The Atlantic Island of Porto Santo.
12th July 07.
What a smashing little island Porto Santo is. Overshadowed by Madeira it might be but, if that's so, then why do the Madeirans holiday here?
Walking off the pontoons brings you to the harbour
wall; it is about one kilometre long and totally covered in yotty artworks. I groaned
as Janet said, "we'll have to do one for Ruby Tuesday, it will look rather nice".
During the evening we played with a few simple designs on the computer and finally
chose this one, so for the next 3 mornings I was up a ladder with brush and paint
in hand. The result is as you can see. Not bad eh?
We were lucky to be on the island for the conclusion of one week of festivities for São João. On the Saturday it was a carnival processions which dominated. Groups of up to 100 people would depict a scene from Porto Santo's past, in which they would sing and act as they paraded through the town. It really was stirring stuff as about 12 such groups paraded, and no expense seemed to have been spared on costumes and props.
On the Sunday evening it was Fado time and at midnight the Latino band would perform. Prior to this we dined in the square, eating what seemed to be a traditional pork casserole, err, in a sandwich.
The Fado also seems to be a traditional Portuguese evenings entertainment. We had 6 singers who each individually sang 10 songs and the crowd seemed to know them all. Then at about 0030 the Latino band kicked off. They were really good, excellent musicians and a great (albeit not so young) singer. We tapped our feet and danced until 0300, that's how good they were.
Mid week we took the "Round the island bus tour" as it seemed the best way to see a bit of everything and generally orientate us. The bus was like a single decker open top, but acted like a Land Rover. It had a manic driver who hurtled round blind bends and up and down steep hills, and occasionally along gravel tracks also at great speeds without a care in the world. All this was despite meeting trucks carrying cement on one particular narrow section.
Every 20 minutes or so we would stop at cafes, toilets or view-points. At each stop we would be advised when the bus would leave. He never counted heads, he just looked round, smiled, started the engine and drove off. No one was late in boarding.
Here are some lofty views including one of Janet with sprained wrist
The beach is superb, its 8Km long without interruption and as the prevailing winds come off the land the sea is usually flat. This photo is looking East towards the port where the ferry can just be seen.