Bio-fuel project, Sheep comeback?, Ferry prices, Car tax etc.

TODAYS PHOTO : Thanks to Tobi … this is the ‘Bis Bis’ bird I am told … it looks very tame.

Source : Diário de Notícias 28/4/2008

A 26 year old Madeiran man from São Vicente was shot dead in Venezuela after he witnessed an armed robbery.

In an effort to ease the dependence on oil based products, a new project under the banner ‘Foundation Excalibur’ is going to use a budget in excess of €1 million to create a bio-diesel production facility. Using ‘microalgas’ (I think these are to do with organisms that convert solar energy) and maybe used oil. Sometime in the future it should be able to sell its energy production.

A story seemingly aimed at highlighting poverty features a 3 year old girl named Laura, who lives in Cancela. She walks around barefoot, and lives in a small dwelling (looks like a mobile home in the photo) with 11 other family members that is her great grandmothers home, where they sleep on the floor, and the where the roof has needed fixing for the last 8 years.

I remember back around 4 years ago, someone told me that there were very few sheep on Madeira because they government has forced sheep farmers to remove their animals from the mountain ranges (I recall, without certainty, that it was because the sheep cause so much damage through their feeding, and facilitate land erosion). The article refers to the confiscation of some sheep stocks. The supreme court which deals with such matters has now said that the action was wrong, and that farmers have the right to graze sheep in the mountain ranges, within certain rules.

The 200,000 escaped Dourada fish (or what’s left of them) have apparently moved around to the north on the island now. Unusually high numbers of fishermen with bucket loads of ‘catch’ have been reported at Porto Moniz and Santana.

Saturday night’s concert by Blasted Mechanism on Calheta beach was a busy night for the emergency services. 8 people were admitted to hospital in Funchal with alcoholic ‘poisoning’, 5 of which were in a coma and in possible life-threatening conditions. The idiots involved ranged from a 15 year old local girl, to a 38 year old English woman … the ambulance service and hospital will no doubt be sending you a hefty bill!

A survey/report on the price of ferry trips from around Europe reveals that the Porto Santo line ferry ‘Lobo Marino’ charges reasonable prices. Compared with prices charged for ferries in the Canary Island, Ireland,  Scotland and others it came out as good value. I just had a look at the Porto Santo Line website, and a day return trip this week would cost over €60. As it’s a 100km round trip, I reckon that’s around the same price that a taxi would charge for that distance (that’s local rates, not tourist  prices).

I have had several enquiries about the new vehicle tax system, and how to renew or apply for car tax. I have written a simple procedure for anyone who might need it. It’s on the main website, under DRIVING, in the RESOURCES & INFORMATION section.

Aside from your valued blog responses, please send any unreported Madeira news, photos, events information, or snippets for the madeira4u blog to – thank you!

3 thoughts on “Bio-fuel project, Sheep comeback?, Ferry prices, Car tax etc.”

  1. we went for 2 days & nights in February and it cost €42 each, ferry, 4* hotel & breakfast. If you go out of season some very good deals in the Diário.

  2. Thats very good Der, i did see those offers in the paper, but im looking to take the car over for the day with 2 friends and im getting a price of 244 euros, i could stay in a hotel for a week for that…..

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