Newsletter January 2012
Margarida Sampaio @
December has been unseasonably warm this year with day after day of sunshine which has made the lack of Christmas lights, and cheer in general, much easier to cope with.
The Lagoa Câmara opted not to put up lights this year and have hopefully channelled those funds towards important needs in the area like books for children and bandages for the health centre, but just because there was no official Christmas in Carvoeiro it didn't mean that the town was devoid of cheer because the Vozes Intensas group organised a little fair in the town.
The area of the square was used to put up some small tents for local stall holders to sell jewellery, homemade gifts, photos and some obligatory mulled wine. The Moto Clube of Lagoa also had a stand selling beers for those who had sickened themselves of the wine and a large hog was put onto the spit for some pork sandwiches.
Organisers had wanted to hold the fair the week before so that it would coincide with the bank holidays but the tents were not available so it was held from December 14 to 18 with the main days of the fair being the Saturday and Sunday when more people would be able to come down and enjoy the celebrations.
On the Saturday there were a good number of people out and about to watch Beto Kalulu and his band play a set while on the Sunday we had some traditional music to entertain the crowds.
On both of the weekend days there were a good few people about and the organisers had put an old drum in the centre which acted as a fire for those who were getting chilly as the sun went down. The fire also acted as a central point for candy floss crazed children to be able to run around while trying to dodge the sparks that would shoot out.
The main day of Sunday saw Father Christmas and Mrs Claus come to the square to hand out some sweets to the children (and a few greedy adults too!).
The festive couple arrived on a trap being pulled by a pony and flanked by several large horses with riders wearing santa hats and the scene was all really rather sweet until the band struck up, the horses started to frighten and the police seemed to fail to notice the cars that they had forgotten to stop from coming round while all this activity was taking place.
The little pony had been led into the main part of the square while the riders of the other horses realised that this was now all looking like a rather bad idea. Nobody noticed the pony as it tried to escape the Fado music, attempting to find the shortest path possible out of the square, which just so happened to be the one with all the pushchairs in the way.
Disaster was avoided and the crowd had enough time to settle again before the procession of biking santas came down the hill (thankfully the horses were long gone by this point).
If you have ever wondered how you transform a regular bunch of bikers into a parade of santas then think copious amounts of sticky tape and many, many, red coats.
As always we also had the little dog dressed up in Christmas attire, although he didn't seem all that happy about the glasses he was wearing but got over it quick enough when the pork sandwiches started flying.
It would have been great if we could have lights and a bit of funding from the Câmara but everyone who took part in the fair really managed to create the Christmas spirit and the children were more than happy with some sweets from Father Christmas.
I would like to say a big thank you to the organisers of the fair who have spent weeks getting everything together and managed to save Christmas for many of us in Carvoeiro.
Elsewhere around Carvoeiro there were many other getting into the festive spirit, not least the team at Taste restaurant (along the in and out road, past Innside Caffe).
Every Sunday leading up to Christmas the restaurant transformed into a mini Christmas fair with gifts and bits and bobs to buy upstairs and live music, mulled wine and entertainment for the children downstairs.
The barbecue was lit and we were treated to German sausages while being serenaded by Mandy or Chris and the children had their faces painted while trying to catch the thousands (and I mean thousands) of bubbles that were floating by. The adults spent most of their time trying not to slip on the floor thanks to all the popped bubbles but I think the wobbly figures had a lot more to do with the wine than the bubbles!
Other bars also got into the spirit of the season with Rascals hosting a Christmas lunch and other parties, Bistro 72 providing the perfect spot for some pre Christmas parties, Safari Bar and Hemingways having a massive Christmas party for all the locals, Harrys hosting a fair and Mungos got into the spirit with a Boxing Day bash.
Up the hill at the Carvoeiro Clube de Tenis, the stars dance school put on a show for Christmas with children as young as three years old getting festive and bopping around for the audience. More mulled wine and not a dry eye in the house as the mini jazz group did a number with their teddy bears, this was a great little treat and good to see that the dance school is still going well.
We all moan that nothing goes on here at Christmas time but the bars and restaurants this year all seemed to make an extra effort to make sure that we all knew that it was Christmas and I think this was one of the better years for Christmas in Carvoeiro.
With Christmas firmly over it is now time to look forward to 2012 and to hope that things are a little easier for us all than last year.
Already the tolls have caused chaos in the post office and I am yet to meet anyone yet who fully understands what they have to do regarding the tolls but the upside of it is, is that the A22 is pretty much empty all the time now.
We are all hoping that as the year progresses that the whole tolls problem will ease although that cannot be said for the traffic on the EN 125 which even during these quiet winter months is busier than ever. I took a trip down to Almancil along the EN125 after the tolls came in and it took around an hour to get there with the traffic building up especially around the Albufeira junctions.
If you are in Carvoeiro this January then there are still bars and restaurants open and if the weather holds out like this then you will have a great time just sitting and soaking up the rays.
If you are looking for something a little different then you could always head off to the sausage festival in Querença (a little town in rural Loulé). The fair is held on January 22 and is a chance for anyone who hasn't sampled the local sausage to dig in and give it a try. If you want to know more about what is going on during the fair which is held in the square by the church, then call 289 422 337
Alternatively, for those of you who may be thinking about tying the knot in the Algarve then it would be worth a trio down to Portimão for the Algarve Bridal Fair which is taking place at the arena between January 20 and 22.
The fair promises to showcase everything you need for a perfect wedding here in the sun including dresses, hair and make up tips and even some wedding workshops.
It costs €2 to enter the fair, if you want to know more then visit www.algarvenoivos.efeitoeventos.com
If you are looking for something a little cultural this January then it is worth taking a trip down to auditorium in Lagoa for the 12th Al-Mutamid Music Festival.
On January 27th a dance performance by the Sunqur Sa'di Ensemble will be taking place with the group swirling round and dancing with sticks in a traditional style associated with Eygpt.
The show starts at 9.30pm and if you would like tickets then call 282 380 473 for more information about it.
Well I hope you all had a great New Year and welcomed in 2012 with at least a couple of glasses of champagne or Carvoeiro champagne (Cristal) and I will be back next month to let you all know what has been going on in Carvoeiro.