Machico Ultra Trail. Reduced pensions. Savoy. easyJet winter schedules.

Machico Ultra Trail

The Machico Ultra Trail takes place this coming weekend. The event seems to be growing in popularity year-upon-year (749 athletes from 24 different countries this year), and I understood that there was a series of mountain races of marathons/half-marathon length (42km/20km) based around Machico, but I had no idea that the “headline” race was 85km from one end of the island to the other:


Apparently runners have 26 hours to complete the course, which starts in Porto Moniz and climbs suicidally to Paul da Serra, levels out to Encumeada and then takes in Pico Ruivo before descending into Machico. If that isn’t enough there is an even longer race with a distance of 115km. Good luck to anybody mad enough (and fit enough) to even attempt this. More details here: and also on the appropriately named

Reduced income for pensioners

New rules have come into force today in reducing the tax threshold for pensioners to €1000 per month – any pension above this point will have contributions deducted (the previous level was €1350). This is a result of recent Portuguese budget amendments.


Following up on a question posted on the last blog regarding the rebuilding of the landmark hotel, a reader kindly sent in the following update as of earlier this week:


A small remnant of the old Savoy architectural styling is evident in the foreground and the Carlton in the background – metal hoardings block the view from the surrounding roads but nothing has happened for years. I understand that the new development was planned by two businessmen, one of whom died, and that the project is now in the hands of the bank that was financing them.


imageeasyJet’s Winter 2014/15 schedules were released yesterday (for travel up to 28th February).

Botanical art from Madeira

Finally, another painting from Angie Gray as promised, this time a Protea:


16 thoughts on “Machico Ultra Trail. Reduced pensions. Savoy. easyJet winter schedules.”

  1. There is a thread about the Savoy over on but due to bandwidth problems all of the images are being blocked. Pity because it was worth looking at.

    I’ll keep an eye on it and if the problem is resolved I’ll reprot back with more details.

  2. hello always enjoy catching up with what’s happening on the island by reading the blog- thank you. I wonder if we might have some help on the following: We have a three bedroom flat off Rua Conde Carvahalle which very fortunately has come into our possession. We have completed a building project with an excellent builder and the project will be completed soon. However there is not a stick of furniture in side or anything else for that matter. Does anyone know where reasonably priced but good quality furniture/beds/bedding/wardrobes/kitchen utensils/plates etc etc etc can be purchased on the island. Or I am aware there is IKEA madeira on line, I wonder if anyone has experience of this? grateful for any help kind regards claira

  3. Following on from the Machico Ultra Trail article above,
    Luís Fernandes won the 85km competition in a time of 11:16:57 hours.
    Frenchman Julien Chorier finished the 115km route between Machico and Porto Moniz in 15:37:37 hours
    Guess these guys will sleep well tonight!

  4. Hello

    A while ago I asked about hiring a mountain bike in July, we have found a few companies but they are all charging €20+ a day.

    One of you put up a link for a bike for €15 a day, my friend is looking to hire a bike with more than 18 gears for 2 weeks.

    He is a serious cyclist who had a bad accident in a cycling tournament years ago he has used a cane to walk since his 20’s so cycles everywhere including mountains!

    Do you know anyone who would be willing to rent out their bike for a couple of weeks?

    Thanks if you can help

  5. Claire f.
    We completed a renovation/rebuild of an old house in Funchal last fall. We ended up shipping the whole kitchen from IKEA in Lisbon plus a few bits of furniture. We also found , quite by accident an amazing furniture store in Estrito de Camera de lobes which looks like a small store but goes on for 5 floor!! My advice is if you are shipping more than one or two things from IKEA use Arnaud shipping in Lisbon instead of the online IKEA. It’s much cheaper, they have two ships a week to Madeira and deliver to the door.
    If you want to contact them Bruno Fernandes is the guy to speak to or e mail and he has pretty decent English. We have also been very impressed with Raphael at Euronics on Rua do Til where we got all our appliance at way less than Worten. Again Raphael has good English and apparently quite a bit of leeway on pricing. If you want to e mail me I can give you some more places we have used.

  6. I remember thinking “ultra trail I could do that … no, I prefer to stay alive, uninjured” .. Now given the heavy rain I am afraid for some of the competitors ..A guy from our hotel on the 115Km run called from Machico at 7am, thats 31 hours from the start ..he’s in a bad way, he can’t move on his own

  7. Ultra Trail – painful even if you just tried walking it!

    Can anyone suggest a good, reliable way to post a small packet back to the UK. I have been waiting for a small packet from the UK for three weeks, so don’t feel encouraged to use the usual postal services. I think something has changed at the UK end and the service is painfully slow now.

  8. A question on a different subject :
    I live downtown Funchal ( close to Rua Arriaga, the Ritz and the Cafe do Theatro ) a couple of month per year .
    Both of the above restaurants “entertain” their guests ; the Ritz with guitar jingle 7 days a week and the Cafe do Theatro with a disco on weekends until 5 in the morning. I am an involuntary victim of this entertainment without a chance to escape.
    I am interested, if anybody knows about any rules or regulations the city of Funchal may have to avoid disturbance .
    Which would bei the right person to talk to ?

  9. The Polícia de Segurança Pública (PSP) have announced a crackdown on drivers – speeding, mobile phone use, driving under the influence of alcohol/ drugs, seat belts, ignoring traffic signaling and overloaded transport . This will start tomorrow and last until the 20th of April.

  10. Jayne, you are right about packages taking forever to get here but it is not just from UK, we’ve had the same problem with packages from Germany and USA. However, we’ve had no problem with post going out. Only last week I posted an item to UK on Monday and it was delivered on Wednesday. What’s more it was sent Normal, not even Azul. Can’t complain at that!

  11. I think Moviflor may be experiencing a few problems at the moment – a restructuring of the company was announced recently, and their employees were reported to be on strike last month over non-payment of wages.

  12. Telexfree : quote from a commenter on
    ” some b**tards in ilha da madeira, including the ******* cheaf of public finance department is on it. madeirenses got “drunk” with telexfree!!! more than 20% of the populaton is on it!!!its a case study for americans!!!

    Hi Ramos.
    You are right I hear that Police officers and politicians are in it. I suspect the local media is in it too as they have been reluctant to publish any bad news about telexfree. ”
    ..It seems there is no money, to pay investors the credits they have in their TF accounts, so TF tried to declare Ch11 bankruptcy, but seems it was a diversion tactic and was refused

  13. My last Amazon order turned up this morning. Ordered 21st March, shipped 26th, with an estimated delivery date of 5th April. Don’t know who delivers these (DHL rings a bell?) but no better than anybody else. Can’t complain – delivery was FOC at the time.


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