Santo Amaro. Toboggan murder.

Festas de Santo Amaro

The religious festival of Santo Amaro began low-key yesterday, culminating 15th January. The festival traditionally marks the end of the festive period, where people “clean out their cupboards” and is particularly associated with the village of Santa Cruz – details below (use CTRL+/- to zoom in/out on a PC).
Rolling out the itinerary, Filipe Sousa, the mayor of Santa Cruz, emphasized the “spirit of collaboration” between different institutions contributing to the program, highlighting the concert scheduled for tonight which features a Queen tribute band from the mainland. He did however admit that the area next to the Municipal Market “is a small space” for this type of event – so get there early! The local parish priest, Cónego Agostinho Carvalho, highlighted the “sense of devotion” that the patron saint attracts.
The mayor estimated that the Santo Amaro Festival will cost around €15,000, 20-25% more than previously, but was a good investment in terms of the additional revenue it brought into the area.

Don Amaro festival itinerary

Murder in Monte after toboggan feud

Photo of the dead manCorreio da Manhã reported on Wednesday that a 52-year-old man had died in the parish of Monte, Madeira, after being shot in the wake of an argument. Norberto Gouveia was President of the “Monte Trail”, which is the organisation controlling the drivers of the toboggans that are such a tourist attraction. The suspect was arrested at the scene and offered no resistance. A police spokesman said he was unaware of the reason for the incident, nor how many shots were fired or what gun was used, but there are reports of a feud with another colleague. The incident occurred at the beginning of the toboggan route in Monte – there were unsuccessful attempts to revive the victim.

Six murders in three years

Copy of the front page of today's DiarioThe toboggan route was closed yesterday, as was the café that is popular with the drivers. The Diario reported again from the scene and found an “atmosphere of dismay”, with colleagues in their usual outfits refusing to talk about what has been behind events.
Today’s headline in Diario shows that in the last three years six felonies have been tried in Madeira, four of which have already been convicted. Whilst the number of homicides has not increased, the type of weapon used has changed, with firearms replacing knives. Another follow-up by the paper from Monte reports that “there is a mixture of revolt and fear among those who work there”.

15 thoughts on “Santo Amaro. Toboggan murder.”

  1. What is happening with the Madeira Porto Santo air link? Aero Vip are only taking bookings until early June and may not operate the service after that date. An air-link is vital for hospital patients who need to fly from Porto Santo and back in a day as well as for tourists. When is a decision going to be made about the service? Surely it’s time we knew what is going to happen?

  2. Must be some story behind the toboggan murder if it ever comes out. And why are people working there so unhappy – I would have thought they were earning decent money – although I have no idea how much a trip down costs nowadays?

  3. I don’t go in for tourist things but my wife took the Monte toboggan (alone in a toboggan) in November and I was quite surprised by the *low* cost of trip+photo *book* and especially the quality of the photo (book) received at the bottom immediately on arrival without extra charge.

    Maybe because I live in Finland where everything involving people is expensive but still. “Expensive” is in the eye of the beholder!

  4. Martin G – There is a helicopter which is used for medical emergency from Porto Santo to Madeira. The contract for air travel is an annual one, so presumably if the terms are OK it will be renewed, if not, perhaps just the ferry.

  5. Thanks for update on Santo Amaro. We attended on opening day but will not go for Queen tribute.
    I can recommend a visit to Santa Cruz to anyone it is a delight on any day and certainly more attractive than an expensive sledge ride going just half way down from Monte

  6. A slightly off the wall enquiry – Does anyone know the address of the SAUDE clinic and/or medical practitioner nearest to the lido district whose charges would be met under EHIC scheme

  7. This a clinic which is used by a friend who lives in the Lido area.
    Centros de Saúde
    Av. do Colégio Militar 27, 9000-126 Funchal, Portugal It is close to the Army Barracks
    This is a list of clinics
    Visitors will only get the same level of free treatment to which residents have. There are also many farmacies who can issue medication (over the counter) which is not available in the UK.

  8. Thanks Joanne. I did this morning ask at the one just above the Funchal market place if they did EHIC treatment and they said yes. A few years ago we were referred locally to the one in the Monumental who took our EHIC detail as did a pharmacy for the prescription but when we got home and presented our bills to the UK office for EHIC we were told we had gone private.

    Hopefully we will not need them but we are grateful for your info in case


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