Poor weather forecast. MIUT results.

Weather forecast

Both the BBC Weather App and IPMA, the Portuguese “Met Office” agree that the outlook is not too brilliant until Sunday. Hopefully both weather forecasts will prove incorrect for the sake of those visiting this week.

BBC weather forecast for the next week

IPMA weather forecast for the next week

A slow-moving depression, centred between Madeira and the Azores, is responsible for this poor weather, and the latest forecast predicts periods of heavy rain and showers, possibly accompanied by thunderstorms between midnight tonight (Tuesday) and midday tomorrow. During this 12-hour period, the island will be on an orange warning (the second most serious on a scale of four), applicable to the mountainous regions and the south coast of Madeira and the island of Porto Santo.

Madeira Island Ultra Trail

MIUT logoThe men’s 115km “Ultra” race was won in just  over 13 hours by Francois D’Haene, whilst the women’s was completed in 16 hours 30 minutes by Andrea Huser. Both were well clear of second place. There is an interview with D’Haene, who apparently dominated the second half of the race, here.

YouTube coverage below, but with different finishing times to the official MIUT website quoted above?

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Ferry accident. Jogo do Pião.

Missing ferry accident

A ferry operated by the company that used to run the service connecting Madeira to the mainland – one that has been promising to return to here for some while – has been involved in a dramatic accident in the Canaries. The Armas-operated ferry Volcan de Tamasite collided into a port wall on Gran Canaria on Friday evening after a power cut lasting just two minutes caused engine failure. Five people are understood to have suffered minor injuries and been treated at the scene, with reports that five more were taken to hospital. It is feared that up to 200,000 litres of fuel may have spilled into the ocean after the accident, which caused the sea wall to collapse onto underwater pipes used for refuelling.

Ferry accident in Las Palmas

The boat crashed into a pier on the holiday island of Gran Canaria after the voltage dropped for just two minutes, according to operator Naviera Armas, reports the Daily Mail. The company insists the outage would not have been a problem had the ferry been sailing on the open sea where there were no obstacles. Video footage shows the ship, which was heading towards the neighbouring island of Tenerife with 140 passengers, 30 crew members and dozens of vehicles on board – adrift and at the mercy of the sea before it hit the concrete wall at the entrance to Puerta de la Luz in the Gran Canaria capital Las Palmas. The ferry, which is one of ten with the “Volcan” name in the Naveira Armas fleet,  managed to dock afterwards and passengers accommodated in hotels.
The Independent reported today (Saturday) that there was a three kilometre oil slick, whilst Sky News reports the number of injured at thirteen.

Jogo do Pião

Jogo do PiãoThe Diario reports that the the fourth annual “Game of the Top” took place at the Sports Club of Arco de São Jorge took place last Saturday. The event, which took place in the centre of the parish on the north coast, had about thirty participants and many curious onlookers. The Sports Club is quoted; “ths type of traditional game has gained greater interest among the population, from the youngest to the oldest, and the conviviality and the exchange of experiences between the younger and the “less young” keeps alive this Easter tradition. More on the game itself including a video on a previous post.

Blog traffic

Google analytics screen shot

As the blog approaches its 4 millionth visit over the last eight years – actually it has been in existence ten years but analytics tools were not available until a couple of years in – traffic continues to grow over the last few months. Rewarding to see!

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Valley of the Nuns. Jet2. Madeira Island Ultra Trail.

Valley of the Nuns nominated

Valley of the NunsRTP report that Curral das Freiras is on the “7 Wonders of Portugal” candidate list in the category “Remote Villages” in a Portugal-wide competition. Arco de São Jorge, Espigão and Furna are also competing in the same category. Madalena do Mar and Porto Moniz are candidates in the “Seaside Village” category. Chão da Ribeira, in Seixal and Ilha, in Santana, have been selected for villages in “Protected Areas” category, while Lombada dos Esmeraldos in Ponta do Sol appears in the “Monument” category. Serra de Água is competing as a “Riverside Village”. Faial is nominated in the “Rural Village” category. Curral das Freiras also has a second nomination for the “Authentic Village” category. It is not immediately apparent who is behind the awards, with the contenders being whittled down to a shortlist this month.

Jet2 wins Best Airline awards in TripAdvisor poll

Jet2 logoJet2.com took two top prizes in the inaugural TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice awards for airlines, winning the “Best Airline – UK” and “Best Low-Cost Airline – Europe” prizes. The awards, covering every major carrier worldwide, are based on an algorithm that took into account the quantity and quality of airline reviews and ratings submitted by travellers over the past 12 months. It is the first time that the world’s largest travel website has published “Travellers’ Choice” awards for the airline industry.

Madeira Island Ultra Trail

Madeira Island Ultra TrailThe annual Madeira Island Ultra Trail event officially kicks off tomorrow, and seems to be getting even more popular year on year – 2016 saw 2,000 participants with 48 different nationalities. The primary race (MIUT) is a ridiculous 115km from one end of the island to the other, passing through the highest peaks on in the centre – Encumeada – Pico Ruivo (1861 m) – Pico do Areeiro. This sets off at midnight on 22nd April in Porto Moniz., with last year’s winner finishing in Machico just under 14 hours later. There are three other events: 85 km (Ultra), 43 km (marathon) and a mini marathon of 16 km. More details of the different races and routes can be found on a previous post.

Madeira Film Festival

Madeira Film Festival logoThe 6th Madeira Film Festival is underway as of yesterday, lasting until the weekend. This is an independent international film festival “inspired by nature, which brings together various initiatives associated with sustainability, art, education, eco-tourism and leisure, a tribute to the Laurissilva Forest”, according to Visit Madeira. The Festival is staged between Belmond Reid’s Palace Hotel and the Municipal Theatre. All films are screened in the theatre while most of the workshops, fashion show, gala dinner and cocktail drinks are held at Reid’s. A full program can be found on their website.

Part of the old North Coast Road re-opens

Part of the old road between São Vicente and Porto Moniz has re-opened with restrictions – cars can travel on a one-way system, and only between 10h00 and 18h00. I recall first travelling this route in 1989 – stunning, but a little scary! A more recent video of the old road can be seen on YouTube from 2009, by which time the “new” north coast road had been added.

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