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Another scare in Jardim do Mar ; Calheta guide ; Lomelino Silva, the Portuguese Caruso

Today’s photo – Many thanks to Tom … "Magnolias are blooming on Monte means Spring is in the air".

madeira news blog 1002 tom magnolias are blooming on monte means spring is in the air

Many thanks to Elaine (East) for these web snippets / videos :

Cruising the Mediterranean (1933). 38 minutes in total, the first 8 minutes are relevant to Madeira. Keywords:S.S. Columbus, boys diving for coins, oxen drawn sleds, digging paving stones for street, laying stones, pounding, Madeira wine barrel on sled, man herding pigs in street, carrying wicker chairs, fish market, eels (Espada), removing skin on rough stone, live turtle (sold for food), flower seller, embroidery, carrying sled up stairs, sleds career down stone mountain road. HERE

Madeira. Description of the island in the 1920s. 4 minutes long silent clip. Keywords: Ox drawn sleds used for tourists, man passes a greased rag under runners, tourists ride in wicker basket sleds down stone path from Terreira da Luta. Two women sit on ground spinning yarn. Sled goes down stone path while two women wash clothes in gutter, old woman with crutch sits in chair next to young woman doing embroidery, two old men (twins?) with beards wearing pointed knitted hats sit on bench, young man making wicker chair. HERE

Many thanks to Becky for this video :

Lomelino Silva, (1892-1967) born in Funchal in Rua das Maravilhas, in the Parish of São Pedro on the 26th December 1892 on the Portuguese island of Madeira. He is known as the Portuguese Caruso. His singing talent was discovered when he was a youth whilst performing in the Teatro Municipal Baltazar Dias in Funchal.

And to Elaine out West, for this news article from yesterday’s Diário de Notícias :

Another scare in Jardim do Mar.  New rockfall on the road connecting to Estreito da Calheta. More stones have fallen on the link road between Estreito da Calheta and Jardim do Mar. After a week with traffic stopped due to the storm that devastated this area, yesterday a further rockfall fell on this part of the road and only by chance were a family spared who were travelling on it. Given the pile of stones on the road, some of considerable size, the driver of the car was forced to brake in order to avoid the large covering of rocks. His tyre marks were visible on the asphalt.

In recent days the sun has returned. Now, the population of Jardim do Mar and Paul do Mar fear that the heat will open new cracks in some parts of the escarpment. The DIÁRIO knows that the link road to Jardim do Mar is on file as part of the survey that the Department of Infrastructure is conducting regarding the damage caused by the storm on 20 February.


The perils of leaving Calheta by boat before ‘rampas’ slipways or marinas were constructed

Know Calheta, Madeira History. Calheta, now with a population of 12,000 was one of the first areas in Madeira to be farmed. Its capital Calheta Town is about 31 kilometres from Funchal about 40-45 minutes drive time. As the Tourism website puts it “The municipality was once linked to the primary sector, and “industry” used to be important in the region.” There were once as many as eight sugar cane processing factories, though only one of them ‘Engenhos da Calheta’ is still operating today. With its museum with guided tours, shop and café its well worth a visit. Its about half-way up the hill from the Marina: WEBSITE

Photo : Engenhos da Calheta.

Calheta’s ocean front has been refurbished with the construction of a marina with white sand beaches next to it surrounded by spacious gardens.

The Parishes of Paul do Mar and Jardim do Mar. Two of its parishes, Paul do Mar and Jardim do Mar, challenge surfers to ride their spectacular waves. These surfing spots are nicknamed ‘Europe’s Hawaii’ and are considered among some of the best surfspots in Europe. Both villages, surfing beaches were venues for the World Surfing Championships in 2001. There are several restaurants in both these fishing villages, which of course specialise in fish dishes.


Photo :  the award-winning eco-hotel Hotel Jardim Atlântico

Prazeres is a historic agriculture market village with a 17th century church perched on Calheta’s mountains Atlantic Ocean views. It’s a mountain and levada (water canal) walking paradise with its proximity to some of the most popular walks on the island such as Levada Nova and the Prazeres to Paul do Mar walk which starts from the award-winning eco-hotel Hotel Jardim Atlântico.

“The atmosphere in Prazeres is of one incomparable peace and charm, where time stands still and no-one is ever in a hurry.”

Paul da Serra & the famous Rabaçal levada walk. From Calheta you can go up to Paul da Serra a 1,500-metre-high plateau, where there is a view of both Madeira’s coasts. You can get to from Rabaçal from there. Here the untouched UNESCO Laurissilva forest covers the mountains with a green mantle.

You can start out from Rabaçal to walk along some of the most beautiful, impressive paths into the depths of the island, until you find yourself surrounded by the Laurissilva Forest.

The Miradouros of Fonte do Bispo and the Farol (lighthouse) da Ponta do Pargo. “This belvedere is on the Paul da Serra plateau and nature lovers will feel the sensation of being enveloped by the exuberant vegetation of the Laurissilva Forest.”

“This belvedere is at the island’s westernmost point and from here we can see the rugged landscape from the lighthouse to Sítio das Achadas da Cruz.”

World class art in Calheta: Casa das Mudas Art Centre & Prazeres Art Gallery. The award-winning ‘Casa das Mudas’ art centre in Calheta is divided into two parts, a mansion built in the 16th century that belonged to a granddaughter of João Gonçalves Zarco, the discoverer of Madeira, and a new, modern wing that blends in perfectly with the surrounding scenery.

This cultural centre built into the cliff with spectacular views of the countryside and the Ocean houses presents exhibitions, musical performances, plays, conferences and many other events. The Centre has run exhibitions displaying the works of artists such as Francis Bacon, David Salle, Eric Fischl, Picasso and Dali.

Photo :  view of Calheta beaches & marina from Casa das Mudas Art Centre.

The new Prazeres Art Gallery part of ‘the Quinta Pedagogica’ complex which includes a small zoo and tea and cider houses run by the local priest is behind Prazeres Church. In early 2010 it displayed works of the world famous Portuguese artist ‘Paula Rego’.

A Tourist Guide to Calheta in English including recommended swimming areas such as Calheta’s white sandy beaches and the slipway (‘the rampa’ at Paul do Mar) is available on Calheta’s Town Hall website: HERE

The source and inspiration for Paul’s article was this page on Calheta on the official Tourism website: HERE Thanks a lot Paul, that should bring the money rolling in!

Many thanks to Elaine once again for yesterday’s top news stories :

DIÁRIO 08/03/2010


Courts give 14 cars to the region in 2009. Since 2007, goods seized by the courts have been given to RAM. They have confiscated 23 vehicles (17 cars, 6 motorcycles), 1,340.40 Euros, seven items of gold and many obsolete mobile phones. 5 of the cars were destroyed, 2 were assigned to the government, 4 sold at auction and the other 12 are awaiting disposal. The gold items will be sold at auction. Any clothing is given to institutions and other items are given to government departments. The ship Blaus VII was caught in Madeiran seas carrying 1,500 kilos of cocaine in February 2007. The Portuguese Navy is temporarily using this ship for training cadets although it belongs to the Region.

Old bridge being demolished. Update on a previous report that the century-old bridge at Ribeira Brava has to be replaced. Last Friday, the demolition of this two-support bridge began and should be finished by the end of the week. It will be replaced by a pedestrian bridge which will connect both banks without any contact with the stream. This is because in the recent flooding, the surrounding ‘downtown’ areas of Ribeira Brava were flooded as the debris was obstructed by the supporting pillars.


Port loses tourists from cruise ships and ferries.  The Port of Funchal maintained its leadership as the port most visited by cruise ships. Until the end of the first two months of this year, 40 ships called bringing 79,336 passengers, a decrease of 3.1% over 2009. In February, when 6 ships cancelled with a loss of 13,000 tourists, the port still received 32,476 tourists. In January, there were 25 ships with 46,860 tourists. The Spanish ferry connecting Funchal to the Canary Islands and Portimão transported 18.9% more passengers than in 2009. The increase was due to ferrying 2,276 passengers to Portimão and 1,130 passengers to the Canary Islands. The Porto Santo Line carried 6,773 passengers or 21.8% fewer passengers to Porto Santo. In summary, during the first two months of this year, there were 4.2% fewer passengers, justified by the decrease of 2,497 tourists from cruise ships, 1,879 fewer on the Lobo Marinho, offset by an increase of 542 carried on the ‘Volcan de Tijarafe’.

IRS declaration. Deadline for paper-based declarations for Class A (dependent) and Class H (pensions) is 15 March. For declaration by the Internet, the period is March 10 – April 15.


Solidarity Fund will only come after summer.  The European Commissioner for regional policy, Johannes Hahn, warned yesterday that Madeira should rely on funding from the EU Solidarity Fund for reconstruction work not arriving until after summer, due to formal procedures that must be met. The Regional Government and the Government of the Republic must work together. They must make an estimate of the cost of the damage and submit it to the EU which will work as quickly as possible. This in fact, in Brussels terms, means months. The decision of the Commission for support from the Fund requires consultation and approval of the European Parliament and the European Council. Hahn admits that support might not even come this year. It depends on when the application is formalized. It is possible for Portugal to redirect some structural and cohesion funds. There are other funds for rebuilding infrastructure which will be discussed.


Caritas speaks of "tsunami of solidarity". After 20th February flood, there have been more than a thousand new volunteers. The charity does not want any more donations of food as the warehouse is full. Furniture and household equipment are urgently needed. To support the victims of the storm involves huge logistics. The social work part of the operation involves Social Security, Caritas and the Army working together flawlessly. The accountancy firm Madeira Management has donated 10,000 Euros to Caritas. According to a teacher I spoke to yesterday, this is a load of cobblers, because the charity doesn’t look outside of Funchal … but there again yet again perhaps I am using a tragedy for political point scoring? Der. 


Do you believe the dispute between the Republic and the Region is resolved?

Yes     19% All short-termism politicians voted here I reckon, but I hope they are right. Der

No       50%

Maybe 31%

Today’s news headlines from the front page of the Diário de Notícias :

Weather forecasting platform was suggested 7 years ago – Madeira didn’t take on the project that would allow with some detail, and with 48 hours advance warning, would inform on the conditions of the state of the weather.

Inerts go to Carreiras – Funchal Council stands away from the politics of the temporary landfill sites of the Regional Government. Funchal Câmara is going to take out all the inert materials (sand, stone, mud etc.) from the site at Praia Formosa, and move it to licensed site at Carreiras, with the responsible councillor Costa Neves saying that it is "time to learn lessons for the future". "We make a point of not dumping debris and sludge into the sea and we maintain this practice", said the Environmental Spokesman for CMF. Is that responsible environmental policy by CMF, or passing the buck I wonder, as the GR has no problems with dumping muck in the sea?

Today’s main news headline : Disney comes to liven up the Flower Festival – The cruise ship of ‘Disney Cruises’ will dock in Funchal and offload characters that will mark their presence on the event. The presence of Mickey and company guarantees publicity for Madeira on a world scale at a decisive time. ‘Disney Magic’ is due to make it’s debut docking in Funchal on 18th April, the day of the cortejo (parade) of the Flower Festival, bringing the Disney’s most charismatic character Mickey Mouse and friends. Tourism haven’t confirmed the information obtained by the Diário, but they believe that the cruise visit was arranged so the passengers would be able to enjoy the Flower Festival, with a longish stop-off of almost 9 hours.

The big picture on the left : Majority of the prize-winners have not yet premiered on Madeira. Looks like there was an Oscar awards ceremony or something like that.

The main sports headline today : Tourism doesn’t take advantage of Bernardo Sousa. Bernardo Sousa is available to promote Madeira in international and national rally  competitions. It just needs those responsible to contact him. BS won the rally in Portugal last weekend, and I think someone is dropping a hint that there is an opportunity being missed here. 

Nacional defeated (0 – 2) in Guimarães gets further away from a European placing.

World Cup Football : Get to find out the biggest thrashings of all time.

If anyone else can oblige with the translation of any of the ‘blank’ or sparsely filled headlines, or other news stories, here is the link. All contributions much appreciated. 

Did anyone see that special programme on the Madeira disaster last night on TVI? They kept a reporting team out in the field, visiting the worst affected areas, and families that had suffered badly. It’s easy to get the impression that things are returning to normal, and in downtown Funchal and Ribeira Brava town the clean up does give that impression. But out in many of the parts that don’t make the headlines, the situation is still horrible to see, with people trying to clean up and rebuild things that are just not cleanable or rebuildable in the normal sense of those words, not in weeks or even months, and certainly not without money. It’s extremely important to revive tourism here of course, and those areas are being given priority attention, but as many local people are saying it is at the expense of help for people who needed help over two weeks ago, and still do today. I suppose I will be accused again of political point scoring on the back of a tragedy, but I don’t really care, as long as people don’t get the impression that things are hunky dory for all, and a broom and hosepipe is all that’s needed to return to normal. I didn’t think I could be shocked any more after what I have seen since the 20th February … I was wrong as I found out last night.

I have been asked if it is possible to send a cheque to help orphan Feliz Abreu. It is now. With some help, he now has his own bank account. You can send a Euro cheque to Feliz at his school, made payable to ‘José Feliz Silva Abreu’. If you can please send them to one of the teachers who is helping, as I think it might be safer :

Professora Magda Borges. Escola Secundária Padre Manuel Álvares. Rua São Francisco , 9350-211 RIBEIRA BRAVA. Madeira

Transfers direct to Feliz’s account by NIB are also now possible : NIB 0038 0000 3867 5021 771 17.

If you can, please contribute something Madeira related. A funny story or good or bad experience, a news item, or a story from a Madeira newspaper, a photo or video, a teaser, news of a bargain flight or item in a supermarket. Please help keep this blog going … without user contributions it won’t survive. Please don’t send in automatic translations (like Google translator) without checking them through and correcting them first, thanks.

You can email blog@madeira4u.com with any large contributions and other material.


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