28th December 2010

More news from Sue :

Corneal transplant in 2011 in Madeira

Next year the Government will start cornea transplants at the Hospital Dr. Nelio Mendonça.  Also during 2011 the Regional Secretariat for Social Affairs has the objective to proceed with the strengthening of neuro surgery for neuro navigation, the increase of radio surgery and operation of the Neutrogena Unit for patients in need of surveillance usually associated with cancer, chemotherapy or suffering from severe infection.  This is a package of measures essential to neutralise the need of patients to move out to receive treatment.  It is also the goal to reduce the number of treatments that have to make abroad and the Regional Government has now put the improvement of conditions for professionals and users in the health sector to the fore front.

“Kissing” Bomblets

Gone are the days when the boom of load fire crackers being set off from home for Christmas and New Year there are now only limited to “kissing” “bomblets” “bottle bombs” (now banned) and pots.

Today when entering a firework shop, the difficult is the choice as the products are increasingly attractive and varied both in price and appearance.  The most expensive product sold are the battery boxes with a small circuit that activates balloonist, who will become a flying sequence.  There are of course various sizes and the most expensive amounts to 145 Euros.  Whilst admitting there are those who spend too much money on fireworks at this time of the year, the shop refused to give examples of the amounts spent by their best customers (business ethics).  Amongst the best selling products are the kisses, pots and rockets but not forgetting the bomblets which really mark this season.  So saying the financial climate has affected the number of fireworks sold, even in 2009 there had been a decline and this has continued this year.

The Director of the Regional Office of Meteorology has predicted a cloudy year end with good and open periods and in principle no rain.  However, these forecasts will be updated on 29 December as weather conditions may change by then.

Year End Predictions

According to the latest poll, hotel occupancy in Madeira in late 2010 is around 78% but it is hoped that this will be raised and to achieve this goal, several press releases were sent out, especially to mainland Portugal aiming to captivate Portuguese tourists. 

Concerning the cruise ships there is only six expected this year, a number much lower than in previous years but due to their size it represents a larger amount of tourists.

The Regional Director of Tourism in his end of year message expressed the hope that the year 2011 would be better than 2010.  Especially as Madeira had suffered difficult times in 2010 such as 20 February, the ash problems and the fires.  It is hoped that São Pedro will be a friend of Madeira in showing that the end of the year will not be affected.  Remembering the show that allowed Madeira to enter into the Guinness Book of Records was a lifetime experience.  This year there will be 40 posts for which Porto Santo are prepared for.

Video snippets from Becky :

A modern take on the Christmas song ‘A Todos Um Bom Natal’.  The traditional children’s choir version seems to be on continuous play in Pingo Doce!


Noite do Mercado 2010 from the viewpoint of just one of the drinks stalls… 


Non-Christmas related, but one of the strangest tours of Machico you’re ever likely to see.  If only he’d fixed the camera behind the handlebars and not underneath the saddle!  If you’re able to  overcome the distraction of the pedalling legs… it’s actually quite an invigorating ride around the town, especially if you know Machico.  If you don’t know it, you’re basically riding round random streets between the legs of a cyclist!

News from Sue (21 December)

Curral das Freras – the Nun’s Valley

The Nun’s Valley again suffered bad weather Sunday night to Monday, causing three casualties; the site of the Capela was mainly affected being hit again by water, aggregates and stones carried by force of the water.  The population of Capela were again frightened viewing at dawn the rocks and rubble that had been dragged down and entered several homes and damaged five cars. One woman suffered a fractured leg when she tried to help a child; she was then rescued by fire-fighters and taken to hospital.

The road was blocked above the site of the Capela, as a result of the river overflowing over a bridge blocking it with rocks, the machines that were in the lower part of the Nun’s Valley were used for cleaning and removal of stones. The old road was partially destroyed by the sloped stones cleared from the previous storms were dragged down.  The Seara Velha School was not accessible and there was a field full of stones.  The Estrada da Madeira was temporarily closed on a section the Regional Road 107 to the Nun’s Valley between the sites of Vasco Gil and Ribeira da Lapa, the connection to Eira do Serrado, and also the access road to the site of Colmeal due to landslides, and the conditions were standardised throughout the day.

The sea waves prevented the completion of the journey between Madeira and Porto Santo by the  Lobo Marinho ferry but the situation in the Madeira International Airport "was normal"  although there was one cancellation by Easy Jet not related to the bad weather in Madeira (probably the snow in UK!)..

Other Weather Incidents

Volunteers and the City of Funchal had their hands full from dawn until late afternoon yesterday responding to more than thirty incidents related to heavy rain and strong wind.  From 4am until 6pm these interventions covered the cutting of trees that fell on the road, flooding and road cleaning.

Some of the more serious incidents included the fall of a large tree in the early hours of the morning on Estrada Comandate Camacho de Freitas, at the site of the Orangery which caused slight damage to a vehicle and hit a house requiring the use of a crane for the removal work.  The road was closed and opened again the early afternoon after the road had been cleaned.

Later fire-fighters rushed to the Curral dos Romeiros at Monte due to the fall of several trees, rocks, debris, including electricity poles, leaving the town without access to cars.  The BVM supported a hotel existing there by allowing the movement of light vehicles and also allowed passage to residents whilst the clean-up operations proceeded.  During the day five interventions were recorded due to falling trees on the roads in São Roque, Santo António, Monte, Caminho dos Preto and São Gonçalo.

There were two call outs due to collapsing walls, respectively on the Caminho do Desterro, Monte and the Ponte do Cidrão in Funchal.   Action was still continuing on the Avenida do Mar (clear rocks, logs and debris at the mouth of the river) due to the rising flow of the Ribeira de Santa Luzia.  As if this was not enough the BVM were called to a suspected fire in a house at Estrado do Livramento but nothing abnormal was detected.

A collapse in Fundoa in San Roque, above the rotunda, destroyed a major pipeline cutting the water supply in areas of San Antonio and São Martinho a distance of 150 meters. The Municipality of Funchal moved immediately to the area to repair the damaged pipeline due to last night’s bad weather, This repair will take a minimum of six days, given the difficult conditions of terrain and inaccessibility of the area to install the repair equipment.

In this context, requests the CMF municipalities in the affected areas, to call for necessary restraint in the consumption of water so as to avoid supply disruptions. The Board advises that the conduit linking ETA to the west of the city, which is responsible for supplying water from the highlands of Santo António, Santo Amaro and Romeiras, being necessary to reduce the pressure on the network to enable the supply Domestic flow with minimal maintenance. The municipality said that it was using the fire service (BVM and BMF) with auto-tank cars to ensure the supply of water to these reservoirs.

Robbery in Santa Rita. A woman was robbed yesterday in Santa Rita, São Martinho, but a suspect was eventually caught shortly afterwards when he walked near the "Cimentos Madeira." The individual was apprehended by police brigades to the civilian Police Câmara de Lobos, who searched the area to see where he could have thrown the bag lady in order to recover the proceeds of theft. Days earlier, a mother and daughter, of Russian nationality,  walking on the promenade of Praia Formosa, were the target of assault and robbery of a wallet which contained about three hundred Euros,

Many thanks to Becky and Sue for sending in a contribution(s) for this blog.

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38 thoughts on “28th December 2010”

  1. Went to see the sea at Praira de Fomosa and the breakers against the beach and rocks were wonderfully strong. Having our post (mail Royal) sent to an accomodating friend’s address, got a call “it’s here” (nearly 4 weeks fron GB). met along Avenue Arriega to receive same where there have erected some Christmas stalls.
    The one selling homemade hootch, moonshine and fruit liqueurs was doing a brisk trade.
    Tim-Tam-Ton I think it was.
    Extraordinary taste, the vendor vague about the recipe.
    Tangerine liquer was wonderful.
    Then others to try,
    It became blur.
    Left Funchal in good Christmas spirit!!! Hic!!
    And I am virtually teetotal!!

  2. Sadly I have to leave today to fly to a snowy and cold UK…. brrrrrr…. but at least I’ll get to eat mince pies, and luckily I’ll be back on the 27th! Feliz Natal a todos.

  3. A Very Happy Christmas to all bloggers and all readers – unfortunately the rain
    is back tonight – but it is not cold. spent several hours making mince pies for the neighbours and for tomorrows 1st Maderian Christmas doing the rounds of the presépios. Most important be Happy be Healthy and if necessary be Poor!
    Sue & Jacques XXXX

  4. My Christmas message to all you expatriate people:

    At Christmas time it is important to remember those more unfortunate than your selves – you may well enjoy warm sunshine, hospitality and flowers, fine wines, wholesome foods and balmy breezes on your Island of plenty – spare a thought for us poor souls marooned on our freezing, overcrowded, expensive and largely at a standstill Island – remember you are British, keep sending us your taxes, please.

    On a personal note I would like to thank that awfully nice gentleman, Mr Hughes, for his personal and delightful Christmas “e-card”, a night of the garter methinks?!?


  5. Happy Christmas to you all from a snowed in Dublin, 2 foot icicles hanging from all the houses, I am taking a bottle of Madeira to my friends, I do hope they do not thaw and spear ……..the bottle

  6. Christmas day weather was sublime. Warm sunny and with a calm sea. Slow start, no buses, few cars until about midday when several cars were disembarking their passengers in the bus bays along Avenue do Mar. Most bars were shut so the few open ones along the front were very busy.
    Super super day full up with food and drink and now ready for new Year’s Fireworks

  7. Market at Santo Antonio da Serra quiet and just a few produce stalls this morning …. but what a lovely venue for a drive in the “spring” sunshine, followed by a lovely country walk and coffee sat outside in the sun – we still have loads of fresh veg and fruit (and Beef & Turkey) to get through anyway! I’ve never cut my lawn on “Boxing” day before – couldn’t do that in the UK either methinks ……
    Hope all having a great Christmas and I promise no more cracker jokes!

  8. Great day today, BBQ and Poncha.

    Lets hope the weather is good for New Year, i think i read that the fireworks are going to be one of the best this year , are they trying to gain the record again?????

  9. Hi Pete

    UK had bitterly cold weather for a month, Merry Christmas to all Happy 2011 wish we were over in Madeira to see the fireworks we will be thinking of you.

  10. Why doesn’t Santa suffer from claustrophobia when climbs down the chimney?
    Because has had his flue jab.

    What happened to the man who shoplifted a calendar at Christmas? He got 12 months!

  11. Tourism news from the Diario

    First Choice lists Porto Santo as one of next year’s five best beach destinations. Flights from Gatwick to Porto Santo next summer, from May 2nd. Seven nights all-inclusive from 649 pounds (764 euros). TUI describes the golden island as the ‘ultimate paradise in Europe’.

    The Sunday Times does NOT recommend Madeira as a winter destination due to the likelihood of rain every three days and lack of beaches and sun. It states 39% chance of rain, average temperature 15 degrees and five hours of sun.

    The firm Feriasinvest has been declared insolvent and the hotel unit Residencial Garajau Terrace (14 apartments including furnishings) is for sale at 70% base value (sale value 1.6 million euros).

    Funchal Airport lost 10,700 passengers this December due to the bad weather in Europe and the Spanish air traffic controlllers’ strike. ANAM might renegotiate their loan with the EIB to enable them to lower airport taxes. New Portuguese port taxes will not be applicable to Madeira but will affect the ferry to Portugal.

  12. Thankyou for the terrible jokes.

    Are there Pantos in Madeira?

    What is the Portuguse translation of “He’s behind you”!

    Which President would make a great Mother Goose?

    Oh No He’s not
    Oh yes He is! Oh sim il est! Seems wrong somehow

  13. Elaine – was interested where the Residencial Garajau Terrace was, living in Garajau myself was curious as well as interested. There is a block of flats for sale behind us and they have been empty over two years now. They have a cabin now for sales but not seen much life – sign of the times again.

  14. For those who missed yesterdays awfully funny cracker joke:

    I say darling, what does Father Christmas NOT want now (especially in Madeira)?

    More Rain Dear.

    Please tell the Diario that THE loudest bombs/bangers/mortars are still alive and well in Gaula and have been making me jump all over Christmas – I landed long enough on Christmas day to enjoy Debs superb roast beef and a million yorkshire puds though!

  15. Garajau terrace is part of the complex above Figos and streches all the way round to above Torre Galo takeaway at the other end, At the back in the middle looking out to the pool are the 14 holiday apartments, which are up for sale. If you search Garajau Terrace on google you will see the rooms.

  16. A group of mountain climbers once heard Father Christmas go past. They must have had sharp ears! They were mountain-ears!

    Did you hear about the family who owned an English pointer
    and an Irish setter?
    The dogs get together at Christmas time and have pointsetters.

  17. Todays gem:

    What did Adam say on the day before Christmas?

    It’s Christmas, Eve!

    It’s the way I tell ’em…..man went to the vet with a sick dog.
    Vet picks up dog to check him over.
    Says “I’ve got to put this dog down”
    Man says, why?
    Because he’s to heavy……

    Happy days

  18. Thanks for all the info on Garajau Terrace, of course I have seen the sign and never really realised it had a sort of hotel entrance. Heard about the Dom Pedro also but varying stories, it is still open at the moment, i.e. the staff are around, the Christmas Tree is in the entrance etc. but the blocks opposite us appear empty. The story I heard was that it was being turned into a sort of time share business?? only rumours so cannot guarantee any truth. Sorry for the businesses, although so saying the new restaurant seems to be doing a roaring trade, that will probably affect Figos. Don’t know about the new hairdressers, (once you are used to one you normally don’t change) but it is certainly quieter than the Blue Elephant/Tapis Bar!

  19. Sue, our Madeiran neighbours (husband and wife) work in the Dom Pedro Baia in Machico (and also occasionally in the Dom Pedro Garajau) and he has told us that the hotel closes in March!


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