Big rock fall, Deep safaris, Forest fires, Island cooperation, and other snippets

TODAY’S PHOTO : A floral carpet in one of the street of Ribeira Brava yesterday afternoon. It was a purely religious festival, but several hundred metres of floral carpet was laid by hand by dozens of volunteers in the space of just a few hours. By early evening every single petal had gone. Unluckily during those few hours it rained for the first time in ages.

Front Page News : source : Diário de Notícias 6/7/2008

Another nasty rock fall in Tabua late on Saturday, this time hitting quite close to the Galp petrol station. Some very large rocks (several tons) damaged property, a garden, completely buried a hayloft, and came close to a residence with 4 people inside. There is a video on the Diário website, and some of the rocks are huge. Try this link :

http://www.dnoticias.pt/Default.aspx?file_id=dn04010212060708

‘Deep’ safaris are now on offer to anyone who wants to know Madeira better. Taking forest tracks and farm road, parts of Madeira previously inaccessible in an organised excursion, are proving popular. What they don’t explicitly say is that unlike the jeep safaris on offer, there is much more walking involved.

The captain of the Nacional football team is leaving to play for CSKA Sófia in Bulgaria. Patacas goes on a free transfer after refusing a new contract, so Nacional won’t have any new money to replace him.

Other News :

School bus passes are to be withheld from children that live within 2kms of their nearest school, unless on medical grounds. It seems that the rule was already in place, but Madeira has failed to follow it to date. Have to feel sorry for some of kids who have to climb mountains to get to or return from school, but mountains are obviously no substitute for distance. Perhaps the savings made will help further to fund the inefficiencies of the bus service in Funchal?

Not heard too much news about forest fires this year, but it seems the stance of the authorities is toughening, with more police action and inspections this year. In 2007, 35 people were detained for arson / suspected arson, 2 of which are still in prison awaiting trial. During the last 10 years 8.6% of Madeira has been affected by forest fires, mostly in Calheta, Ribeira Brava, and Ponta do Sol where there are larger areas of vulnerable forest, waste land, and agricultural land.

In a programme approved by the European Commission that runs from 2007 until 2013, the Islands of Madeira, Azores, and the Canary Islands (can I call them Spanish?) are looking at ways they can assist and interface with each other given their geographical locations and similarities. Already the areas of fishing and emergency support have been discussed, and with ferry and flight links between Madeira and the Canaries, the results are visible. The representatives met again last Friday, with maritime links on the agenda, and will be focusing on 3 priority areas in the future; Technology and information, environmental and risk management, and cooperation with other countries to create a ‘big neighbourhood’.

Moving to the ‘Economy’ pages of the Diário, the world big game fishing contest along with the winner takes all prize of $400,000 on Friday was won late on by a crew in Hawaii. Their Blue Marlin weighed in at 327kg, and overtook the Madeira local best catch of 302kg. I am no fisherman, but what a silly competition. Rich playboys in fancy boats pay huge amounts of money to catch giant fish, but the chance of winning is pure luck. Can they really call this sport?

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A follow up message from Dave who asked about the Easyjet London – Stansted route last week : “Nobody had any categorical information but as I sat here yesterday a thought occurred to me which may explain everything. I understand that later this year Easyjet will take over from TAP on the Madeira – Lisbon route. At the moment there are no flights from London Stansted to Lisbon, so it is entirely feasible that we will see a new route announced from Stansted to Lisbon with Stansted – Madeira being discontinued.”

I am not aware that Easyjet will take over the Lisbon to Madeira route Dave, as I assumed that they would both operate the same route in competition. Easyjet plans were for 2 daily flights, but TAP have more like 10 a day at present.

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I am so much looking forward to the return of our President Jardim from Venezuela today. It’s been a pretty poor standard of news whilst he has been away.

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5 thoughts on “Big rock fall, Deep safaris, Forest fires, Island cooperation, and other snippets”

  1. there is no online edition of the Diário today (Monday) so I will see if I can get an actual paper tonight, otherwise tomorrows blog may be quite late.
    –Der

    Reply
  2. Just been checking out the Easyjet flights to & from Stansted throughout December 2008 & January 2009 and very pleased to say that they still look to be frqueent and very reasonably priced.
    –Elaine

    Reply
  3. I have just checked EJ Stansted until March 09, and those are also available and reasonably priced, so it may be that your fears were unfounded Dave. Thanks Elaine
    –Der

    Reply
  4. There's a reduction in the number of flights from Stansted though – it has gone from every day to 4 a week. No sign of Gatwick flights yet, either.
    –Andrew

    Reply

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