Mercado dos Lavradores

The old town area of Funchal in Madeira has a busy market that takes place on most week days but the Fridays are busiest when farmers and fisherman make the journey to the market to sell their produce. Following on from the pictures in a previous post on Room2850 showing the Tuna arriving on fishing boats into the port of Canical on the south eastern side of the island this set shows the Tuna arriving at market and being weighed, gutted and prepared for sale in the market. Along with the Tuna is another specialty of Madeira, the Black Scabbard, an ugly eel like fish that lives in the deep waters around the island but which, one you get past the stunning good looks, has a really nice white meat flavour.


Canical – When the boat comes in

Canical is situated on the South Eastern coastline of Madeira. Once famous for its whale fishing fleet until 1981 when whaling was banned it remains a thriving fishing port.

One of the main catches from the larger boats that put out to sea from this port is Atlantic Tuna.

This vessel had just returned from a fishing trip and was unloading her catch which would be taken to the port-side refrigeration factory where the fish would either be bought by local restaurants and hotels as well as being prepared for export to mainland Portugal and elsewhere.

As in other coastal communities the successful return of one of the fleet brings locals down to the harbour to chat to the returning crew and to see the catch with some being able to get hold of one of the Tuna to take away with them.

Which is probably about as fresh as you can get it!











The Monte Sledges on the archipelago of Madeira are traditionally made of wicker and whilst gravity provides the momentum they are assisted and controlled during their descent by two sledge drivers called “Carreiros”.

Originally used by the people living in the village of Monte as a means of quick transportation into the capital Funchal, the Monte Sledges first appeared in 1850 and are still used to this day attracting thousands of tourists every year.

The Sledge drivers dress in their traditional clothing that consists of white cotton clothes and a hat made of straw. They also use rubber soled boots so that they are able stop the sledge when necessary as it glides down the hill. The wooden runners on the sledges frequently smell of burning caused by the friction of sliding down the tarmac covered roads as they speed towards the bottom of the hill.



A “Carreiro” sits in the shade on wicker toboggans


A “Carreiro” enjoys a beer in a local bar during a break


“Carreiros” enjoy a beer in a local bar between runs down the hill


A “Carreiro” stands in a doorway in the village of Monte


“Carreiros”prepare their toboggans at the top of the hill in Monte


The toboggan drivers, known as “Carreiros” walk to work in the village of Monte


A Monte toboggan slides down the hill towards the capital Funchal controlled by the “Carreiros”