Porto Santo protest. Pico dos Barcelos restaurant. Blog stats.

Porto Santo protest

Last Friday the civic movement “Somos Porto Santo” organised a protest against the “conditions of isolation” imposed on the island of Porto Santo. The loss of the last direct flight between Lisbon and Porto Santo during the summer was the main reason behind the civic association convening the protest march, as citizens got together and headed to Porto Santo Airport with black candles and banners to express their concern. Reported in the Diario, spokesman Francisco Oliveira said “The state can and should do more for Porto Santo. The State is resigning from its obligations”. Protest organisers are also concerned about the rising cost of travel and time spent to get to, or leave, Porto Santo, and consider that isolation brings serious losses in economic and social terms to the island.

According to the statistical data of the Regional Secretariat of Culture, Tourism and Transport for the period 2009 – 2013, “national tourism” accounted for 46.6% off visitors to Porto Santo, with the UK a long distance behind in 2nd place (28.7%). With now only two daily connections from Porto Santo to Funchal in aircraft limited to18 seats, the travelling time for tourists, businessmen, students or family to Porto Santo from Lisbon can take more than 10 hours and entail increased costs according to the civic movement.

New restaurant at Pico dos Barcelos

The opening of the new restaurant will take place on October 31.

November 1st will see a new restaurant  by the name of “Quinta Estação” open at Pico dos Barcelos, the work of five immigrant entrepreneurs from Venezuela. The “Fifth Season” is apparently inspired by the “Alazan”, a famous restaurant in Caracas, Venezuela, and follows the Argentine method of preparing and serving various meats. Argentinian meats will be the specialty, including some prepared on a spit, but the menu will also include international dishes, with an emphasis on Spanish and Venezuelan cuisine. There is already a cafe/restaurant, also in San Antonio, with a Venezuelan influence – can’t remember the name – but it is quite good, if a little unhealthy, as it involves a lot of deep-frying!

Heat warning continues

Hot weather will continue at least until tonight (Monday). Both the North and the South coasts of Madeira are under yellow weather warning (3 on a scale of 4) due to “the persistence of higher values ​​for maximum temperature”, according to IPMA, the Portuguese “Met Office” (link on the “Useful Links” tab above).The current warning came into effect on Saturday.

Blog figures

Amazing the power of “social media” nowadays. The link posted on the previous blog to the You Tube video of planes attempting to land at the airport last Monday was also posted on the blog’s Facebook page where it quickly reached over 12,000 people, despite being quickly picked up on by others. Meanwhile the blog and it’s parent site remains in the top 1500 busiest  websites in Portugal, and the associated Instagram site has attracted nearly 4,200 followers in a relatively short time. The blog regularly has over 1200 (mostly returning) visitors each day. Thank you all!

8 thoughts on “Porto Santo protest. Pico dos Barcelos restaurant. Blog stats.”

  1. I can well understand the protests in Porto Santo, they do seem to be getting a raw deal. There is a fabulous beach there which should attract more holidaymakers. There are always ads for holidays in Madeira and often travel writers have articles about Madeira in the newspapers BUT Porto Santo never gets a mention.

    Mind you, we used to pop over for the day on the old Lobo Marinho ferry but haven’t bothered lately as a ‘tourist’ day return is damned pricey.

  2. Having just seen the gorgeous MV Funchal “sail” outbound across the bay, I offer the following – a classic liner, saved!

    MV Funchal: the ship was built in 1961, It has a fascinating and proud maritime heritage, having served as a Portuguese Presidential yacht for state visits. The ship was also once owned by one of the wealthiest families in the Azores……

    However she nearly went for scrap:

    Having gone through extensive works in 2010 (to comply with SOLAS 2010) the ship went back to a Lisbon Shipyard in February 2011 for a lengthy refit, which should include changes to its power plant as well as passenger and crew cabins and public lounges. The idea was make the ship fit for service for at least another ten years. In November 2011, she completed 50 years of service, always under the same name. During 2012 work began to come to an end at the shipyard and finished towards April with only 20% of the required work completed, and following Classic International Cruises’ liquidating in December 2012 she faced the threat of going for scrap.

    In early 2013 a Portuguese entrepreneur Rui Alegre purchased Funchal t serve for the newly formed Portuscale Cruises..

    During 2013, Funchal was extensively refurbished in the Lisbon Naval Rocha shipyards, being upgraded to 4 star vessel, with an investment of about 10 million Euros. In the refurbishment, the ship’s hull was re-painted in black, its original colour.

    On 1 August 2013, the refurbished Funchal was re-inaugurated, in the presence of prime-minister Passos Coelho. In late August 2013 the ship left dry dock in Lisbon, Portugal and on 27 August 2013 arrived in Gothenburg, Sweden to restart her cruising career……

  3. Thanks for that Jon, very interesting. When I get a moment I am going to look at their cruise programme. We prefer the smaller ships and would be happy on a Portuguese vessedl.


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