Newsletter November 2012
Margarida Sampaio @
In the space of a week we saw the temperatures drop by around 10 degrees with everyone wearing flip flops and shorts one day and Wellington boots and coats the next.
I over heard some of the local school children talking as they left on one particularly hot October afternoon.
Child 1: "My teacher taught us in school that it is autumn now, so why do we still need to put on sun cream?"
Child 2: "My mum says the weather has gone crazy"
Child 1: "Ahh"
The next week the same children were wrapped up with so many clothes they would have been able to last out on an arctic expedition, although they did look happier that it was looking more autumnal and their paintings of trees with falling leaves looked more relevant.
There has been a good deal of rain about but it seems things have settled down now and with the clocks going back the town really does feel like we have moved into the winter months.
And to mark the end of the season (lots of bars and restaurants are closing up now for the winter) the people of Carvoeiro came out in force for Halloween. Granted, it was mainly the expats and the children who got into the swing of things but it was still a great night out in the town with many of the bars being decorated and a holiday feeling all around the town.
As usual the team in Havana Bar sported some very impressive outfits with only one member of staff struggling to be able to pour the cocktails as his mask was making it difficult to see but many of the trick or treaters around Carvoeiro stopped off for a quick drink here.
Down the hill in Boa Vida Raul and his staff had created a suitably spooky atmosphere with a very scary punch drink to make everything look a little hazier and enough cobwebs to catch a Harry Potter style villain.
Carlos in Smilers had decked the bar out in pumpkins while across the square in Sullys the little cave bar was the perfect place for a Halloween grotto to be made.
Up the hill in Rascals a face painter was on hand to transform clients into various hideous creatures while in Hemingways Dave had whipped out his pumpkins and cobwebs for the occasion.
Later on in the evening many people headed off to Mungos for some rather dangerous fruit jelly shots and the ones that were still left standing took part in a fancy dress competition with an unnerving looking member of the community dressed as the scary man from the saw films winning first prize of a meal for two in Taberna Portuguesa.
Earlier in the day the children from the local pre-school took part in a little parade around the town with many dressed as scary skeletons and throwing flour at unsuspecting elderly members of the community who failed to come up with any sweets!
There were of course the odd little ghoul or two who thought it was funny to throw eggs about the place but they were tucked up in bed nice and early leaving the streets free for the adult witches and zombies to enjoy the parties all around the town.
Halloween may not be a big celebration in Portugal or the Algarve as a whole but the people and businesses of Carvoeiro seemed to fully embrace the fun this year and there were plenty of residents as well as a fair few on their holidays who had raided their mums makeup bag for eyeliner and red lipstick to create unforgettable looks.
DARTS IN CARVOEIRO
Now that it is officially winter we see the bars bringing in all the tables and chairs off the terraces and everyone retreating inside and that can only mean one thing in Carvoeiro - the start of the darts season!
Love it or hate it the darts are very much part of winter life in Carvoeiro and there is simply no escaping it every Friday night!
This year the darts appears to have grown even larger than ever before with there now being three different leagues with around 20 teams taking part in the tournament through the winter months.
The teams have been split into the three leagues to make things run a little smoother and to make the season a little shorter too and with less league games to play there will be more time on the darts calendar to include some open matches including doubles, singles and ladies competitions that are open to anyone in the town on the night.
This year there should be teams in Harrys Bar, Hemingways, Sully's, Bistro 72, Joker Bar, Sullys, J Bar (LSD) Carvoeiro Bar, Tiffanies and in Up The Pub - I am sure I have probably forgotten some of the bars but if you are interested in finding the darts around Carvoeiro then just head out on a Friday night from November 16 at 9pm to see one of the fixture lists for all the details of who is playing when and where.
You do not need to be part of one of the teams to enjoy the tournament, often teams are short of a player and will call on others in the bar to join in if you fancy your chances and on the whole it is all a very good-natured and fun evening.
This is also a great way to meet some Carvoeiro residents you may have never met before with residents of all nationalities and ages taking part so don't be surprised to see a Dutch pensioner taking on a Portuguese teenager in a friendly game of 501!
SHUTTING DOWN FOR WINTER
As always at this time of year lots of bars, restaurants and businesses close down for at least a couple of months and November sees the start of this.
Many places will be open for the Christmas and New Years holidays but don't be surprised if you are heading over here for a break this month if you see lots of doors closed. That being said there are still lots of places that are open during the winter so don't be afraid to venture into the town and see what is going on.
Both Harrys Bar and Hemingways are continuing with their weekly quiz nights (Harrys on a Wednesday, Hemingways on a Monday) while if your favourite haunts are closed then this is a good opportunity to try some new places. Officina bar (on the in road near to the pottery market) is back open again and under new management so why not pop in and say hello to the newest members of the Carvoeiro bar scene this winter.
CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR
As with many things in Portugal, there are very few places that have made up their mind about what they are doing this Christmas and New Year!
It may seem a little early to be talking about the festive season, especially in Carvoeiro where you would never know that it was approaching Christmas and unless you visit a supermarket it is unlikely that you ever will until the day itself!
As yet we have no word about if there will be another Christmas fair in Carvoeiro or if any other events will be taking place. A few of the local restaurants will be open for Christmas lunches and parties but I would not be expecting to see lots of bells and whistles this year again as nothing has really changed for the better financially in the Lagoa municipality since last year.
But Carvoeiro doesn't need any lights or lots of decorations to be a great place to come for the festive season and if you have never been here before at this time of year and are looking for a quiet Christmas (the sun usually shines too which is terrible for my cosy Christmas outfits that leave me feeling boiling hot after the roasted turkey) then Carvoeiro really is the place to come to.
This winter looks like being a very difficult one for many businesses in Carvoeiro and the Algarve. I don't like to harp on about the problems that are being faced by the people in Portugal but the reality is that it is very difficult to make a living over here at the moment and only looks like getting worse in the near future.
Please remember to support as many local businesses as you can when you are over in Carvoeiro and do consider making a trip across to enjoy a short winter weekend break. The support of everyone who continues to come Carvoeiro is appreciated so much by everyone who lives here and we hope to see you soon.
I'm off now to soak my raisins for my Christmas pudding (just because it is usually 20 degrees outside there is no need to stop with some traditions!)
Until next time