Ocean Club, Tapas, Millenium Restaurant, Kid’s Club, Baptista Supermarket and Paraíso Bar, are names that have become too familiar due to Maddie’s tragedy.
As was the name of a little Portuguese fishing village, Praia da Luz, that has even achieved the rare notorious status of an acronym: PdL or PDL.
The only other two that come to mind are NY, and LA.
Today, as in 2007, fishing is no longer the village’s main activity. Its tourism and ONE main attraction: the beach.
It’s privileged to be located near Lagos, a city where all can be found, but sufficiently detached so that it’s not minimally affected by it.
Ocean Club, Tapas, Millenium Restaurant, Kid’s Club, Baptista Supermarket and Paraíso Bar, seem to be the ONLY locations, in PdL, known to the Tapas Party during their whole vacation.
At least they are the only one’s mentioned by the group when referring to anything before “Maddie”.
After that, the only other location they seemed to have learned is the PdL Church.
It even seems that the whole Tapas Party was confined to the grounds of the Ocean Club, quarantined due to some sick and strange disease.
Allowed only to an occasional escape to beach…
To which, unlike the other children, Maddie was taken by her father only once, and had the bad luck of having that sole fatherly visit spoiled by clouds.
Of all the names mentioned, only Paraíso Bar and the Baptista Supermarket are outside the facilities.
And the latter was to buy food to eat inside the apartment.
Other places mentioned, are included in “Ocean Club”: the tennis Courts and the famous Apartment 5A.
It seems that only AFTER Maddie was “abducted” that the McCanns & friends found the courage to venture “outside”.
But not even on the night the abductor took her.
That night they stayed indoors. Just to be safe.
The McCanns say they arrived on Saturday, 28th, at 14.30; the others, before them.
Plenty of daylight left. So what did they do? Go to the beach? Walk around and check out the surroundings, see a little of the little town they were going to spend their holiday?
At least, that is what I would do. I would check-in, just place the luggage in the apartment without unpacking, and take hubby and the kids to see the Ocean Club, the village and the beach.
And if all hurried, put on the bathing suits and head for the beach.
After all, holidays are al about novelty, aren’t they? But, that’s me. Yes, I know I’m weird.
So, for me, if you’ve arrived at 14:30 on a sunny day at PdL, by 15:00 you’re on the beach. Maybe not in a bathing suit, but certainly you’ve walked and checked where it was in relation to the hotel, what is the best path to get there, etc...
Naturally, if you’re new in town, you want to know the town. But the McCanns, on that first day, checked-in, unpacked THOUROUGHLY, and then went to the Tapas Bar (how they would just loooooove that place…) to hear a lecture about all the activities; and would you believe it, when it was over, it was dinner time.
Time flies when you’re listening to a lecture, everyone knows that.
For hours on ALL the activities for the forthcoming days. For hours.
All they wanted to hear about was tennis and… well, tennis.
Was there any other activity? You know, tennis is that unknown and complex sport that has so many interesting details that require hours to explain, and then hours to listen to.
Very, very interesting stuff. You have the service, the backhand, the grass, which makes tennis faster, then you have…
No, too, too complex, it would take me hours to explain.
Seriously. Ask the McCanns.
So, naturally, they were surprised that it’s was already dinner time.
So you’re on holiday and it’s your first meal out, what do you do?
If you take a poll at hotel receptions to what is the most often asked question after a check-in, you’ll get 50% stating that it’s “do you know any good restaurants around?” and the other 50% that it’s “which restaurants nearby do you recommend?”
I’m obviously exaggerating. They’re also asked, although not as frequently, “what is interesting around here to visit/go?” and “where is the most lively area around?”.
If you take another poll, this time to hotel customers about what is the expected reaction to the most frequent asked question, you’ll get a 100% answer which is what anyone who has walked into a hotel has already experienced: the receptionist whisks up a photocopy of the town/city map, proceeds to scribble, mechanically, and circles around various spots.
Usually in ink, so it ruins the paper, and none of the circles fall at the hotel they’re working at.
Oh, and I’m forgetting, they were in a restaurant!
The Tapas. One they were to use so, so often.
But, unfortunately, it was closed for dinner. Closed on a Saturday.
On a Saturday, I repeat, in an activity and location that lives off tourism.
But closed is closed, you can’t do anything about it.
That can only mean one thing, and one thing only: lack of clients. And that, in turn, means that they go somewhere else...
Apparently nobody at the Ocean Club would recommend a restaurant other than the Millenium.
About a 500 metres walk, so we can only assume that there was no other near, or most likely, the only one open that night.
Well PdL is not Manhattan, we know that. But it’s not Radiator Springs, a single Avenue town.
Let’s first understand the distances we’re talking about, with this picture with concentric 100 metre circles around Apartment 5A:
Easily, you can see that ANYTHING is available to Apartment 5A, in 500 metres or less. Most, under 400 meters. Four football pitches. Less than from Piccadilly Circle to Trafalgar Square:
The whole area is around 1,000 square metres, even less. Why go to the Millenium?
Because, say you, The Tapas was closed.
Then, say I, was there any particular reason to choose the Millenium specifically?
Say thee, it was the nearest and the only restaurant open that Saturday. And I say:
Wow, that's a lot of restaurants for such a small place!
Pubs, Bars, Cafes, Takeaways, it's all there.
And the Millenium Restaurant doesn’t even appear on the map!.
It’s near, or as per Jane Tanner’s statement, where Mirage Restaurant (d) is, right there, all alone, on the top-right hand corner of the map.
Does it make sense any at all, in a beach town, to head Northeast, to the farthest restaurant of all, when most of the restaurants are in the exact opposite side?
I had a hard time finding the thing. You try and google it. Even asked for help from the readers. This is the only thing I found with the location of the Millenium Restaurant:
It’s like booking a hotel in Las Vegas and heading, on foot, for the desert for dinner, without as so much getting a single glance at any of the neon…
Ok, so after one fascinating lecture, you were directed to eat at the Millenium.
Let’s be naïve and believe that you’re convinced to go there and new no better. But did you have to have whined all the way there? If it was THAT far, which we know it isn’t, wouldn’t have been wise to go to the room and get a stroller?
No, you had to submit yourself to a torturous five football pitches of carrying your own child. After all, unlike you've led us to believe, it's about the same distance as the Paraíso Bar, and your friends, at least on May 3rd, made the distance, on foot, and no complaints.
But it must have been a terrible, terrible pain that must have had to endure. Before then, I’m sure the furthest you had carried your children was from your doorstep to your car.
And didn’t any of your friends help? There were another seven grown-ups, and none, witnessing your heart-wrenching pain offered to carry one of the kids a couple of yards?
Not even David Payne, that a few days later would be so concerned, for no reason whatsoever, with Kate’s well being?
I honestly don’t know, after that ordeal, how you found strength to play tennis. And play it over, and over again for the next days…
And your jogging after your daughter was supposedly kidnapped?
I’m being unfair… you just ran all the way to the Baptista Supermarket and back, and that must have been an effort, especially the uphill bit…
Or were just trying to pass to the public, forcibly, the message that the McCann family was during their whole holiday basically quarantined “Ocean Club in-walls” just because they had ONE more child than the others?
Why on Earth would you that for? But that was one night. Five other to explain.
I know you said that you had ALL the other dinners at the Tapas Bar. Unfortunately for you, Ironside has already proved that to be false.
What really is going on here is that the McCann wanted, with these "subliminar" messages, to convey the idea that most of PdL was unknown to them, that they knew only the immediate surroundings of the Ocean Club and a direct path to and from the beach.
The Southwest part of PdL, for some reason, was completely off-limits to these people.
For the McCanns & friends, it was the infamous “PdL Red Zone”, to be avoided at all costs, as if it was plague, prostitution and drug-trafficking territory.
Let’s then see what lays in this so ill-reputed area of PdL:
Fascinating. all the Pubs and Bars are located in that area.
ALL of them.
It's where PdL's night life is located.
Now, why would an English group not want to be linked to Pubs and Bars?
We know the McCann like to drink, at least New Zealand wine, which is perfectly natural and healthy if done in moderation, and you both are Doctors. So it’s not got to do with booze problem.
And these establishments do sell sodas and other non-alcoholic drinks.
Let's leave that unanswered for, and move on. There are two commercial establishments I would like to call your attention to: Kelly’s Bar and Chaplin’s Restaurant.
I call to your attention Kelly's Bar not because of Mr. Smith, but because of both Drs. McCann: “Kelly's Irish Bar, three minutes' walk from the Mark Warner Complex where the McCanns stayed, is -- allegedly -- one of the places visited by Gerry and Kate McCann during their brief stay on the peninsula.”
Kelly’s is managed by a Mary from Donegal, and the father of her son worked at Chaplins. Once again, pure coincidence. But looking at these two establishments one discovers what seems to be, after tennis, the second most popular activity in PdL: Quiz Night!!!
On Kelly’s: “Despite the Irish sounding name, Kellys is actually a Welsh owned bar. Nice friendly staff. A good sized bar with plenty of outside seating ( a good afternoon sun trap ). Crisps and nuts only. - ‘ Two Sky T.V.'s for football. - Lively Quiz nights Mondays and Fridays. A popular haunt of the English residents especially on the quiz nights.”
On Chaplins: “An English Restaurant great for traditional British dishes when you want to go for 'home cooking'. Good value for money. Fish & Chips, Bangers and Mash etc.. Large portions, well prepared and nice service. They do a Cataplana for one which is unusual ( normally only for two persons ). The rack of lamb is probably the best we've ever eaten. The steaks are more than substantial. 3 course Sunday Roasts from €12 - ( 12.30 to 21.00 ). Take away service for fish & chips, curries, bangers and mash. - Quiz night every Tuesday at 22.00 (seasonal). Be sure to say hello to Analise when you visit"
It seems that Quiz nights are also held on The Duke (s) (twice weekly Quiz nights (Saturday)) and the Luz Tavern (I) (A full program of entertainment during the 'season'. Cabaret, Live Music, Quiz night, Karaoke).
How stupid of The Duke to be open on Saturdays… Oh, they had, what are they called, again? Clients, they had clients, on Saturday nights, unlike Tapas... (but you should see Tapas on Sundays, and Tuesdays, it's packed... Quiz Night, remember?)
And about Quiz Night, of course… we couldn't forget the Tapas Bar where Najoua worked Sundays and Tuesdays.
So, on Tuesday, by coincidence, we have two Quiz Nights going on at PdL, one in Tapas and the other at Chaplins.
Separate entertainers one hopes, as ubiquity is not a gift for many.
You could argue that she would be finished at Tapas, and then rush to Chaplins. But, then, would she stayed and chatted with the Tapas at Tapas?!?
Wouldn't be more natural to chat with clients at Chaplins, where she finished, and in my opinion started, the night?
We hope, honestly, that whoever was the Quiz Mistress that May 1st Tuesday night at Chaplins made a more memorable appearance than Najoua did at Tapas that night.
We all remember how she was NOT remembered...
Or, is it possible, that on THAT Tuesday, the the McCanns were at Chaplins and not at Tapas?
And if that be the case, how many nights did the McCanns really dine at Tapas?
And, oh, how about throwing in a Happy Hour at Chaplins?
That, for the English is not exactly “bait”, it’s more like an irresistible magnet…
On this site, if you click on the Chaplins link: “Later on in the evening, once the food has finished, Chaplins swings into Bar mode and is soon full of people enjoying the music, the great company and perhaps most of all the Happy Hour (11.30pm - 12.30pm) when all drinks are half price.”
There is one easy way to find out: credit card statements.
Oh, I forgot they don’t exist… or, apparently, they hold big no-no state secrets or whatever.
In PdL there aren’t many things in which you can use a credit card. Basically in two things: restaurants, as in meals and bar tabs; and lodging, when checking-in or on your way out.
What else can you buy with a credit card in PdL? A beach towel?
The credit card statement tell exactly where and when it was used.
No abductors, no pimpleman, no New Zealand sightings.
And I'm sure that if ever we're able to look at those statements we will be able to take out the "-- allegedly --" from the places visited by Gerry and Kate McCann.
No state secrets, just that, and for that to be a secret in itself tells us a lot.
Yes, there is the possibility of stolen identity, as we unfortunately took awareness of that major problem with Operation Ore.
But, what a huge coincidence it would have been to have your identity stolen by someone in PdL and you NOT having reported any stealing of any card.
But coincidences are your speciality aren't they? So, its CLEAR that the McCanns have PURPOSEFULLY hid the fact that they were familiar with the Southwest part of PdL.
By lying about having ALL dinners at Tapas, by hiding their credit card statements. But why? After all, it’s a perfectly innocent piece of information…
Because somebody knew, before anybody else did, that someone was seen THERE holding a child, and that that somebody also knew that that someone had gone THERE in that specific direction because that someone knew VERY WELL that it was there he was most likely to be seen:
Now, you may tell me that even though nobody confirmed in any way that they didn’t know the area, NOBODY from the McCanns or the Tapas has ever, ever denied knowing it, so all I’ve stated above is all BASELESS.
Beg to differ. Gerry, asks, on the night of 3rd, the GNR Officer Rui Sergio Lópes Silva , if he knew a church nearby (“He only had direct contact with the couple and their friends at about 04.00 when Gerry McCann approached the GNR group of which he was a member to ask whether there was a church close by. He replied to him in English, giving the directions to a nearby church.”)
By doing so, Gerry McCann is EXPLICITLY and INTENTIONALLY denying ever being near to the PdL Church, situated in the heart of the “PdL Red Zone".
Why? Because Gerry McCann knew, before anybody else did, that he, Gerry McCann was seen THERE holding a child, and that that he, Gerry McCann, also knew that that he, Gerry McCann, had gone THERE in that specific direction because he, Gerry McCann, knew VERY WELL that it was THERE he was most likely to be seen.