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 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.

Video: New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully and Iceland’s commissioner to the IWC Thomas Heidar on the talks

link to full BBC article:    Also : Why Greenpeace won’t compromise on commercial whaling:

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



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



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.

You can email [email protected] with any articles etc., but to save time and delays, please use the comments for minor contributions and to ask any questions. Please don’t send in copyrighted / restricted material.

Madeira News Blog / madeira4u © 2007 – 2010 All Rights Reserved

83 thoughts on “”

  1. To stop timeshare salesmen/ladies is easy.
    Tell their employer this method of begging or hawking is to stop,
    The Pestana Group use this method.
    But who runs Madeira? The government or ?

  2. Busy night down at Reis Magos tonight, but thousands of flying ants also decided to join the party. Plenty of people went for the traditional midnight swim.

  3. Timeshare – I have none to share with those parasites…..avoid eye contact, continue on your way with maybe a “nao obrigado, residencia permanente” indeed Sue – BUT should any of us, holiday makers included, be subject to this vulgar, stressful harrassment? Nope. Not a good image for madeira. We know of many guests who subsequently avoided the areas the touts were operating in, thereby causing a loss of (ligitimate) trade to local establishments – nice one Ms tourist board director! Still, as long as the Brown Envelopes continue to arrive at government departments various, nothing will change……hey ho!

    Change of subject: Has anyone (living here as a permanent resident) attempted to renew/replace a U.K. “old” style driving licence (no photo) either on line or via the post? Possible? Problems?
    OR has anyone “converted” their UK driving licence into a Portuguese one?
    Any help and/or advice appreciated ……

    Tobi, hope you and your friends enjoyed your day out…..what have you done to the weather today!?!

  4. The best way to deal with timeshare touts is to tell them you are bankrupt and they took your credit cards away so you will gladly go with them to get any freebies you can
    if you are feeling really naughty you can follow them down the street begging them to take youfor free booze, they really hate it hee hee

  5. Re timeshare touts, we always tell them that we are Pestana Owners. Works everytime. (PS We are Pestana Owners and Mr Pestana does in fact own Madeira. Not a lot of people know that)

  6. Re the timeshare touts,the particularly aggressive ones seem to hang around by the marina/promenade. We use different tactics at different times. As Sue says, they don’t bother you further if you say you live there. Also, if you are a couple you can split up momentarily to pass them. They only seem to approach couples. The times we have heard ” You’ve won second prize!!” People are gullible but there should be no place for touts on such a lovely island. It does seem to be Pestana leading the way…….

    We are looking forward to coming out in a couple of weeks, sadly just for 7 days. We were last there at the time of the dreadful storm in Feb. Hope it is warm then. The BBC weather website suggests it is colder and cloudier than UK at present.

  7. Hi Eiryl – the BBC weather website is probably right! It was light showers in Gaula this morning so we went into Funchal. However, it was actually cloudier and cooler in Funchal – the few tourists that were around didn’t look too happy! Temperatures are definitely lower than they should be at this time of the year.

  8. The freezing weather follows me where ever I go.
    Export me from Madeira if you want brilliant sunshine.
    Queen’s birthday bash English Church friday 6pm.
    Pimms and chinwag.
    Let’s hope this wonderful monach has many more birthdays.
    Cheers to Her Majesty!!

  9. ‘morning all from a bright, balmy and slightly breezy Gaula, a mere 21*c and looking good ….. Welcome back Martin – saw HM at Wimbers yesterday, she said to say Hi!

    Portugal v Brazil then this p.m……..hope it’s a good one!

    Military (Air) week starts 2morrow with a display at the Airport….info posters in a quiet almost tourist free Funchal ……

    Looking forwards to catching up with you on Tues, T,D & K —- will liase pick up times/points later.


  10. as regards timeshare touts not knowing who we are-how come they always speak English when approaching me? i asked one this question and in reply got -it’s the way you dress.

    we were in Funchal Thurs afternoon never saw/or approached by a single one

  11. Dear All Best way to give the time shares a corny joke. like this one. Our ice cream man was found lying on the floor of his van covered with hundreds and thousands. Police say that he topped himself. They soon clear off.

  12. Today we finally received a cheque from TAP for our costs for when we were stuck for 9 days in April due to the volcanic ash. Spending money for our next visit!!!

  13. Hi everyone. What did you all think to the fireworks last night. I think I liked last weeks. Though it was different seeing fireworks shooting across the water.

  14. What a load of rubbish England football team are, overpaid and useless. We must be the laughing stock of the world. We should cease to call ourselves Great Britain as we are no longer that.

  15. Sue I do agree with you. Britian got no spine as it did once, what my mother and father changed in laws in welfair state being slowly chiped away as well. We soon be at a age where you work to you drop, and the rich be the only ones who can afordt to retire, with retirement age going up. Talks in future it rise again, and all what Britain wil do is moan and do nothing, as normal. The leader will be rubbing there hands when it that high, you drop. Look more money saved, tax cuts for elections. Britian should take the word GREAT out. Call it little Britain.

  16. Looking forwards to the Portugal game tomorrow – no spoilt “Lame Looneys” in their squad. Rather they ARE a TEAM and they share n’ show emotion, devotion and motion to each other, their country and to their fans – good luck Portugal!

  17. Jon Yes I do agree. Portugal has couage, and pull together as one. Seen it the February floods. Britain has no spirt as one, teaching Leaders a lesson, keep off our pension age, by voting in local elections for any party then the partys in power. Then do the same with other partys, when they in power. Then say keep your mits of our pensions and age. They dont buy british goods when we had them. At least Portugal supports goods where they can, and proud by there flags flying here in Madeira. A Proud people with strong comunity spirt and not a fraid of it.

  18. Been a bit nippy lately?
    Volta a wash out as far asi wasn concerned.
    Couln’t get routes and timingd–missed the finish!
    Piss up in brewery comes to mind.
    Went to see Quinta do Lourd after Jon’s words in blog.
    What a mess.
    Marina looks suitable but buildings showing signs of crappiness as Jon said.
    Amazed sales people keeping a straight face.
    As I type dog just been run over and coach on top– squeals are heartrending.
    Who calls the vet?

  19. There has been music from st Katerina Park this evening. was this a concert or a practice for an event taking place later. Missed the beginning beacause of the match this evening

  20. It seems that the comments facility was automatically closed after this blog was 7 days old, and I didn’t notice. Fixed now.

    No wonder there have been no spam postings for a week!

  21. Trying to be practical, not morbid. What happens when a UK resident dies in Madeira? does Madeira have a cremetorium and does any one know roughly how much a funeral costs? If one has to be buried and is not a Catholic where are they buried?

  22. The other Sue – there is supposed to be a cremetorium under construction at St. Martino – how true I do not know. As to a price of a cremation I think it is between 2000-3000 Eur (in France so a guide only) not sure on any of this but if it helps. Hope we do not need to think about it too soon! Not sure about the burial concerning religion – I do know that they only leave you so long in the ground and then dig the bones up – so I think the dust to dust bit is better! What a morbid thought to go to bed on –

  23. Der’s email seems to be zapping back at the moment so have put this article here.

    Night Comes Alive in Madeira
    The subtropical island of Madeira, sometimes called the Pearl of the Atlantic, has long held sway over the unhealthy and the elderly British. The Anglo roots on this Portuguese island are long-standing, thanks to a royal marriage in the 16th century.
    But a more compelling reason for Madeira’s appeal for the pale and the not-necessarily-hale is its year-round springlike weather. Consider the photographs on the bookshelf of the fifth floor of the island’s grande-dame hotel, Reid’s Palace — a pageant of older Brits taking great pains to unwind. Here is a white-bearded George Bernard Shaw in 1924, getting a tango lesson from two dance instructors on the hotel’s manicured lawn; here is Winston Churchill painting watercolors by the seaside, when he came to Madeira in 1950 to try to overcome his “black dog” depression. Note Churchill’s tweed suit and bow tie. Note the cigar clenched between his teeth.
    And so, it seems, it has always been. But, what’s this? Amid the blue rinses and the cardigans and the faded paperbacks of Gibbon, amid the occasional cruise-ship load of Canaries-bound or Mediterranean-bound Americans and Germans disgorged onto Madeira for eight hours of shore leave, a sudden din. A bit of pink amid the white. It’s the young. A younger breed of traveler is increasingly drawn to this 35-by-14 mile volcanic island, where new boutique hotels, roads and night life are a beguiling addition to Madeira’s age-old prime asset: spectacular scenery in the form of dramatic sea cliffs and hundreds of miles of levadas, or irrigation channels, that make for terrific hiking.
    Unbowed by the February floods on the island that claimed 42 lives, but whose ravages have been addressed with admirable efficacy and speed, this new generation of travelers and revelers, though not immune to the charms of the disco beat, is marked by a sense of adventure and an interest in nature. Madeira, they are quick to point out, is not Ibiza.
    I coupled a visit to the island, my first ever, with three days in Lisbon, less than two hours away by plane. Once on Madeira, I first stayed at the Estalagem da Ponta do Sol, a wonderfully hip, James Bond-like aerie 25 minutes outside the island’s capital, Funchal. Perched on top of one of the island’s soaring sea cliffs, the 54-room hotel is accessed by means of an outdoor elevator that leads to a suspended catwalk: as I entered what appeared to be the evil Blofeld’s volcano lair, I looked for masses of orange-jumpsuit-wearing movie extras, but found none. After touring the hotel’s immaculate grounds and minimalist buildings, I repeatedly availed myself of the hotel’s infinity pool and nearby honesty bar; I was honest about gin and orange juice, but slightly less honest about an almond-covered ice cream bar.
    Happily rested, I struck out the next day on an Estalagem-organized levada walk in a nearby village called Boa Morte. On the hotel’s courtesy van, a young, ruddy German woman sitting next to me said, “I hope that Boa doesn’t mean snake,” so I tried to soothe her with, “Maybe it means feather boa.” It took only an hour on the trail running alongside the two-foot-deep irrigation channel through the hills to apprehend the levadas’ charm: they gently wind through various microclimates so that you feel as though your slide projector has jumbled together pictures from several vacations. You find yourself, by turns, amidst a lush, rain-forest-like scrum of ferns; a hushed meeting of pines; a spray of birds of paradise; a bougainvillea-dappled high meadow. It’s said that Madeira is the only place in the world with ancient forest dating back to before the ice age; jacaranda trees and fuchsia are common on the island. In short, not so Morte.
    THAT afternoon and evening, I decided to address Madeira’s two touristic shortcomings: a dearth of cultural treasures, and no natural beaches. On the former front, I drove 15 minutes from the hotel to the new art museum, Casa das Mudas, in the town of Calheta. A huge, bunker-like series of galleries built into a cliff (a theme emerges), the Casa was offering a Man Ray retrospective that had also been shown in Paris, New York and the Hague. Wandering through the cavernous, unpeopled galleries, I was equally interested in the Man Ray works and the museum’s windows overlooking the sea.
    To stand and stare at art while, just over your left shoulder, there’s an implied opportunity to plunge several hundred feet to a pile of rocks and the sea below, is to distill life’s bigger questions down to the essential dyad: beauty or death? I chose the former, and for that I am grateful.
    But it was the sea to which I next hied myself. Back near my hotel, in the charming village of Ponta do Sol, I walked across the rock beach — it appeared to be the world’s most haphazardly curated collection of vulcanized dinosaur eggs — to the water.
    Finding a small patch of rough black sand, I disrobed down to my skivvies and edged into the water. Balmy. Delightful. Balmy and delightful, but slightly rocky. More serious ocean swimmers take a two-and-a-half-hour ferry to the neighboring island of Porto Santo, whose sand beach is said to cure rheumatism, but my needs were immediate. So I got out of the water and eased myself over to a sheer cliff wall, off of which poured a 40-foot waterfall. Having roughly the volume of five garden hoses, the water and its mist brought out something primal in me — I wished that I was wearing a loincloth and that I was ripping pieces of charred meat off a mastodon’s shank. As the sun set, and the fishermen on the pier off in the distance cast their nets, I thought, I could get used to Madeira.
    Speaking of waterfalls, have you ever been in search of a trickle and met with a torrent? Such was my experience when, the next day, I told the chic Madeiran in his 30s who was sitting behind the reception desk of the Estalagem that I was in search of a night time hot spot, and had read that Café do Teatro in the capital might fit the bill. Apparently I was misinformed. “You might look in, just to get a feeling,” he advised me, his eyes twinkling with I Know Something Better. Pointing out that it was Good Friday, he added, “And it wouldn’t be strong tonight, especially. We are a very Catholic country, and Jesus died.”
    He then proceeded to write down an itinerary of ideal club-going for me: I was to start at a restaurant and bar called Chega de Saudade (“From, say, 12:30 to 1:30 is nice. Only locals know it. It’s very cool”). Then Mini Eco Bar from 1:30 to 2:30, Café do Teatro from 2:30 to 3:30, the Copacabana disco at the Oscar Niemeyer-designed casino from 3:30 to 4, and then, from 4 until, yes, 8, the combined, hangar-like space that contains the clubs Marginal (“This is the hippest place. Electronic music. It’s wicked.”), Jam ( “Oldies” ), and Vespas (“If you have the will for it.”) Exhausted, I thanked him, and went to my room for a long nap.
    Indeed, it is a corollary of Madeira’s appeal to a younger audience that visitors who are over the age of 45 may, at times during our stay, feel that we aren’t fully grabbing the bull by the horns activity-wise. Paragliding? Surfing? Bungee-jumping? Marlin fishing, mountain biking, levada bodysurfing? Here, on the island that reared the soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo and what seems a disproportionate number of Olympic athletes, all of these activities were available to me.
    But the only extreme sport I opted for was a car-based one of my own invention that I call Night and Day. Understand that when you drive anywhere on Madeira for more than five minutes, you go through a tunnel — some of them half a mile long, and a few of them lighted by bare light bulbs. On my frequent entry into these tunnels I found I needed to (1) turn my headlights on and (2) remove my sunglasses. Then, 15 seconds later, at tunnel’s end, I needed to (1) turn my headlights off and (2) put my sunglasses back on. Night and Day is the speedy act of precision choreography that makes these transitions appear seamless. It’s one of the lesser sports, to be sure — baseball has nothing to worry about; soccer can sleep tonight — and yet it bears the hallmark of many classics: it’s a minute to learn, a lifetime to master.
    I can’t really call Madeira’s famed toboggan ride a sport. Starting near the waterfront in Funchal, you take the cable car called the teleférico for 15 minutes up to the village of Monte at 1,804 feet. There, for 25 euros (about $30), you sit in a go-kart-like wicker basket whose wooden runners are greased with lard. Two drivers, whose boots’ soles are made of rubber tires, run alongside the sled as it coasts down the steep hill for more than a mile; when the sled starts to spin, they hop on it for counterbalance.
    Though the ride is brisk, at its end I told one of my drivers, a cheery, voluble, 40-something man, that I wish I weighed more, as that would make for a faster ride. “So eat more!” he said. I asked if Winston Churchill had ever taken the ride; the driver’s eyes widened with delight, and, first holding his hands in front of his stomach to denote girth, he then made a slashing, downward motion with his hand as if to describe lightning. (Though almost every Madeiran I encountered spoke good English, I loved listening to the slurring and nasality of Portuguese whenever possible. One day, while enjoying what I took to be some Portuguese folk rock playing on my car radio, I realized: that’s not Portuguese music, that’s Bob Dylan.)
    Once back in Funchal, I took, as many tourists do, a tour of the Old Blandy Wine Lodge. Here I learned all about the island’s namesake beverage, the fortified wine with which our Founding Fathers toasted the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The half-hour tour wound through storage areas and a memorabilia room, and ended in the tasting room. When one of my tasting room tablemates — an older gentleman from California who was a die-hard Madeira enthusiast — asked me if I shared his passion, I confessed, “I mostly cook with it.” He looked at me slightly disapprovingly. I murmured something about my sausage-stuffed pork loin. Silence ensued. Eager to fill this silence with golden sound, I nattered on, “I stuff pork with pork, and then drown it in Madeira and orange marmalade.” The man and his wife bade their leave shortly thereafter.
    I had better luck socially on my dolphin-watching trip that afternoon. Some 30 of us boarded a small boat that took us about 20 minutes offshore, where we had several charmed sightings of dolphins, both bottlenose and common. I loved talking with our highly informed onboard biologist — a bubbly and emphatic young woman named Lisia, who had pink hearts on her sunglasses. When I asked Lisia, “Do you know where off of Madeira the movie ‘Moby Dick’ was filmed?,” she said, “No! I am ashamed! I should know this important fact!” She added: “But I do know he was a sperm whale, which we have in Madeira. They look very old — the dinosaurs of the sea.”

    Alas, we didn’t see any oceanic dinosaurs. But being on a boat did help me to get some perspective on Madeira’s dramatic topography. When João Gonçalves Zarco first sighted Madeira — around 1418, during Portugal’s Golden Age of Discovery — he thought he was looking at the mouth of hell. Casting my eye at the coastline, I realized I had absolutely no idea what he was talking about. All I could see were the memories of the highly enjoyable trip I’d been on. Our boat passed the distant traces of a levada, not to mention a waterfall and a rocky beach and a few tunnels and lots of houses on cliffs. To me it looked more like heaven.

    And was I able, in the end, to motor my 48-year-old personal engine through the nightclub crawl that had been prescribed me back in Ponta do Sol? Reader, I was. From the intimate, clubby Chega de Saudade, to the tented outdoor party that is Eco Bar, to the throbbing disco at the casino, to the 1-2-3 all-moods-are-catered-to conglomeration that is the clubs Marginal, Jam and Vespas. I didn’t make it to 8 a.m. But, so fired up with the tom-tom beat was I that I made it to 4:30. I felt like a 19-year-old.

    This article was found the New York Times at the beginning of July, so quite recent.

  24. Re: sue’s comment about them not leaving you buried indefinitely, last November I came across some rather startled tourists in the cemetery in Sao Vicente , who had come across a Madeiran grave digger digging out and piling up bones.

  25. I been looking on the internet about Mint, It’s marvelous what you can do with the humble herb, from drinks, cooking and even killing mosquitoes, thought they did not explain how to kill the pests in camping. Do any readers have any comments, what there favorite things they like to do with mint? What we do with out it eh!

  26. From the book “What the Great Ate”: Alexander the Great refused to let his men chew mint leaves, fearing they’d be sexually excited and unfit for battle.

  27. From A North American Market Perspective by Custom House, A Western Union Company
    July 26, 2010: regarding stress test of EU banks last Friday:
    While the tests were broadly perceived to lack rigour, they were highly successful in allaying concerns about a systemic collapse of the European banking system. Confidence is a key variable in the interbank credit markets, which are then of enormous importance for the real economy. However, the results prompt deeper questions than they answer, and investors will remain distinctly nervous about the European banking system for some time to come. The elephant in the room may have stepped out for a coffee, but he’ll be back.

  28. I have sent some articles to Der this morning – if this does not work again, I suppose we can assume the blog is dead, shame as it was working well. We all tried a little bit but may be it is not enough. I am still willing to help.

    • Around 7,000 different visitors a month, as well as over 700 people registered as users Sue … but not quite so many chipping in unfortunately.

      I didn’t receive anything from you by email today?

  29. Sue If most the readers put some acticles in the blog, we can still make the reading interesting for all. Where would we be with out information when we had the flood and informing what was going on. This blog is still importent for all readers.


    Madeira Airport has obtained quality certification
    ASQ Assured was awarded by the Airports Council International (ACI)

    The ANAM , the concessionaire of the Madeira Airport , achieved a distinction that brings higher quality and public projection of the main ‘ gateway ‘ of the Autonomous Region to achieve ASQ Assured Certification given by the Airports Council International . Like the other domestic airports, the Madeira Airport has achieved this certification for the quality of an organization representing over 1,600 airports in 177 countries and regions.

    The certification takes into account three aspects of management of that infrastructure: services offered to passengers; proven correct management practices implemented, and for passenger satisfaction with the services provided by the Airport.
    Eight randomly selected plots of land for 40 families in Caniçal
    Housing Investment Initiative of the wood will take place tomorrow at the Civic Center

    Eight plots of land in the Urbanization of Feiteirinhas at the site of Feiterinhas , parish Caniçal, Machico, will be drawn today at 15 hours in a public ceremony to be held in the Civic Center site.
    According to the prosecutor’s initiative, the Housing Investment Madeira – HMI, EPE, the eight lots will be allocated in the regime of surface rights for self -construction of permanent housing, a ceremony will be attended by the Secretary for Planning and Regional Finance, Ventura Garcia, the Mayor of Funchal, Emanuel Gomes, and the president of the Parish Council Caniçal, Joao Alves de Sousa.
    It should be noted that the allocation of plots of land will allow for the construction of private housing to eight families living in the parish of Caniçal, showing economic need and housing , “but falling in the income bracket that allows access to bank financing , and construction costs significantly diminished by the plot already having infrastructure, the provision of architectural design by HMI and the support of the municipality of Machico the licensing process , “explained in a news release sent by the HMI.
    It is noteworthy that the draw will be run between 40 families residing in the parish, who applied to tender. The ‘ lucky ‘ will also occupy the last plot of land of the construction process of urbanization of Feiteirinhas where, since 2000, they have already been built , through a system of self -construction on land with infrastructure at the regional government , a total of 96 single-family houses of type T3.
    Under this Programme for the Surface Rights ‘ HMI, the government “has allowed a total of 397 families from Madeira construction of their permanent housing”
    Colleagues gather in Ribeira Brava

    The confreres of the Academy of Meats – Gourmet Brotherhood Madeira meet on 31st July, at 20 hours in the restaurant ‘ Water’s Edge ‘at marginal Ribeira Brava. The initiative counts on the presence of members of Academies of Cod Caracas and Valencia, Venezuela.
    These elements have participated in the past 23 days in celebration of 23 anniversary of the Academy of Codfish of Madeira.
    Portuguese folk group the Center of Caracas with performances scheduled in Madeira

    The Portuguese Folk Dance Group of the Centre of Caracas, Venezuela, in Madeira where he has scheduled a series of performances in several counties in the region. Today members of the group will be received by the regional secretary of Human Resources, Brazão de Castro in Vila Steps.

    10 accidents a week on Highway
    Weekly Balance Sheet by Via Coastal notes four people were injured in these accidents.

    The weekly total of Highway accidents amounted to ten with four slight injuries and property damage.
    According to data released today by the concessionaire (Via Coast) this covers the main road between Ribeira Brava and Caniçal for the week of July 19 – July 25, i.e. from Monday to Sunday
    Besides the aforementioned , Via Seaside has 103 vehicles immobilized with mechanical breakdown and towed to a safe area and assisted by support staff, four other vehicles stopped for no apparent reason , endangering their safety and that of the other users , after warning by the patrol.
    Even more dangerous was the detection of several cases of people walking on the freeway, and nine people to moving on foot along this path dalí were warned to leave. Also removed were 16 animals and 48 objects dangerous for drivers.
    Via Coast continues to warn in case of accident or breakdown , users should request help from the Assistance Committee, working every day of year, 24 hours a day via phone 800 290 290 ( free number ), this warning is posted on several panels at the entrance and exit to the Highway
    Feast of Joy in San Roque
    Feast of Our Lady of Joy will be held on August 1

    The parish of San Roque will be celebrating next Sunday, August 1, the celebrations in honor of Our Lady of Joy.
    The so-called ‘ Festival of Joy ‘, organized by the Parish Council and the Town Hall of San Roque (Funchal), will highlight the Hill of Hope, with an extensive entertainment program.
    Celebrations begin soon after eight hours, with a salvo of mortar rounds followed by girandole. For nine hours there will be background music and a half hour later the Municipal Band of Funchal will arrive, which will be followed by the Folklore Group of the House of the People Belfry at 1030 hours.
    The music returns (11.30) for another half hour until the beginning of the celebrations of the open air mass at 12:00 13.00 will be the turn of Animatura who will participate in festivities and 14.00 the stage will be given to José Luís Mendonça, for an hour followed by the animation group Culture and Recreation House of the People of Santo António da Serra (15:00) and the music group ‘ St. East ‘to 16 hours.
    The official closure of the animation of the ‘ Festival of Joy ‘ will be 19 hours.
    Note also that the event counts on the collaboration of the Municipality of Funchal, the Regional Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources, the Investments and Water Management (public company), the Parish of San Roque, Club Deportivo de San Roque, Super San Roque and even the Belvedere Restaurant, public and private entities that help give life to this party over the summer of Madeira.
    Machico want the best food ever
    Gastronomy Week held from July 30 and August 8

    Today at 16:30, in Largo Plaza, City Hall Machico presents the 25th edition of the Week Gastronomy County.
    This year the festival starts on Friday and lasts until Sunday the 8th of August. On the official website, the municipality of Emanuel Gomes said you want the Gastronomy Week this year will be the “best edition ever.”
    Madeira with yellow warning due to high temperatures

    The persistence of high temperatures caused the Meteorology Institute (IM) to put Madeira and much of mainland Portugal on a yellow warning. In the districts of Braga and Lisbon warning goes to orange.
    In Funchal thermometers will reach 28.
    Sunday ‘Car -Boot Sale ‘ widens scope for new entrants

    The Sunday ‘Car -Boot Sale ‘ event with support from the association create will increase its area. Apart from taking up the parking lots at the Pestana Casino Park Hotel, the fair will have an additional new space, the lobby in front of the Congress Centre of Madeira, up to the bar so that merchants that do not have a car can participate.
    This idea came after many people have expressed interest in taking part in this initiative, which has been so supportive in helping the young people from the Home of Peace One project ” Sun of Hope ‘, located on the Create, Joao Carlos Spinola, said that with this enlargement will increase from the possible from 28 to about 40 stallholders and that the fair is open to associations of Madeira who want to sell their products.
    The outcome of this initiative, which takes place once a month on the last Sunday of the month, has been positive. We have made in six markets, a sum of EUR 900 for the projects which is very good. The objective now is to make the show more attractive to tourists and Madeira.

    Priests should be alert to the challenges of “global society”

    “Given the challenges of our globalized society, urged focus on pastoral care, the evangelization of culture, family, youth, new media and the preparation of pastoral services. Sunday morning’s Mass included the ordination of three new priests at the Cathedral, the Bishop of Funchal , D. António Carrilho , said the priest should prepare communities for ” matching effectively, the demands of modern times “, hence the need for ” training , human , theological , spiritual and pastoral . ”
    “Given the challenges of new social and cultural realities of today’s world , especially in the face of moral relativism and religious indifference , the priest , being a living witness and contagious of God’s infinite love for every man and every woman , “he said .
    Today’s ordained new priests, natives of Machico, Porto Moniz and Santana. With these orders, the Diocese of Funchal now has 78 priests.

  31. Thanks Sue ……. been too busy to buy the local paper!

    Having recently returned home from a week in the U.K. (family wedding, reunion etc) I can only say how glad we are that we made the permanent move (from the U.K.) here some 6 years ago – nowhere is perfect but Madeira and the majority of it’s peoples are close! Bem-Vindo Casa!

  32. Workers ‘Miguel Viveiros ‘ strike
    There are wage arrears

    The Union of Construction Workers , wood, pottery and Related Autonomous Region of Madeira declares that his associates in the enterprise ‘ Buildings Miguel Viveiros II , Ltd. ‘ going on strike indefinitely, starting on 29 July while they are not paid wages for the month of June 2010.

    Who can blame them?

  33. I noticed in UK they now taking up madeira way of hospitals, someone asked you at A&E can you see your doctor. In my ool town they just opened up a speakers corner, like in London.

  34. Have just sent more news to Der – if it comes back with a raspberry again will add them to the comments in the morning?? I am trying to keep this going ….

  35. Did not come back but the page has not been updated – so news below without photos – a pity as there were was nice pictures of cars etc.

    Basso and Betti attached to the outside of the Madeira Wine Rally

    Briton Kris Meeke is a prominent figure on IRC Photo: ASPRESS

    Luca Rossetti took part in last season’s competition Madeira Photo: ASPRESS

    The Skoda factory team participated with three doubles in the 2010 edition of RVM

    Briton Kris Meeke is a prominent figure on IRC Photo: ASPRESS

    Luca Rossetti took part in last season’s competition Madeira Photo: ASPRESS

    The 2010 edition of the Madeira Wine Rally (RVM) has 46 pilots’ subscribers, according to data released today by the organization of evidence. The winner in the latest edition Giandomenico Basso will not be present because of lack of funding from Madeira, and compatriot Luca Betti, whose team failed to timely prepare the car after the accident suffered at the Rally of Turkey.
    For the same reason the Italian, the Madeira Antonio Nunes Ferreira and John are out of Madeira wine. The vehicles of the two regional riders have not been recovered from damage suffered in the Rally of the Sea.
    The Italian duo Luca Rossetti / Matteo Chiarcossi (Fiat Punto S2000) show the number ‘1 ‘ door, followed by the Finns Juho Hanninen / Mikko Markkula team official ‘ Skoda ‘ and the British Kris Meeke / Paul Nagle in a Peugeot 207 S2000.
    Bruno Magalhaes is the first national pilot to drop into the RVM with the number 7 on the door, comes soon after the Bernardo Sousa Madeira.
    20 of the 46 competitors are entered from outside the Region. Evidence from motoring Madeira Queen has 17 cars in class Super 2000

    Already operating in Timor in 2011
    Participating Pestana Group accepts a share in the company of that country’s flag

    Bottom of Form
    The Euro Atlantic Airways (EAA) is expected to start operations in East Timor next year, even come to take stake in flag carrier of the future East Timor Airlines (TLA), Lusa said today the company’s president.
    The Euro Atlantic, owned by the Pestana Group has an interest in setting up the flag carrier of TLA East Timor Airlines “provided that there is a policy previously defined national airline, “said Tomaz Metello, founder and shareholder of the company in a statement to Lusa.
    “It will depend on the Government to accept our suggestions, “said Tomaz Metello, advancing, however, expects that by December are set rules that allow” start the work to begin flights as early as next season, or within years.
    Tomaz Metello also revealed that the company that presides has signed a partnership agreement with Philippine Airlines, the national airline of the Philippines, claiming that “after being in Manila makes even more sense and has a greater interest to look at East Timor.”
    The president of Euro-Atlantic Airlines was speaking at the end of the first meeting today with the Parliamentary Commission of Telecommunications Infrastructure and Timor- Leste, which were pointed out some of the issues considered essential in defining the policy for the aviation industry in that country.
    The chairman of the Parliamentary Committee, Pedro da Costa Martyrs stressed “the experience that can and Euro Atlantic is transmitting “and the” company’s interest in helping to define the country’s air policy.
    After that meeting, the first with members of an agency of the State of East Timor, ” the government must now prioritize and regulate , “said the chairman of the Parliamentary Commission of infrastructure and also vice chairman of the bench of CNRT.
    The president said that Euro Atlantic note there is a consensus among the Timorese political differences on this issue and admitted he has held talks with Carrascalao Vasco da Silva , who along with the Luso- Mozambican Mario Goncalves , is the project coordinator of Timor -Leste Airlines (TLA ), which awaits approval of the Timorese Government .
    “We will not get any more country without a national airline set policy, “said Tomaz Metello yet, saying that is what happens in Portugal and Sao Tome and Principe.
    The operation of Euro Atlantic in Sao Tome , which has a stake in the company flag , “is not concerned , “he said , but the company is now doing with the Government , which should have been done earlier, i.e. policymaking country’s air , especially in terms of operational infrastructure .
    February 20th Association seeks answers in the House of Funchal

    Association leaders want information about actual process of reconstruction and recovery
    The Association participating in February 20 will on Thursday, in the public session of the Funchal City Hall try to obtain answers to their concerns. The association leaders want to directly question the authority and get concrete information about the process for Reconstruction and rehabilitation of areas affected by the storm, which led to the creation of this Association.
    The statements on social communications are planned for 10 hours.

    Nel Monteiro on the Emigrant Festival August 15

    The County town of Santana welcomes another edition of the Emigrant Festival the folk singer is the main artist of a party which includes games, walks a conference and entertainment. The Island Town will celebrate on the 15th of August with another edition of the Festival of the Emigrants, with the presence of this popular singer Nel Monteiro. The event, which runs in the seventh edition by popular demand with a basic meeting and a range of other activities, which highlight the walks, a conference, games and shows.
    According to the organization , the House of the People of the Island, this is the first concert of Nel Monteiro Madeira, a singer known for subjects such as ‘ Gambling on the Beach ‘,’ Allo, Allo Maria Antonia ‘,’ Holy Picture ‘,’ Wine Region ‘And’ Wedding to the Portuguese ‘.
    It should also be noted that the participation of Luso -descendant groups , notably the Group of Folklore Venezuela Puerto La Cruz , Grupo Folklorico Madeira Club SS Sacramento New Bedford and the duo Sandra and Ricardo Rodriguez will be there.
    The Emigrant Festival defines itself as a meeting point for those who left in search of better living conditions – and the parish with such emigrants in France , England, South Africa and Venezuela – but also an area of dissemination of culture Madeira and projects .

    Environment, IGA and Chambers together to build public infrastructure agricultural

    Tomorrow 54 contracts will be signed with seven municipalities in an initiative funded by PRODES for the construction of public infrastructure agriculture , the Regional Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources , the Institute for Water Management ( GEF) and seven counties in the region gather for the financial support under the PRODES. The signing ceremony of the 54 contracts will be chaired by the regional secretary Manuel Antonio Correia, from 17 hours in the Auditorium of the Regional Secretariat for the Environment.

    Camp Hill meets Pereiro 1750 scouts
    Meeting together young people from six to 23 years from the Azores, Madeira, mainland Spain

    The international gathering of Scouts will happen from, including 1750 young Madeira , Azores, mainland Spain and in the Mounted Pereiro. The Jamboree, the term for these meetings, will promote cultural activities, extreme sports made with the collaboration of the RG3 and 12 thematic workshops where they will be firefighters, the Community Action against AIDS, the Navy, Army, Red Cross and PSP.
    Carlos Gonçalves, the regional head of this organization, explains that until Monday youths from six to 23 years will make camp, go through the workshops, listen to the advice of organizations, as well as an entire program of walking, nautical activities and visits to museums as much as in Funchal Machico, the place where it landed the discoverers of Madeira.
    This afternoon is the official opening, and on Sunday, takes place at the closing ceremony, but many groups of scouts from the outside – who are the majority (1050) – will stay for few more days at camp, since they are independent of travel.

    Fire in the mountains of St. Roch
    A fire of some size attacked this Tuesday the mountains of San Roque, Funchal.
    The alert came to the Municipal Fire Funchal (BMF) at around 21.15, which moved two cars to the local emergency room with an average of seven men. The flames broke out in an area of bush near the Estrada Comandante Camacho de Freitas. Buy 23 hours the fire was largely confined.

    February 20th Association seeks answers in the City Hall Funchal

    Association leaders want information about actual process of reconstruction and recovery
    The Association participating in February 20 will on Thursday, in the public session of the Funchal City Hall in order to obtain answers to their concerns. The association leaders want to directly question the authority and get concrete information about the process for Reconstruction and rehabilitation of areas affected by the storm, which led to the creation of this Association.
    The statements on social communication are planned for 10 hours.

    • Nothing received here Sue. Are you using the correct email?

      BTW … anything (comments) that contain links may go into SPAM postings, and possibly other comments without links. I was checking the SPAM folder regularly, but with 300+ in the last two days alone, I just can’t cope with the volume.

  36. Usiing the usual mail Der have sent you a test message with a copy of the returned message [email protected] same mail I have always used. May be you need to check your mail and that is why you say you are not getting any inputs. The message is as under:
    When trying to deliver your message, the mail server at encountered problems with the following addresses:

    For , Gave up after 12 hours, last error: DNS lookup failed (dns= blank response

    For a more detailed explanation see

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