For those who visit us, you know that one of the most sought after places is the Church of the Monte, situated on the hill, near the famous Monte Palace Garden.
It is one of the places that Travel Agencies / Tour Operators ask if they can go with people with reduced mobility / handicap and of course our customers.
For those who come on the cruise ship, you simply have to cross the entire street of Avenida Do Mar, it is not complicated, since it is all flat with about 1.200 M, for a manual chair , it will be a bit of a pull, but those who use electric equipment, do it well, without major problems.
Arriving at the cable car, Madeira Cable Car, we buy the ticket, the cabin stops completely, we enter with the wheelchair, of course if it is a scooter, we will probably do some manoeuvres, if the chair is not too big, there is always room for one more person inside the cabin of the cable car.
And off we go, a 15 to 20m ride, enjoying the views over Funchal.
Arriving at Monte the procedure is the same.
But here the problems begin. To visit the Monte Palace Garden, the famous basket cars and the church of Monte, we go on a stone path, a good chair, with suspension, will dampen the vibration of the pavement, but as this path is occupied by parked cars and we share the space with the passing cars, forces the chairs to go in the same place as the cars, becoming a little dangerous.
After these obstacles we arrived at the Monte Palace Garden, it was not possible to test it with my equipment as we were forbidden to enter.
But I have already done this garden, it becomes tiring (4 hours of time), because there are many ups and downs, steps, so it is not a place that a person can do, it is possible, if you go with an electric equipment again, but it is not accessible and it will become very tiring.
Of course if you don’t want to visit, you have the garden restaurant and you can wait for your relatives.
I still don’t understand why they say it is accessible.
Continuing straight ahead towards the church on the hill, when I was there I realized that you can’t visit, it’s full of steps and even with other access paths, the pavement is all uneven because of the trees.
Although who knows it is possible to make a ramp on the steps.
So, we can consider that it is not accessible.
One of the places that promotes our island, is not accessible.
Continuing our visit, all that is missing is our ex libris, the basket trolleys, speeding down the road.
Not to say that a person in a wheelchair, can’t do it, but it raises several questions for me here, for those who will read this REVIEW.
If you have to transfer between the client’s equipment and the basket trolley, who is going to do it? The customer, the family members, often there are only two people, the carreiros (the people who drive the basket trolleys), there is no support equipment.
Even if you put the customer in the basket, if he has a manual chair, or even an electric chair and has gone up by cable car, where will he take the chair, in the basket, these are simple questions for us ….
If it’s us, we wait at the fountain square and bring the equipment back.
Then at the exit, from the basket trolleys, after going down that hallucinating trip, we have another problem, for a small car it is easy to stop there, but for a big van or even a bus it becomes more difficult, it is not easy to guarantee everybody’s safety.
The only existing one is in the area where the equipment of the carreiros stops and stays.
This is just to say that it is not always easy to deal with accessibility, what often worries me is that we sell to the external market without understanding the impact this has on people.
It’s easy to say that everything is accessible, it’s easy to make a video saying come on, the real problems start here.
In that area the only adapted toilet was in the cable car station, I didn’t see another one in that place, there might even be one inside a restaurant, but I didn’t see one.
If we go down in the basket cars, at the arrival there is 1 adapted toilet.
A bad experience is often enough for people not to return.