Saturday October 11, 2014
This afternoon Matt and I were out and about town during one of our ritual wanderings when we came across a celebration that had been set up just a few blocks inland from the marina. We weren’t really sure what it was for, but the fountain in the center of this park had a long string of multiple colored flowers streaming outward and above the center of the pavilion. Situated in the center were rows of picnic tables, and lining the outer walls were multiple booths ready to hand out a hot snack or a cold drink. For a price of course, they weren’t giving them out for free. Unfortunately.
Walking around the sheds we stopped long enough to listen to a little bit of very traditional Portuguese Folk Music being played upon the stage, as well as some very traditionally dressed people lining up in front of the stage in costume. We were hoping for some dancing on their part, but it looked as if they were only set to stand about and clap to the music. After they wandered away I was able to catch just enough of the Portuguese from the announcer that there would be more music and dancing that evening, with the main event beginning around 8:00. Since we had already spend a good portion of our day wandering the high hills of the city, we agreed that a nice siesta and dinner were in order, but we’d be back that night to check it out more.
While back at the boat I used our perk of being in a marina, wifi access, to try and research the festival a little more so we could fully appreciate it when we went back. Flipping through a few of my photos I saw a big banner that read ‘Casas do Povo da Maderia’. Searching that phrase alone I was shown a flood of links and clicked on a few, and after translating those pages, realized they were all for vacation homes in Madeira. So, was this similar to those time-share things people get suckered into back home? Listen to my two hour speech on why it would be the best decision of your life to rent a condo on the beach for two weeks in Jamaica and in return we’ll give you a dinner certificate? Is that what we’d just fallen into? Listen to our music and enjoy our food as we shove pamphlets in your face showcasing our best ocean front rentals? I doubt it.
So I turned to Google Translate. What this told me is the literal translation was ‘Madeira’s people’s homes’. Well, that didn’t help me out any. Back up plan of searching Funchal along with the date and see if that brought anything up. Nope. Whatever this celebration was, it was not being advertised. Although that didn’t mean that we’d enjoy it any less. Showing up fashionably late we made our way back around 8:30.
By this time the pavilion had become packed and we were lucky to find room to stand between a couple of the food stalls. It did put us front and center for the stage though, which helped me to get a few good shots and video when people weren’t wandering in front of my lens. The music was once again all in Portuguese and none of the American or British covers we experienced with the orchestra back in Ponta Delgada. It was fun, but without a good place to sit or stand, and constantly having to move out of the way for people to pass through, we eventually gave up on the night after about 30 minutes. It was still a good excuse to get off the boat though and see something a little different from the everyday norm.