Madeira Wine Rally. Body recovered. UV warning. Lisbon Oceanarium

Rali Vinho Madeira

The Madeira Wine Rally starts on the 30th of this month with more than 50 teams having entered. The opening ceremony and 1st Special Stage take place in Avenida Arriaga and Avenida do Mar in the centre of Funchal on Thursday evening (full program here). The event returns to Funchal to finish on Saturday. There will be some road closures over the three days (full list here). The Chairman of the event believes “We have an entry list with quantity and quality”.

Body recovered from Câmara de Lobos bay

The Journal da Madeira reports that a body was recovered yesterday from the bay at Câmara de Lobos. Reports say that the cadaver appeared to be that of a  young man. It was later confirmed that local fisherman had, in fact, brought in the body of a 33 year-old male resident of Funchal.

UV warning

IPMA, the Portuguese Met Office have warned that today (Monday), both Funchal and Porto Santo will have an extreme risk of exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV).

Lisbon Oceanarium

The Portugal News reports that users of the travel website Tripadvisor have rated Lisbon’s Oceanarium as the ‘Best in the World’ on a list of the top-25 aquariums. Lisbon beat off stiff competition from other renowned aquariums such as Georgia (USA), Valencia (Spain), Motobu-cho (Japan), Sentosa Island (Singapore), Dubai (UAE) and Cape Town (South Africa). Opened 17years ago, Lisbon Oceanarium, which has welcomed more than 19 million visitors, was also rated by voters as the number-one “must-have” experience while in Lisbon.

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Curral das Freiras. How the levadas were built. Herberto Helder.

Very little news recently as the holiday season starts for the locals, so this post has been padded out a little! The photo below is from the (relatively) new Miradouro do Paredão overlooking Curral das Freiras (Nuns Valley). The area around the viewpoint is the site of an intensive reforestation project.

São Pedro honours poet

Board homage to Herbert Helder.  Photo DR

The parish of St. Peter in Funchal celebrated its 449th anniversary this week by unveiling a tribute to the poet Herberto Helder, who passed away in March this year. The inauguration of the plaque was attended by Mayor of Funchal, Paulo Cafôfo. Widely believed to be one of the great contemporary Portuguese poets, Herberto Helder was born in Madeira in 1930 before moving to the mainland, becoming a practitioner of “experimental poetry”. Although his work is highly rated he is regarded as a fairly obscure and complex figure who refused to accept literary prizes or have any media exposure.

How the levadas were built

The TV channel RTP have some great footage in a couple of recent documentaries exploring how the Levadas were built (you have to wait a while for the ads to stop):

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Madeira Regency Palace latest

Photo taken earlier this week of the once thriving but now rather sad “Regency Yacht Bar” beneath the Madeira Regency Palace hotel on Praia Formosa. I had been told on a number of occasions that it was separate, independent, business, but apparently not the case?

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“Comments” and updates on the closure of the Madeira Regency Palace continue to accumulate on a previous post, which seems to have become something of a Forum on the subject. Interesting to see details of e-mail exchanges at the time: http://madeiraislanddirect.com/blog/2015/04/regency-palace-hotel-to-close/#comment-211171

Blog

After a brief absence the blog and its parent site recently returned to join the top 1000 most visited websites in Portugal, with an average of just over 1100 unique visitors per day. Thank you all!

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Travel subsidy. CR7. Porto Santo beach closure. Tourist death.

“Mobility Allowance” to be announced

The Diario reports that the Portuguese Council of Ministers will today announce the new regime of “mobility allowances” for air travel between Madeira and the continent. Exact details have not been disclosed but are believed to be along the lines of those agreed between the governments of Pedro Passos Coelho and Miguel Albuquerque when the Portuguese Prime Minister visited Madeira and met with the President of the Regional Government.
According to reports during the meeting in early June at Quinta Vigia, Madeiran residents will pay a maximum price of €86 per trip, and students no more than €65. This should come into effect no later than September, but it is hoped this will be brought forward in the light of a more favourable agreement recently reached between the Portuguese government and the Azores. In practice, local residents will pay normal fares and reclaim the difference. It is not clear at the moment which airlines and  which mainland airports  will be covered by the agreement.

Ronaldo short-listed

The ten-player shortlist for the 2014/15 UEFA Best Player in Europe Award was announced earlier this week. Eight Champions League finalists from Barcelona and Juventus top the billing, plus last season’s winner Cristiano Ronaldo and Eden Hazard of Chelsea being the only representative from the English top flight. The Madeiran might struggle to win this one, despite his incredible goal-scoring record last season.

Porto Santo bathers banned

The Diario reports that the red flag replaced the Blue Flag in the Fontinha beach (above) on Porto Santo yesterday. The change came after water analysis revealed the presence of organisms deemed dangerous to swimmers. Opinions were divided as to the origin of the problem – contamination from a ship, or possibly an accidental discharge from the wastewater treatment plant nearby. Fontinha beach is the most famous on the island. 720 metres long, it begins at the Cais Velho (Old Pier) and ends next to the hotel Torre Praia. All the beaches on the island will be crowded at this time of year as the height of the holiday season approaches and many Madeirans arrive for their annual vacation.

German walker dies in Caldeirão Verde

A German national tourist died on Tuesday afternoon after being struck by a rock that fell from a hillside in Caldeirão Verde in Santana. The 53 year-old woman was walking along a footpath with other tourists when she was hit by what is described as a “large stone”, causing severe head injuries, shortly followed by cardiac arrest. A doctor who was part of the group performed resuscitation procedures for 30 minutes to no avail. Emergency services attended the scene and the Rapid Intervention Medical Team (EMIR) mobilized.

Madeira Regency Palace latest

Well over 100 “Comments” and updates on the closure of the Madeira Regency Palace continue to accumulate on a previous post: http://madeiraislanddirect.com/blog/2015/04/regency-palace-hotel-to-close/#comment-211171

Lapas Festival – Paul do Mar

This weekend sees the annual Lapas (limpet) Festival in Paul do Mar. Full program on the Paul do Mar Facebook page (see entry dated 13th July for full program).

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