Quick update 16th December – the escalators are now working once more.
I had a good look around town on Tuesday afternoon 15th December. It was more instructive to be there on a working day, rather than a Sunday. There is a lot of work now taking place in the flood damaged area.
Here the pictures I took – http://1drv.ms/1J9HR76
First and foremost the washed out road will soon be ready to have the surface laid down. All manner of machinery and a large number of men are working. Even some of the landscaping is being restored. I cannot properly estimate when it might be finished, but possibly only a few more days.
That would allow buses and taxis to once again use the small bus station area in Avenida da Liberdade,.
The road outside the Casa da Fonte restaurant, which was badly damaged, is now relaid. Inside Casa da Fonte, a concrete mixer was busy with various men working. They are supposed to be open again on 26th December.
Elsewhere in town, noises of drilling, hammering and sawing were all around. Several of the large bars and restaurants are being worked on. The Sipel supermarket near the Hotel Baltum is being re-fitted, as is the Fumos e Mitos bottle shop / off licence a few doors along. I saw a door open at the other supermarket, called Central supermarket, but couldn’t see what was going on inside. The Hotel Baltum itself was being worked on but they have already said that they will not open again until March 2016.
Various other places were washing furniture and cleaning up generally. There was outside and inside work at the big places around the square like Bravo and Buddy’s, but not at Bank restaurant or the one opposite so far as I could tell. Those on the other, slightly higher, side are open and have been for a couple of weeks. The square itself was a busy place with vehicles and men coming and going all over the place.
Along bar street some places are dark and looking as of they won’t open for a good while, if ever.
A small team was working on the damaged escalators. The control equipment and the chain pit at the bottom end was full of mud. A rather sad looking chap was cleaning it up.
The upper end of Avenida da Libedade, between the square and the bus stops and taxi area, is fully open for business except for just one or two places eg Shalom restaurant. You can buy all the tourist tat you wish !
It is now only about two weeks before they start to out up stages and stuff for New Year. I was told that various people had been down to the area with measuring equipment. Not tape measures these days, but laser rangefinders!