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!

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Government spending. Bananas trashed. Rainfall. CR7 again!

Fudging the figures

In recent weeks, the executive extended payment terms of 68 contracts and made 5 of settlement agreements.The Diario today reports that the Regional Government of Madeira under Alberto João Jardim continues to “spend now, pay later” – effectively leaving debts unpaid for the next generation to settle. Apparently the total spent in this manner has gone up by €64 million in the past four months alone, primarily using two techniques.
The first involves the extended payment terms of 68 contracts or investments. For example in July the channelling project at Ribeira da Madalena do Mar, was committed at a cost of around €8.4 million, but the contractor (Afavias) is aware that this year they will receive only €900,000, with the ‘bulk’ of the payments will only being collected in the years ahead. Payment dates vary on each contract – one service contract awarded to electricity company Emacom will only be paid off in 2034. The second method used to defer payments is debt settlement agreements (ARD) with contractors for work already performed – some of these as far away as 2019 and 2020. The bottom line is that whichever party wins the elections next year and takes over government, they will inherit liabilities from the last years in office of the current executive. And Portugal is supposed to be in an “Adjustment Program” after the bail-out?

Banana republic

Image of truck that moved to the Meia Serra.  Photo DRA truck full of bananas in good condition (pictured) was spotted heading for the waste treatment  plant at Meia Serra at the end of last week, causing some controversy. Miguel de Sousa, candidate for leadership of the PSD/Madeira, is describing it as a scandal  “to throw out …..good bananas when so many people are without money to buy one banana”. He does not understand why “the government pays for the product then throws it in the garbage” (subsidies are paid to grow the bananas) and says it is imperative to stop the waste and offer bananas to people in need, or to hospitals and charities. He claims that the practice of throwing them away could belong to “some banana republic”.

Rainfall figures

The rainfall figures for the period when the red warning was in effect on Sunday show that twice as much fell in Porto Santo as in Madeira.
The most extreme figures for Porto Santo island were 9.5mm of rain falling in a 10 minute period (20,4mm / 30min and 30,5mm / 1h). The weather stations in Madeira that recorded the most significant amount of rainfall were Pico do Arieiro (5.9 mm / 10min and 18.9mm / 1h) and Chão do Arieiro (13,4mm / 30min ). There are a total of 17 weather stations across the two islands.

Ronaldo again…..

Following up on a story a couple of blogs ago, Ronaldo’s record breaking run continued at the weekend when he broke a 71 year old record for the Spanish “La Liga” by taking his goal-scoring run to 15 in just 7 games. One of the newspapers calculated that at the current rate, if he played every possible game this season, he would score 101 goals!

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Weather/airport update.

Weather/airport update Monday 20.10.14


Quick update on the situation at the airport today after the high winds overnight and throughout today – the weather couldn’t have chosen a worse day than Monday to disrupt travel. Firstly, don’t believe the new ANA website – the “Arrivals” page simply don’t match the information at the airport – which I experienced first-hand this morning. Flights that were due this morning were still being shown as expected on the website – in reality five of them had already diverted to Porto Santo, with subsequent flights turning back to Lisbon and others diverting mainly to Tenerife and, presumably when that was overloaded, Faro. Three other flights scheduled to arrive later in the day were cancelled – two back in the UK and one in Lisbon. Can’t speak for Departures, but again the website is full of “holes” – this morning people checking-in for Manchester were being told there was a small delay, while one floor beneath them the information board in Arrivals would have told them their plane was in Porto Santo! The screen-snap above was mid-afternoon, which shows how poor the information on the new website is.
Looks like the airport here is now (15.00) effectively closed for the day – at least this is what friends on one of the planes in Porto Santo have been told by the pilot of their flight – they are now waiting for a time-slot to move on to Tenerife for the night (I guess there simply isn’t enough spare overnight accommodation in Porto Santo?) before trying again tomorrow. Other contacts on a flight from Lisbon have been re-scheduled for later tonight, but this is with TAP, whose pilots tend to be better qualified to land in Madeira.

Update 17.00

A few flights now showing as arrived in the last few minutes, and a few “scheduled” times on further incoming flights tonight. Must be beginning to get back to normal, but not much happening on Departures – but I guess that’s difficult when all the planes are elsewhere! Looks like a total of 22 incoming flights never made it.

Update 23.00

Incoming flights look fine now, although the wind is picking up again. Very little information on outbound flights tomorrow morning!

Update 08.00 Tues

Looks like most of the flights from yesterday are now re-scheduled to land this morning from various stop-overs. 26 flights landing – hopefully – this morning before midday, with a similar number leaving before 14.00. There is still, however, a yellow weather warning (third on a scale of four) until midnight tonight due to a Portuguese Met Office forecast of very strong winds from the south with gusts of around 90 kilometres/hour, reaching 100 km/h from the middle of the afternoon.

Mini-tornado in Calheta

Just tagged on the photo Maurice mentioned on the last blog – taken 8.00pm last night


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