Rua Dr Agostinho da Silva is the relatively short, quiet, J-shaped road running along the rear [the north end] of the Ocean Club apartments where Madeleine McCann was snatched.
The road running alongside the property to the west side, the road Gerry and Kate McCann used to do their respective checks, and the road Jane Tanner was standing on when she spied Tannerman, is Rua Dr Gentil Martins.
It’s a curious thing that the names o these roads are never really mentioned, but then, they’re mouthfuls to say let alone remember. For our purposes we’re refer to the one at the top as “Da Silva” and the one to the side [the east side] as “Gentil Martins”.
Happy with that?
Before we deal with the Pepper Trees on Gentil Martins, let’s first orient ourselves in terms of the scale of the hotel, also the distance from he hotel to the beach and finally the realistic avenues of flight a potential abuctor could have [or would have] taken.
In the image above the two red arrows refer to Da Silva at the top [behind the Ocean Club hotel] and Gentil Martins running in a northerly direction along the side of the hotel. Unfortunately the map doesn’t seem to be accurate in its description of Gentil Martins, the road running up to Da Silva.
The two black arrows refer to the Tapas bar relative to the hotel and street grid, as well as the scale. The scale at the bottom denotes “20 metres”, indicative of a relatively compact street grid. This is important, as is the relatively small size of the resort town as we’ll see in the next image.
It’ easy to get disoriented as one zooms out, even if you’re very familiar with the grid pattern.
The original grid [above] is reproduced, with the long red arrow directing the viewer to Gentil Martins [the red location balloon in both images refer to the same location]. The black arrow shows the Tapas Bar and the red oval circle the Ocean Club at a slightly reduced scale.
The most important aspect of the above map is the new scale [see blue oval bottom right] – 100 metres. The distance from the Ocean Club to the urban edge of Praia da Luz [or the coastline] is approximately 300 metres if travelling southeast [follow the black arrow down] in a straight line. Not far at all, is it?
It’s also important to remember it’s downhill all the way to the coast, in some places steep downhill, and conversely, uphill all the way back to the hotel, and in some places the uphills are inclined fairly steeply too.
Gentil Martins for example in a road tilting upward from the bottom closer to the coast, to the top, whereas Da Silva – running laterally behind the apartment complex] – is mostly flat. However as the road tilts into a “J” with the tail of the “J” swooping up on the west end, the road necessarily also starts to go uphill.
It’s useful to know the road beneath the black arrow is a major traffic artery running down to the city centre of Praia da Luz, and this road is known as Rua 1º de Maio. The road to the east of this road which sort of connects to Da Silva and loops in a weird dog’s leg alongside the hotel to the east [in-line with the tennis courts and Tapas Bar] is the relatively quiet Rua da Escola Primária. We won’t be paying attention to either of these roads in this post.
The satellite screengrab ought to make the entire mosaic clearer still. Now we’re on a 50 metre scale with the coastline area missing and some of the distracting urban fabric smudged out. Not at the top right how Gentil Martins curves upward [black arrow at right top]. We also see a slight kink in Gentil Martins [see yellow circle] inline with the Tapas Bar and close to the southeast boundary of the Ocean Club.
Although the kink is visible in the street grid view, it’s less obvious. The two red arrows do not run in a straight line. The black arrows on the left are Rua 1º de Maio [the main road running down to the left of the hotel, the west, towards the town centre] and Rua da Escola Primária [running further left in a kind of squiggle].
Now we want to take a closer look at the road indicated by the red arrow pointing diagonally down from the top of the map to Da Silva.
Specifically note how the long avenue of Pepper Trees runs alongside Da Silva for the entire breadth of the Ocean Club hotel. The small black arrow on the right denotes the entrance to Apart 5A where Madeleine McCann was supposedly abducted. The yellow circle indicates the location of “Tannerman” and the clear “line-of”sight” up Gentil Martins to the T-Junction with Da Silva.
If someone was walking along Da Silva there would be similar line of sight, however if they worked closer to the tree line, or even under the tree line along the hotel parking lot [or along the hotel itself] line-of-sight diminishes and in some cases disappears entirely.
For an abductor carrying a child on foot, it would be important to stay out of line of sight as a matter of urgency. Which route afforded the abductor more cover? To the east [to the right or anywhere on Gentil Martins], or to the west [along Da Silva]…?
Pepper Trees in Portugal – Portugal News