Forest fires to impact on tourism? Independent – hiking in Madeira. Venezuelan loo paper crisis! Ferry petition.

Politics dominate the press at the moment with the local elections imminent. However the Diario’s “More” supplement last weekend featured an article entitled “From Green to Grey”, with shots of the aftermath of the recent fires above Monte and São Roque.

The newspaper notes that forest fires have become a real problem for an island that relies on tourists who are typically “close to nature”. The article concludes that “among the many causes and consequences, all of us in Madeira must be aware of this scourge”.

Little mention of arson recently – there seems to be reports as the events occur but few reports of anybody being apprehended later.

The articles has the following (rather worrying) analysis of the areas affected by fires in recent years (the graph shows the number of hectares “burned”, from Direcção Regional de Florestas e Conservação da Natureza):

Independent – hiking in Madeira

The Independent this last week had an article on Ultimate island adventures “Enjoy late-season sun and stay fit at the same time with these active breaks. Aaron Miller gets ready, gets set and gets going”. Full article

Venezuela aims to end toilet paper shortage

A country with strong Madeiran connections is reported by the BBC to be suffering from an unusual problem:

Women queuing to pay for toilet paper at a supermarket in Caracas

The BBC website  reports Venezuela’s National Assembly has backed plans to import 39 million rolls of toilet paper, in an effort to relieve a chronic shortage.

Lawmakers voted to approve a $79m credit for the country’s ministry of commerce, which will also be used to buy toothpaste and soap.

The products are currently in short supply in Venezuelan shops.

The oil-rich nation relies on imports, but currency controls have restricted its ability to pay for foreign goods.

Ferry Petition link:


19 thoughts on “Forest fires to impact on tourism? Independent – hiking in Madeira. Venezuelan loo paper crisis! Ferry petition.”

  1. Admin

    Is there a reason why my response to MartinPN’s query has not been published?
    It is of no consequence to me but as my solicitor in Madeira was good enough to take the time to make a recommendation I thought it should be passed on to Martin.


  2. Hi Mary.

    Same old problem I’m afraid – the blog software will not let you post Comments that include a full hyperlink or e-mail address – this automatically eliminates loads of “spam”. However I can individually approve Comments containing hyperlinks – which I have done in your instance, and also another from Angie on the same subject. Unfortunately I cannot monitor Comments full-time (there are currently 2794 pending from the last month – most of them promoting the latest internet scams – cheap shoes seem to be all the rage at the moment!).

    The usual way round it is to replace the “.” in the address with the word “dot” in your text. Thanks for your contribution (and Angie), which should now appear in the previous post.

  3. Thanks all, got some details of a few places to try (will be emailing Angie as well to add that to the list).

    One thing though, my PC produced a virus warning (I use Avast anti-virus) when trying to go to that auxilium pt website – warning of an attempt to download a trojan onto my system.

  4. In my opinion the 2013 graph seems scaled wrong or the number on top of it is wrong. If the hectar number is correct the 2013 graph should be about as low as the graph of 2007.

  5. Weather: Yellow warning south and coastal areas, Orange in the hills = for periods of heavy rain and strong winds…..currently valid until late afternoon/evening.

    World Tourism Day tomorrow: Lots of free garden/Museum entrances but NOT to Monte gardens. 50% reduction to Madeira Story center & Park at Santana.
    Top Tip: Whale museum Canical FREE & Museum Quinta das Cruzes also FREE.


  6. I reported the problem with the trojan on the accountants website and received the reply below. I thought it only fair to allow him the chance to explain the problem.

    After this over and out from me on this one but I wish you well with your venture.

    “Good Morning Mary,

    Jorge forwarded me the answer from my site, and in did, Trojan is not a good way to welcome potential clients!

    My site was in maintenance, and I already sent the virus message to the person encharged. Thank you for informing me.

    It will be a pleasure to receive you to study the best tax plan for your investment (or revenue) in Portugal”

  7. See what you mean Ivelak – hadn’t noticed the inconsistency. The article specifically refers to 1169ha being destroyed this year so it looks very much like the graph for 2013 has been scaled wrongly against other years.

    I have put a fresh link to the ferry petition at the end of the post to make it easier for people to vote. The numbers seem to be climbing fairly quickly.

  8. Maureen and me both, have signed the petition for the reinstatement of the ferry service to The Canaries and the mainland and elsewhere.
    We also have enquired in the past from the Island’s MEP if the European Parliament had any influence in this matter.
    He said that no ferry company would be interested as it costs too much and gave a figure of losses which were so huge as too be ridiculous.
    He probably represents interests alien to the population as a whole and the owners of the container line.
    The excess landing charges previously levied are in the hands of the Madeiran authorities if they wish to govern properly.
    I wonder if this MEP needs some representations from the island’s residents?
    I am sure he could help the matter along if he wished.

  9. The ferry is unlikely to return, first because the President doesn’t want it and second because the Government refused to negotiate costs for it to continue. Like the airport, landing fees, costs are horrendous. Every ship/boat etc which moors has to pay a fee for every passenger so included in the costs the mooring fes are also factored in, making it a loss making venture

  10. Walked all the way down into town to take advantage of World Tourist Day & free
    entry to the Contemporary Art Museum in the São Tiago forte. Was it worth it? Well
    no, actually, it ****** well wasn’t. Our entry was barred by the local ‘Rentokil’ mob saying that the whole area was closed for infestation treatment! Rats or no rats, they must have known about this several days ago as there was on close inspection a printed
    notice to the effect on an inconspicuous door. But they were on the list given out by
    the Tourist Board on Tuesday as being free entry today. Incompetence knows no bounds! Grrrr! Went to Casa da Luz instead. Yes, at least entry was free & it was OPEN but a welcome of any kind? No. No surprise then that we were the only customers. Some PR training is desperately needed!

  11. Jaquine – that is disgusting! A lot of improvement is needed with regard to the promotion of Madeira by the Tourist Board. Incidentally Jon actually picked up a tatty small bit of paper from the Tourist Office at the Aeroporto the other day advertising which museums and gardens were open to the public yesterday free of charge. Funnily enough, the Contemporary Art Museum had a simple biro line through it – obviously crossing it off the list!!!!

  12. Parcelflight have consigned door to door over 40 parcels for me over the last 2 years door to door England to Funchal. The 3 last week via their agents Fedex took 4 days.
    There is a remote location charge over and above the Portuguses rate calculator.
    Ring and speak to Barry: He is most helpful.

  13. Marian,

    I know that some of them have – for example the one in Machico is now open. Some others have not, like the one in Santa Cruz is still shut – and still shows as Sa, no rebranding or anything (from what I heard there was some dispute with the building owners or something like that, they obviously think it’s better to keep the place almost deserted rather than have it full of customers again…)

  14. Continente/Modelo have opened at Sao Martinho (old Sa super store) went today and very impressed. Glad to say they had my Cheddar cheese and salad dressing I can’t get anywhere else…also seems they are having a competition with pingo pongo with their wine prices……got a good deal on Ballentines whiskey at 7.99 a bottle…very competitive! Have now vetoed Brand Import for booze as the supermarkets are working out a hell of a lot cheaper and I now have my Christmas plonk sorted! Happy shopping folks!

  15. TAP vs. easyJet:
    I beg to differ with Admin who implies that airlines like easyJet are a rip off.. Buying tickets well in advance, easyJet tickets to Funchal can save you between 25-50% over the TAP fares. And that is INCLUDING hold luggage and a reserved seat. Yes, you have to pay for all food and drinks with easyJet (and it is not very good), but TAP’s free offerings in economy class are also rather pathetic, offering a small bread roll which they dare to announce as serving “a meal”. To make things worse when TAP goes through the cabin with the drinks trolley, they serve your glass of water, juice, mini wine, coffee and tea, all at the same time. On a 3.5 hour flight it is clearly too much trouble for TAP to serve coffee/tea AFTER the “meal”. easyJet does the drinks round 2 or 3 times. On balance I find easyJet cabin staff friendlier and more enthousiastic than TAP.
    A few weeks ago my easyJet flight from Funchal to Gatwick had a delay of 17 hours due to technical problems with the aircraft! I was offered a meal at the airport and all pax. were put up for the night in the four star Vila Gale in Santa Cruz. It included a luxurious (free) breakfast.
    Needless to say that I have wholeheartedly switched my regular Madeira trips to easyJet. And no, I do not own easyJet shares, but I am a happy PLUS card customer….

  16. I agree with you Alex – we have found Easyjet best option, although I wish they were still flying out of Stansted. We always book for our 3 to 4 visits a year as soon as timetable is up and prices are very reasonable in comparison with Tap and charter. Years ago we used to fly with GB Airways. On the one occasion we could not fly in to Funchal due to bad weather we diverted to Faro en route and were put up in a super hotel for one night and offered more food than we could eat!! Yes, they are ‘no frills’ but that’s all we need and if it means we can afford a few more breaks in Madeira……


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