Thursday, 19 May 2016


Part one of three:

1.Visit to Praia da Luz 
2. Smiths, Exton, SY and the e-fits 
3. Ask the dogs.... 

Entering  PdL:  as is often the case, roads leading into a place convey an air of neglect, this is the case with PdL but further towards the centre of the village the holiday flats and villas are neat and well maintained.  However, it is a very small place and the locations so often seen in the press seemed at least twice as large on  photographs as they actually are. Without exception, the distances given in ‘madeleine’ and even in ‘The truth of the lie’ (2 km from 5A to Millennium restaurant) are greatly exaggerated. 

It is abundantly clear however how very small the village is. How very much smaller even the church and the space in front of it is than it appears on the photographs. The church is extremely well kept - would seat around a hundred people. 
Right next to the church - separated by a low wall, is Chaplins, first in a row of several restaurants,  which takes one towards the boulevard, Av. dos Pescadores,  which has souvenir shops, various restaurants, ice-cream parlours and so on.   At the end of the boulevard one finds the ‘Paraiso’  restaurant, which is built on the beach. 
The beach is quite small and it is overlooked by anyone walking or sitting on the boulevard and from the houses and restaurants. It would be a popular area any evening so it’s highly unlikely that anything of import took place on such an exposed space. 
This part of PdL  looks  very pretty, like the standard tourist brochure showing palm trees, beach  and ocean. The Roman bath ruins are accessible from the boulevard and are  in my opinion of no interest regarding the disappearance of MBM. 

The Mark Warner complex -  block 5
Along all the apartments are walkways with low gates giving access to the ground floor apartments via the back gardens. 
The owners of 5A have had a security grille installed in front of the infamous shutters and access to the the garden from the road is now by a full-length gate rather than the original low gate. 
As an aside: it was the end of March and the bougainvillia was in full bloom, thus  making some 500 or so forum pages on horticultural issues redundant. 

(The Millennium now appears to be called the Mirage - It has just been helpfully pointed out elsewhere that it is now called the Mill.  see comments)
5 A to Millenium:  500 meters,  5- 6 minutes, mostly along the Rua de Ramalhete. I did it comfortably in 5 minutes. 
Although this is a busy road at peak times, it has pavements either side and carrying a child each would hardly be difficult as the McCs were often photographed carrying the twins. In any case one would expect some of the friends to have come along with them. 
The Millennium issue appears to be sensitive and there are statements from the staff who put the McCs at the restaurant every day for breakfast. (1) 
Chapter 4 ‘madeleine’ :
‘Afterwards we strolled over to the Millennium restaurant for dinner. The Mark Warner resorts the others had visited before had
been quite compact. The apartments and facilities in Praia da Luz were spread out around the village, which meant some of
them were ten minutes’ walk away. The restaurant turned out to be nearly half a mile from our base – a bit too far, really,
certainly for a gaggle of weary toddlers. [..]So there were many stops and negotiations about whose turn it was to be carried by whom.’
Chapter 4 ‘madeleine’:  [..]the next morning, Sunday 29 April, we woke up bright and early and feeling
refreshed. After a quick wash, we returned to the Millennium restaurant, where we joined our friends for breakfast, and then

took the children to their kids’ clubs. [..] Gerry had made a trip to Baptista, a supermarket a short distance from the Ocean Club on Rua Dr Gentil Martins, to get in afew bits and pieces for lunch, plus some cereal, to save us making the trek to the Millennium restaurant for breakfast each morning.

Just over half the distance given in ‘madeleine’ as half a mile is 800 meters. As for the ‘many stops and negotiations’  I was under the impression the parents of these ‘weary toddlers were fit and capable of running up   the a steep hill in record time?  Either they dined once 28/4 and breakfasted there only once 29/4, or they had a free breakfast every morning in the only facility the OC had for breakfast, moreover, cards were checked to see if the holder was entitled to a free breakfast and at least two employees are certain that the McCanns breakfasted there every day. 
5A to Baptista supermarket:   1 minute walk.  Just over  100 meters. 
The Baptista supermarket can be clearly seen on the right when exiting the garden gate of 5A. In fact the name is legible from that spot.  It is hardly an expedition as mentioned in ‘madeleine’. 
Chapter 3 ‘madeleine’: 
On the evening of Monday 30 April, I made my first foray to Baptista with Jane. We wanted to stock up on a few essentials as
the next day was a public holiday.
Apparently they made it home safely, seeing it was evening as well. In fact, looking at the map, the Baptista supermarket is very nearly part of the Ocean club complex, just south of the tennis courts. 
5A to the point where the Smiths met the ‘man with the child’.
Distance shortest way: Google gives 350 meters, 4 minutes, which agrees well with the time I took to walk the distance from 5A included  12 stops to take photographs. It took just five minutes walking at a normal pace and includes the time spent to take 12 photographs). 

It is also quite easy to start this walk using the walkway along the apartments which is separated from the car park by a low wall, mount a few steps to the carpark of the next block of flats  then cross at  the junction of the Rua  de Agostino da Silva and the Rua de 1e Maio. After a few meters turn right into what is already called the Rua da Escola Primeria , along the dog-leg of the rough terrain on the left, which is surrounded by a high fence with gates on one  side. Then into the short and narrow part of  Rua da Escola Primeria which ends at the Rua 25 de Abril, From there there are choices: 

1: Cross the Rua 25 de Abril,  go down the first set of steps,  turn right into Rua das Salgadeiras and right again into Rua da Fountainhas, cross the Rua 25 Abril again and  this will bring you into to Rua Lia Maria Pacheco which, if you turn right out of it, will bring you out to the top of the area of rough land,  which is just 2 -3 minutes walk  from 5A. 

2: Or  cross the Rua 25 de Abril, go down second set of steps and you will have the Dolphins restaurant directly on your right, some 40 meters down on the left is Kelly’s bar, (which had a few tables outside) and diagonally opposite a pub/restaurant called The Bull. 

3:  Or turn  immediately right into the Rua 25 de Abril and right again into the Rua Lia Maria Pacheco, turn first  right again  to arrive at the top of the rough terrain – 2-3 minutes to 5A. 
4:  If one chooses to descend both sets of steps, then you have the Dolphins restaurant on your right and you have  two choices: back up to towards 5A via the Rua da Fountainhas (right and right again) or carry on and go west on de Rua da Calheta which immediately takes you into a quiet residential area. 

Rua da Escola Primeria  is a sort of T-shape, its right arm  forms the junction with the Rua 1e Maio, the  left arm (west)  leads to the Rua Lia Maria Pacheco. 

It can be seen that there are quiet streets mainly on the southwest side of the Rua da Escola Primeria and the Rua 25 de Abril. Going down the last set of stairs one is almost certain to meet  people who are either coming from or going to one of the three restaurant/bars. However, the route described here is the shortest and except when approaching the Rua 25 Abril, it can be seen that it is a very quiet area. 

Returning to 5A from all the points mentioned above could very easily be done within ten to fifteen  minutes, even when one has gone  a good way down the Rua da Calheta.

Chapter 21 ‘madeleine’
The police did not appear to feel that Jane’s sighting in Rua Dr Agostinho da Silva and the man and child reported by the Irish holidaymakers in Rua da Escola Primária were related. They seem to have concluded that these were in all likelihood two
different men carrying two different children (if, they implied, these two men actually existed at all). The only reason for their scepticism appeared to be an unexplained time lapse between the two sightings. They didn’t dovetail perfectly. To me the
similarities seem far more significant than any discrepancy in timing.

From Pat Brown’s blog:
But, could he have made it to the location of the Smith sighting and back in time? Before I went to Praia da Luz I was told by some the idea was laughable, that the Smith sighting was quite a distance from the Tapas - half a mile is what the McCanns claim in their documentary, Madeleine was Here.

“Voice over: It is possible that JT is not the only person who saw Madeleine being carried away by the abductor. 40 minutes after J(T)’s sighting and half (1/2) mile away from the Mc’s apartment a family also saw a man carrying a young girl away from the town.’

We get a very precise time linked to that of Jane Tanner’s sighting: 21.15 plus 40 minutes makes it 21.55. Gerry is accounted for by his friends at the Tapas, all that time he was at the table, that is according to most of them - although by the 11th July David Payne, Fiona Payne and Dianne Webster appear to have had one of those improved memory moments as attested by the rogatory interviews. (2) 
Gerry’s blog entry for the 11th July 2007  is rather interesting in that respect. (3) 

The centre of Praia da Luz. 

Just after crossing Rua  de1e Maio

Towards the school on te right

Towards the short narrow part of the road
Approximate meeting point. Stairs straight ahead.

Down two sets of steps -  Kelly's Bar on the left

Turn right by Dolphin restaurant. Rua da Calheta looking west .

Nelson Luis Da Silva Rodríguez

Date: 08-05 – 2007, Lagos.

works in the bar of the Millenium Restaurant

He works fixed hours from 16.00 to 24.00. He has one day a week off which is Tuesday. He has heard about the disappearance of an English girl who was staying in the apartments near to the Tapas bar.

He only works in the Millenium Restaurant and as this English family arrived on a Saturday, a day when the Tapas Bar does not serve dinner, they dined at the Millenium. It was a large group composed of 17 persons, 8 adults and nine children or vice versa.

He has seen photographs of little Madeleine but he cannot identify her within the group of children she was with. The dinner went normally and he thinks that they arrived very early for dinner. 

He does not think that this group returned to the Millenium restaurant except for breakfast during the morning shift and that he knows from colleagues that the group appeared daily.

He heard about the child’s disappearance on Thursday night. Shortly after he heard the news, a Mark Warner tennis instructor arrived at the Millenium and they went to search for the child together by the swimming pool and tennis courts. 

Cecilia Paula Dias Firmino do Carmo
Date/Time: 2007/05/06 22H00
Public Relations

States that her function is to receive guests at the entrance to the restaurant “Millenium” and verifies if they have to pay for breakfast or if is in included in their holiday package;

• Her hours of work are from 07H00 to 12H00, Tuesday through Saturday; 

• Clarifies that she only attends breakfast clients, with the exception of Wednesdays, when the restaurant hosts a “BBQ night”, and where she works from 18H00 to 22H00, receiving dinner guests; 

• Notes that in her line of work, she knows almost all of the “Ocean Club” guests and that almost all of them frequent the Millenium restaurant since it is the only establishment that serves breakfast; 

Knows the McCann family, made up of the parents, a daughter (missing Madeleine) and the twins; 

The witness received the McCanns for breakfast on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and is unaware if they ate there on Sunday or Monday since the witness was off work those days; 

Clarifies that breakfast is served between 08H00 and 10H00 and that the McCanns usually arrived between 08H00 and 09H00; 

• Affirms that the McCanns appeared to her a normal family, where all elements of said family had a good relationship between each other. That Madeleine appeared to be very tied to her father, as she was also close to him. 

As part of her function, she needs to get involved with the children and noticed that Madeleine appeared very timid, and did not answer the witness. She also clarifies that her last sighting of the clients in the Millenium was at the entrance of said establishment as she did not look towards the tables or the buffet zone.

(2) From:    Source: 24 Horas  6th June 2008

Friends are the PJ trumps. 
In a secret visit to Portugal, three persons who had dinner at the Tapas Bar shattered the McCanns and Jane Tanner versions 

Fiona Payne, her mother Dianne Webster, and the husband David Payne. Are the main trumps of the Public Ministry that will lead the parents of Madeleine McCann, the missing girl, on the 3rd of May of 2007, from an apartment in Praia da Luz, Algarve, to be accused of the crimes of exposition and abandonment since they left the girl alone in that critical night. It is a crime that is punishable up to ten years of prison and allows the respective preventive arrests, like 24horas announced last week.

These three witnesses returned to Portugal, on the 11th of July of 2007, in a travel paid by the Portuguese State, and where accommodated in a hotel unity of Portimão. They were still questioned by Gonçalo Amaral’s team, the superior coordinator who was removed from the case, and they contradicted the McCann’s version regarding to what went on in the night of the disappearance.

Remember that Kate, Gerry and the other two couples with whom they had dinner, assured that they were taking turns in the vigilance to the children. A fact that was contradicted to the authorities in the above-mentioned secret travel by Fiona Payne and that had already been put in question in two previous statements, given on the days that followed to Maddie's disappearance, by her mother and her husband.

Jane Tanner Contradicted
“ Fiona Payne gave three statements to the authorities, as well as Matthew Oldfield and his companion, Rachel. Dianne Webster statement [Fiona's mother] was very solid and there was no need of questioning her again”, revealed to 24horas a judicial person in charge connected with the process. In accordance to the same source, “other persons who had dinner with the McCanns - Jane Tanner, her companion, Russell O'Brien, Matthew Oldfield and his wife, Rachel – gave contradictory statements”. And the judicial person in charge exemplifies: Jane Tanner always said that she went out from the restaurant to see her oldest daughter. Fiona, David and Dianne guaranteed to the PJ that she never left the restaurant before the alarm was given by Kate. This information was corroborated by several workers of the Tapas Bar restaurant”. These witnesses also stated that Gerry McCann did not even go to check on the children, when he went away of the restaurant, and that he only stayed at the apartment of Praia da Luz entrance.

(3) Gerry’s blog 11 Jul 2007:
This morning got off to a bad start when we were called, even before the twins were awake, by a reputable press agency saying that a body had been found and asking if it was true. It is very disappointing that this person did not check out the source of this rumour before contacting our representatives. Such calls and rumours are distressing even though we know if it does not come through an official source not to place much emphasis on it. 
The Portuguese police interviewed three of our friends again today, to clarify points in their initial statements. As most of you will know, there is a lot of misleading information being published, both in the press and on the internet, about the events leading up to Madeleine's disappearance and the criminal investigation. We would like to give more information, especially about inaccurate and hurtful reports, but cannot for fear of prejudicing any subsequent court proceedings. The Portuguese police have made it clear to us that all witnesses should not divulge or discuss the information they have provided. Kate and I are, of course not party to all of the information coming into the inquiry for sound operational reasons. 


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Comment on Millenium is now called the Mill.
    If one looks at this is correct. However, the building immediately on the right comes up as Mirage on Googlemaps and it had Mirage painted in large letters on the front. It is right opposite the tennis courts which can be seen on google. The area between the Mirage and the tennis courts appears to be a parking space which may be shared by the OC and Mirage. It was closed on the 26th March (2016 since that appeared to be unclear to the poster) and all Ocean Club premises are inaccessible to non-members. This is also the case with what used to be the Tapas reception area but is now called the garden club. Always happy to correct misinformation - even though as I could not be 100% sure, I specifically stated it appeared to be the case. In any case it is not relevant to the distance measured.
    So many thanks to Elsa Craig who can now go back home and keep at least one of those feet warm.

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  7. Please go to sleep. Also- there is no carpark in the entrance hall of G5 - or 5G as the case may be.

  8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.