramatic surfing in Jardim do Mar and Paul do Mar. I admire the skill, strength and tenacity required by those who surf to any degree. Like me, do you ever wonder who first thought of doing it? And what did they use… a plank of wood? (Uncle Bertie’s wallet perhaps … Der).

Max sings “Bate o pé” and shows us how to dance the Bailinho da Madeira…. 3 hops to the right, 3 hops to the left… come on everybody! (Probably easier after a glass or two of Poncha)

“We were taken to a typical tiny vineyard where picking was in progress. It was one of the most astonishing sights I’ve witnessed in 20 years of vineyard visits. The vines were mixed up with potatoes, cucumbers, tomatoes and melons. The fruit was shaded under heavy overhead pergola canopies. I saw bunches of grapes dangling alongside squashes. Looked at through the optic of conventional viticultural thinking, it was crazy”. WHAT THE HELL IS VITICUTURAL?

Tom sent me in that yesterday, but is it relevant to Madeira? Possibly, as Greece and Madeira have both been mentioned in the same news stories many times over the last week … but anyway I thought it was hilarious. Thanks Tom.

As promised, Tobi has come up trumps with a recipe for Sonhos :

madeira news blog 1020 tobi sonhos cakes You need :-

250 ml water
250 ml milk
1 teaspoon cinnamon
zest of a lemon
pinch salt
9 eggs (med)
120 grams butter
300 grams flour

Heat the water, milk, cinnamon, lemon zest, salt and butter in a saucepan, bring to boil, remove from heat and add all the flour, mix quickly with a wooden spoon, it will all come together like a dough, then start adding eggs 1 by 1, mixing them well into the dough before you add the next, the mixture will separate but don’t worry, but mix well, it really is hard work on the arm. When all mixed you should have a thick batter type, grab a tablespoon type spoon and get a spoonful of batter and push it off the spoon with another spoon into hot oil, they will puff up and float to top, turn and cook both sides till golden, remove and drain on kitchen paper, best served with Cana de Mel.

The texture of the batter needs to be thick, but not too thick, it should fall from a spoon but not fast and not run from it as you spoon it into the hot oil it will stay together, if the batter is a little thick add a bit more water and mix in well.

The oil needs to be very hot, I suggest you cook 4 at a time, try one and if it’s too heavy and doughy you need to thin the mix a little. Thanks a lot Tobi, got me thinking about Kentucky Fried Chicken now!

Many thanks to Elaine once again for yesterday’s top news stories :


Bad weather cancelled Children’s Carnivals. The Children’s Carnival Parade in Câmara de Lobos was cancelled because of persistent rain. According to Diário, similarly in Ribeira Brava, the parade through the town was suspended and they went to the local sports pavilion instead (photo).

Rather odd that Elaine, but I have the photographic evidence to prove that it did actually go ahead Friday morning. Der

Bad weather threatens parades. Orange alert. The weather forecast was not good for last night’s Carnival Parade and throughout the weekend. Showers today will be more frequent, with strong to very strong winds and gusts could reach up to 100 km per hour in the hills. The bad weather will continue on Monday but the rain will become weaker from the beginning of Tuesday afternoon in time for the Cortejo Trapalhão at 16.00 in Funchal.

Ribeira Brava Carnival Parade on Sunday. As mentioned yesterday by Der. Sunday afternoon at 16.30 with more than a 100 participants. The Cortejo Trapalhão goes from the secondary school to the sea front promenade. A similar event in Campanário begins earlier at 15.00.

Dolce Vita with the rhythm of Geringonça. A samba party celebrating the spirit of the Carnival in Brazil starts at 18.00 on Monday, in the restaurant area of the Dolce Vita commercial mall in Funchal. Visitors are invited to join in.

Carnival in Porto Santo will be on Monday evening. Several major changes this year and instead of Tuesday, as traditional, it will take place on Monday at 21.30.


Promotion of Madeira in Dublin. A promotional campaign begins on February 15th in the main areas, shopping centres and railway stations in Dublin. A 45,000 Euros campaign finances 120 posters on the streets and on the 125 urban buses. Since October last year, SATA has a weekly flight to Dublin on Saturdays. This island is promoted as a "destination for nature with good weather all year".


TAP will not abandon Venezuela. TAP will continue to fly regularly between the main Portuguese airports and Venezuela. The local population in Caracas were worried it might abandon the route because of economic difficulties and foreign exchange rates. The number of flights decrease between April 22 and 4 June as there is a reduced demand for places. The strong bolivar currency, formed by a scheme of Hugo Chávez, is now at a rate that is three times lower than a year ago, which is forcing people wishing to travel to buy dollars three times more expensive than a year ago. (Travel in Venezuela is sold in U.S. dollars). The flight pattern might have to be adjusted in the following months and trade is seasonal. There is little competition for TAP, just the local carrier SBA Airlines. TAP has lost a few million Euros since the bolivar exchange rate was altered in January. The money it holds in Venezuelan banks has lost value.

Funchal Port surpasses the Canary Islands.  The movement of passengers on cruise ships through ports in Madeira and the Canary Islands last year amounted to 1,622,548 passengers, 6.6% more than the previous year. The Port of Funchal was the busiest with 435,821 passengers, having captured 26.8% of the tourists who made a cruise in the area of the Atlantic. Santa Cruz de Tenerife had 25.7% of the passengers. At Funchal, the increase was 7.5% and at Tenerife, 4%. This January, the number of cruise ship passengers grew by 6% over the same month last year and the number of calls increased to 25, two more cruise ships than last year. The market is expected to grow this year with 159 cruise ships already booked in the first half of this year, 19.5% over last year. There are a record 11 inaugural visits. April is one of the busiest months in Funchal due to the repositioning of ships in the southern hemisphere for the Mediterranean and Northern Europe.


23rd anniversary of ‘Tunacedros’. Tunacedros perform traditional songs remembered by the local residents and use traditional instruments. Founded in 1987, ‘Tunacedros’ da Casa do Povo de São Roque do Faial on Sunday celebrates its 23rd anniversary, with a series of initiatives that begin with a Mass of Thanksgiving in the parish church. At 11.30, flowers will be placed at the municipal cemetery to honour deceased members of Tunacedros. A birthday concert will begin at noon in the Casa do Povo with songs from the repertoire of tuna.

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

€12 million for hotel in Ponta do Pargo – The project, of the son of emigrants from Porto da Cruz, is going to complement the investment in the golf course. Work will start this year and the inauguration will be in 2012. I wonder who will doing the inauguration, as President Jardim says he will be leaving next year. Does the concept of a 19th hole exist here? Uncle Bertie would like that bit of a golf course the best I am sure.

Technology destroys professions – In just 14 years, two thousand specialities have disappeared. And the knife sharpener  [person] that exists on Madeira doesn’t have a ‘heir’. I suspected that last bit might not be quite right, so I typed it in the Google translator and it gave me … And the knife that exists in the Wood does not have ‘dolphin’, so I stuck with my original attempt. The Diário says "The economy is not compatible with dreams and, in Madeira, the craft of knife is the next to disappear". During the period between 1980 and 1994, according to the records of the National Classification, 2100 job types were lost, including the typist, the laundress, and housekeeper, but the truth is that since then many other occupations have become obsolete. Technology in the manufacturing sector takes much of the blame, but more recent realities affect other sectors, such as banking. 20 years ago, the banks Totta or Banif for example, had twice as many employees as they have today, but many of these jobs have gone to outsourcing, and the introduction of the ATM / Cash points / Multibancos of course. Cutting to the chase, it  seems that the ‘knife grinder’ is one of the next professions likely to become extinct.

Today’s main news headline :  Conflicts and shortages put the hospital at the limit – lack of money has led to shortfalls in medicines. There are too many patients for too few beds. The number of staff complaints has soared. And now the clinical director cuts the leave for days off in the surgeries.

A cracking carnival photograph (not the one shown) has most of today’s front page, glamour, dancing, smiling … you know what it’s like I am sure: Parade in the rain – The rain damaged some of the parade floats, soaking the feathers and the spangles, but it didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the thousand revellers.  It certainly pelted down where I was, well away from Funchal, but in the capital the Cortejo continued despite the rain, weaving it’s way around downtown Funchal. Umbrellas were all over the place, clenched by locals and tourists alike, all wanting to see the pirates, nymphs, jellyfish, sea gods, and mermaids, all there to create the theme of ‘The Seas and Oceans’. There were 8 troupes taking part this year.


The main sport headline today : Bernardo : The moment of glory without any effect on the ranking – The Madeiran driver beat Loeb, Hirvonnen, Sordo, and Latvala yesterday in the superspecial of the rally of Sweden, but in general terms went down.

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.

You can email [email protected] with any large contributions and photos / videos.


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12 thoughts on “TAP continues Venezuela flights ; Carnival news ; Tourism poster promotion in Ireland”

  1. Great effort Bertie – could not see Gordon Brown doing that!! – we have to admit to watching it on TV!! but hats off to all who participated wet and happy hope they all had a hot shower and a poncha afterwards!

  2. I will watch with Sunday dinner … looking forward to it.

    Any one know Quinta da Casa Branca please? I know the road it’s on, but I just want to know which end to get off the bus as I have a lot of stuff to carry. Thanks

  3. The heavens have just opened here…

    Der you off out for a day… I think its up just past the Football Stadium???, but cant tell you exactly, but dont get off at the Lido.

  4. Der, it’s on the map of funchal streets you’ve included on the blog (E8, hotel number 35). I’d take a guess that if you’re going along Rua da Casa Branca, it’d be the stop after the White House Pub. But if you’re on a bus on Estrada Monumental I’m not sure… other than Tobi’s right, it would still be one or two stops after the Lido.

    Thanks for the recipe for Sonhos, Tobi… will try them next weekend. I don’t have any Madeiran Mel left, but I suppose I can use ordinary honey or maple syrup. Something calorific anyway!

    Shame it rained for Carnival last night. The only glimpse I could see was from the webcams… saw a tiny bit of the parade but mostly people with umbrellas! Will have to try and get over to see it next Feb.

  5. Yes i saw that Der, i suggest you dont go in the sea tomorrow…

    Shame yr not in Madeira Becky as now is a good time to buy Mel de cana as the have lots of promotions, Remember honey is the only food that doest spoil so you can keep it forever, im still using a jar thats over 5 years old…

  6. I know some of the Funchal buses changed in January but if it is still running the same route the number 35 passed by the entrance to the Quinta da Casa Branca.


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