Tomorrow is the first day of the São Pedro festa in Ribeira Brava, that runs through from Saturday evening (the main night) through until Tuesday. The main ‘leisure area’ will be at a higher level than ever before (you will see what I mean when you get there).
Most will already know that drinks prices are hiked upwards in almost all of the bars, supposedly to cover extra staff costs (yeah right!), so I will give a free plug to a new bar / cafe that has pledged not to do so, and neither does it overcharge foreigners and visitors.
The London Café Bar opened last week, and is located at the bottom of the Brava Mar Hotel on the sea front, on the corner by taxi rank. Coral Balão €1 guaranteed, and also say hello to Otilia (subject to spelling) the owner, a smashing rather petit lady that lived in London for some years, and you will also normally be treated to free ‘dentinhos’ of a quality that is hard to find anywhere else these days.
Pack yer purses and wallets well … Ribeira Brava needs yer dosh this weekend and always! Thank you!
This is from Robert :
If you visit Funchal as a tourist you can expect to be approached by timeshare agents that are promoting various holiday-based properties.
As highlighted recently on the madeiraislanddirect.com blog (see 6th June 2010, Works and harassment annoy tourists) there is some concern regarding timeshare representatives and the tactics that a few employ.
Whilst touting for timeshare business in public places is not prohibited in Madeira, the Regional Secretary of Tourism and Transport does liaise with such operators to help ensure the reputation of Madeira as a quality tourist destination. In particular, timeshare agents should not use harassing tactics or aggressive behaviour when engaging with holidaymakers.
The Hotel District of Funchal, along the Estrada Monumental, is a popular place for timeshare agents to hang out.
If you know that you definitely do not want to purchase a timeshare property, it’s best just to pretend you don’t understand a word of the language the agent is talking. After all, they haven’t got a clue about what part of the world you originate from! If you make any reply or comment, the more persistent agents are likely to view you as fair game.
In the meantime, enjoy the comical video showing 3 minutes in the life of a timeshare agent. . .
And, if you are feeling the need to rise to a challenge, view the video walk from the District to Funchal City Centre and see how many timeshare agents you can spot on the way. All will be revealed at the end of the video.
Contributions below from Paul :
Biodiversity: the Great Whales. BBC Feature:
In the year of biodiversity great feature by the BBC on the Great Whales. Many of these species are sighted in the Ocean off Madeira such as the blue, fin, sei, sperm, bryde’s
caption : sperm whale
From Madeira to Morocco. The annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) which was in Madeira last year and is now in Agadir Morocco has opened with attention focussing on a deal that could regulate whaling for 10 years.
The opening session was swiftly adjourned so that delegates could begin a day and a half of private talks. Some observers condemned the secrecy, one commenting that recent UN talks on North Korea’s nuclear programme were held in public – so why not on whaling? Conservation groups are split on the merits of pursuing a deal.
Photo caption : minke whale on a stick
Some argue for maintaining a hard line against all whaling, while others believe agreement could improve the current picture, where Iceland, Japan and Norway set their own quotas and run their hunts without international oversight.
The ROV & the Portuguese Continental Shelf. "A proposal is underway for the government to extend the Portuguese Continental Shelf beyond 200 nautical miles, with representation made at the United Nations to the Commission on the Limits of the Extension of Continental Shelf. "
caption : ROV working on a subsea structure "The new Saab Seaeye Falcon ROV" link to full article:
Danny Profile from BBC: Danny the 26-year old Portuguese midfielder
"Venezuela are the only South American country to have never appeared in a World Cup finals, but at least they can cheer on one of their own at this World Cup when Caracas-born Danny lines up in the colours of Portugal.
Madeira connection: Maritimo. "When his family, who were of Portuguese origin, moved to the island of Madeira he developed as a player through the Maritimo youth system.
Five goals in his first 10 games saw him snapped up by Sporting Lisbon for €2.1m (£1.74m), although they immediately loaned him back.
He only played 12 games for Sporting as he found it hard to get a place in the team ahead of the likes of Ricardo Quaresma, Cristiano Ronaldo, Sa Pinto, Joao Pinto and Mario Jardel."
caption : Ricardo Carvalho (4), Christian Poulsen (2), Danny (16), Portugal 2-3 Denmark, Lisbon September 10 2008
"They sold him to Dynamo Moscow in 2005, where he linked up with Portuguese international team-mates Maniche and Derlei.
He excelled in the Russian capital and his performances prompted Zenit St Petersburg to fork out an astonishing transfer fee of €30m (£24.8m), smashing the previous highest fee for a Russian club of €16m (£13.2m), set by Maniche when he moved to Dynamo.
International recognition finally came just after his big money move to Zenit and he scored his first goal against Brazil, albeit in a 6-2 hammering.
A serious knee injury sustained last May ruled him out for much of the season, but he impressed on his return to book his World Cup place.
He scored the winning goal and was named man-of-the-match in the 2008 Uefa Super Cup final against Manchester United on his debut for Zenit." LINK
The ‘austerity’ measures in the Portuguese economy are biting already. A trip to my local Finanças Office on Tuesday, as happens most years, in order to to complain about my tax bill, was met with a totally closed response for the first time. "We cannot help. Everything is more complicated this year. We cannot submit amended tax returns anymore", I was told. I was actually expecting exactly that, but the usual helpful flexible approach had gone, and will it ever return I wonder. I think not. Shame, as it was the first time I had ever tackled the rather complex Portuguese tax rules single handed. Der
Everything else from Elaine :
In search of an insular EU policy? In the last couple of months various insular Regional administrations repeated their demand for a stronger inclusion of ‘insularity’ in the EU agenda. The claim is more than ever timely due to the ongoing economic crisis that affects sensitive insular areas more than the mainland regions. HERE
News from Diário de Notícias and Jornal da Madeira
TUESDAY JUNE 22nd
FRONT PAGE NEWS
Man dies in bush fire. The semi-charred body of a man was found by the Fire Department of Ribeira Brava on Sunday night in an area where there had been a forest fire the previous night. The 64 year old man was found just over a kilometre away from where he lived in Estrada do Lugar da Serra in the parish of Campanário. When the family noticed that he was missing at Saturday lunchtime, they searched for him until nightfall. At 21.00, a column of smoke was noticed from the area where he was found. The family alerted the services on Sunday and his body was found that evening. The man often went missing for a few days at a time. He had mental and physical disabilities and had a history of smoking and consuming alcohol.
Commission of Inquiry begins today. This Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry will examine and evaluate the indebtedness of the Region. This inquiry was forced on the Regional Government by the Socialist Party. They want it to clarify: the amount of Regional debt, the accountability of the State to the Region, the impact of the high debt on the economy, external transfers and the levels of credibility abroad. The socialists are worried about the financial impact on Madeiran life at present and in the future. The direct debt is now over 1,100 million euros and adding on the indirect debt, the total debt reaches 1,500 million euros. The long-term debt created by Public Sector Enterprise seriously undermines the flexibility of the Regional budget when necessary to help economic and social development. The illegal lack of transfers from the State will affect future generations as the amount of debt will rise.
Great chorus and Air Force open the Day of the Region. The celebrations for the Day of the Region will start differently this year. The opening concert takes place at 21.30 in the Parque de Santa Catarina on June 30th. This year, the Air Force Band and four choirs of GCEA, helped by schools of the region will present the free concert. The Day of the Region is the 1st July and is a public holiday with official ceremonies held.
Recipe to combat the crisis. If Alberto Jardim was the Prime Minister of Portugal, he would not accept the dictates of the European Union on limiting the deficit. He would negotiate a longer period to control public spending in order to create jobs. "If we reduce investment, we increase unemployment which in turn will reduce purchasing power, causing bankruptcies and unemployment rises again," he argued, saying this model to combat the crisis is the one that caused it. He accused Europe of having a decadent system in terms of values and this decadence extends later to the economic plan – ‘Eurosclerosis’. Madeira must have an alternative to this constitutional model – a model for a democratic society. Jardim has not made any decision about continuing as President. He says he will not go when his opponents want him to, but when the people want him to. This is democracy. He knows this is not good news for his adversaries.
Council guarantees Festa do Pescador. The Mayor of Machico guarantees that the Festival of the Fishermen will continue despite financial restraints. The council is injecting 20,000 euros into this event which will be held at Caniçal between the 25th – 27th June. Without this help, the Parish Council of Caniçal would be unable to pay tribute to fishermen and revive usages, traditions and customs. Several sea front restaurants will have menus exclusively of seafood.
Fado contest to revive this tradition in Gaula. The First Contest of Fado – Gaula 2010 will be held on Saturday at 21.00 at the Salão Paroquial de Nossa Senhora da Luz. It will involve both amateurs (first half) and professionals (second half), including the fadistas Carlos Amaral, Manuela Nobre and Amália do Rosário. The President of the Parish of Gaula, Élvio Sousa, wants to revive this tradition since for forty years fado was sung in houses and public spaces but the ‘hunger’ for this culture has faded. This free event is financed by the parish council.
‘Classics’ exhibited on Avenida Arriaga. Seven more photos of the Antique and Classic Car Show at the Avenida Arriaga, held until tomorrow the 23rd June. PHOTOS
WEDNESDAY 23rd JUNE
FRONT PAGE NEWS
Government pays 3.2 million euros to Valor Ambiente. The Regional Government is the only shareholder of this waste treatment company. The government has taken on the responsibility for some of the debt to prevent the enterprise from collapsing. The firm had liabilities of 117.8 million euros at the end of 2008. In 2010, the government transferred 8.6 million euros from the Regional Budget, having applied for co-financing from the EU and receiving 10.4 million euros under the Intervene+ program. In recent years, the Regional Budget has injected 80 million euros into this company.
Illegal scrap dealer ignores eviction notice. It is difficult to remove the illegal scrap yard at the entrance of the Parish of Canhas, in the locality of Fregueses Novos. It is near the ribeira de Santiago on the border between the parishes of Ponta do Sol and Canhas. The council has sent three notices requiring the owner to remove the scrap metal but the situation remains unchanged. The piles of scrap metal are not restricted to private land but are also strewn in the street and on the old footbridge connecting Calçada to Fregueses Novos, spoiling the landscape. All legal mechanisms have to be exhausted before the council can forcibly remove the scrap metal. The council has asked the Regional Directorate of the Environment to inspect the area to strengthen their case.
Air Force will have two ‘landmarks’ in the Region. The Portuguese Air Force (FAP) celebrate 58 years in the Region with a series of events starting on Saturday June 26th. There will be two monuments, one on Selvagem Grande (inaugurated on the 4th July) and the other on the Avenida do Mar (inaugurated 16.00 on Saturday). A book will be launched on Saturday called ‘Aviação na Madeira’ (Aviation in Madeira) by Mário Correia, Comandante Vilhena and Tenente Coronel César Rodrigues. From 17.00 next Saturday until July 4th, there will be an exhibition about the work of FAP at the Escola Secundária Francisco Franco, open from 15.00 – 23.00 hours. There will be a performance by the air acrobatic team, Rotores de Portugal, at 17.30 on 27th June at Madeira Airport, on the 28th June at Câmara de Lobos and on the1st July at Porto Santo. On the 2nd July, the Air Force Band will join Vânia Fernandes for an official celebration concert at the Congress Centre of Madeira. On the following day, 3rd July, there will be a Mass at 10.30 am in the Igreja do Colégio, a military ceremony at the Avenida do Mar from 11.30 and an Air Festival will start at 16.30 in the bay of Funchal. During this commemorative week, FAP will have ‘equipas cinotécnicas’ demonstrations (dog handling) and hold several baptism flights of military planes and helicopters, including a F16. Poster on the FPA website: HERE
Video of long interview in Portuguese but with some interesting footage (including obligatory moustache): VIDEO
MadeiraShopping provides an oleão. There is an oleão near the panoramic lift in Parque -1 where containers of used cooking oil can be deposited. The oil will be recycled by the firm Oleotorres.
AP Madeira notes decline in tourism. The Association for the Promotion of Madeira is concerned about the current situation of tourism. Compared with the first quarter of last year, there was a decrease of 43,000 tourists (-12.9%) and 248,000 overnight stays (-14.6%). The occupancy rate fell 5% to 42.8% and hotel room RevPar fell 16% to 24.89 euros. The directors said the causes were: economic recession in the source markets, loss of the pound against the euro, February 20th disaster and disruption in air traffic.
Restaurants in the marina guaranteed until the end of the year. The restaurants in the Marina of Funchal will not be affected by the planned upgrading of the area until the beginning of 2011. The work should take about 8 months from that date.
Traditional music and the OCM on the 1st July. This year, the Classical Orchestra of Madeira (OCM) has an alternative proposal for the second concert marking the Day of the Region. The free concert will be held in Santa Catarina Park on July 1st. The music played will be ‘Pop Symphony’ – a fusion between classical music and traditional Madeiran music. Various traditional Madeiran music groups have said they will perform free of charge, as will the orchestra.
Many thanks to Robert, Elaine and Paul for sending in a contribution(s) for this blog.
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 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 only send in ‘exceptional’ or very topical photos by email attachment, as they take quite some time to process. Links to photos that are already online take much less time. Anything submitted for inclusion will be ‘cut and pasted’ to the blog very likely unchecked and unaltered, so please check anything through before sending it in, especially ‘automatic translations’, to avoid any ‘afterthoughts’. Blogs will be published when there is sufficient material to make one worthwhile. I can’t always respond to emails, so please accept my thanks in advance, and the attribution on the blog itself. Der.
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