Newsletter October 2013

Margarida Sampaio @

Well that’s it, summer appears to have come to a rather wet and windy end and while I was initially very excited to drag out my winter wardrobe and slip on some cosy boots I am now actually over this and longing for the flip flops once again.

One weekend I am sat on the beach applying the factor 30 and the next I am trapped indoors and working out where I am going to hang the mountain of wet washing away from the rain.

I keep on looking hopefully at the long range weather forecast but the little sun icons never seem to come any closer all that I can hope for is that this is just a little blip and then we will be on to sunnier skies once again in Carvoeiro.

I love Carvoeiro but to be honest the place never really has so much of a shine about it when the skies are grey and the drizzle is falling, the only real upside has to be that once the rain starts to fall you can’t get anywhere without being soaked so I have decamped to a local bar  and have readied myself in preparation of being rain bound!


Possibly the most excitement we have had in the past month has to be the local elections which took place on the last Sunday of September.

If you were in Carvoeiro during the week leading up to the elections then you will have realized that there was something going on although the election campaigns cannot have been all that effective as I had one person asking if it was a large wedding party and another if it was a religious parade or if a local football team had won something.

We all know that it doesn’t take a lot to encourage the good people of Carvoeiro to hop into their cars and then drive around the town very slowly while beeping their horns and this was a common feature in the run up to the election and of course when the winner was announced it sounded like Portugal had won the world cup.

I am not sure how the local election campaigns in the Algarve compare to the rest of Portugal or indeed the rest of the world but I know that they have certainly hit on a winner when they offer hog roast sandwiches to prospective voters to try and tempt them into ticking the box in their flavour.

While the cars blaring annoying music and circling the town were enough to put anyone off, the piggy sarnies and free pens were a positive for the town.

It turns out that perhaps all the pig sandwiches in the world would have made no difference as the local area saw the PSD party lose their seats and the PS party taking control in a sort of two finger salute to the old school politics which has clearly not helped in recent years to find work for people and to help local businesses.

Only time will tell as to if a change in the politicians will actually bring any change to how things are run in Lagoa and Carvoeiro but now is definitely the time to make any requests of our politicians while they are feeling in a joyful and upbeat mood (perhaps don’t draw attention to the debts, unemployment and general problems that still remain).


Away from the excitement of the elections we had an anniversary party held at the Carvoeiro Clube de Tenis at the end of September which saw many local faces coming out to mark the first anniversary of the club under new management.

This was a chance for members and guests to have a look at all the work that has been done at the club over the past year which has included a new floor for the dance and aerobics studio, a new reception area, extensive garden works and a newly modeled gym.

João from the gym was at the party to let people know about what the gym can now offer while Christian was welcomed back to the club as a permanent member of the team.

This was a great chance to catch up with lots of faces after the summer season and the club put on a wonderful afternoon so congratulations to all involved.


Now that the silly season is over the events for the local area change from being focused at pleasing the visitors who come to the area in the summer to being aimed at the residents of all nationalities.

So we have less live music and the entertainment in the square comes to an end but instead we have lots of other interesting and exciting events to keep everyone busy in the coming month.


First up we have the Better Living in Portugal (BLIP) exhibition taking place on October 5 and 6 at the Portimão Arena.

This is one that has been on the expats calendar for years now but the organisers promise that if you are a regular to the event there will be lots of new stands and stalls to see this year with a special BLIP Shopping section where you can buy your Christmas cards, gifts and bits and pieces usually at really good promotional prices.

BLIP is free to attend and if the weather keeps up as it is with intermittent light rain spattered with periods of crazy heavy rain then this is a perfect way to fill a few hours over the weekend in the dry.

The usual suspects will of course still be at the exhibition and if you are new to the Algarve or are thinking about making the move to Portugal then this really is a one stop shop for you to find out all the info you need to make the move and for when you settle in.


The Mamamaratona charity race/walk is returning this October to raise money for the Algarve Oncology Association.

This usually happens on the same weekend as BLIP but this year it is being held on Sunday October 13 along the waterfront in Portimão.

In the past the race/walk has been held over 10km but this year it will also include a half marathon for anyone who is feeling particularly fit and healthy and wants to see how fast they can run around Portimão.

This is another event that sees lots of people turn out for the day and there is usually a good expat turnout with the local running clubs taking part too.

You don’t have to be a fantastic runner though to take part and young, old, unfit and everyone else are encouraged to come along to help raise money for this very worthwhile organization who are currently raising money to be able to build a home in Faro for cancer patients to be able to stay while receiving treatment.

Registration can be made on the day with the race starting at 10am so make sure you get there early to ensure you are part of this great day.


Also taking place this month in the local area we have the Obrigado Portugal festival taking place at the Fontes in Estombar on October 5 and 6.

This is one that takes place through the afternoon and into the evening and is a truly multicultural events with plenty of music , dance and cultural events over the weekend.

Organisers of the event created it as a celebration of all things Portuguese and it has grown into being a successful event – let’s just hope that the weather holds out for all involved or else it could be a bit of a soggy one!


This time of year is known for being the time when the golfers descend on the Algarve to take advantage of the great weather (Ahem?) and the courses and the Portugal Masters taking place on the Victoria course in Vilamoura is a great chance for golf lovers to see how well the pros play the courses.

This year the event is running from October 10 until October 13 and the best day to see the action has to be the final day when the winner of the competition will be decided.

If you have never seen live golf before then this is a great place to get a taste of the action and even if you are not all that bothered about golf and can’t quite work out why everyone is chasing the little white ball around the course when they could be at the bar or on the beach, then you may well be pleasantly surprised.

It turns out that watching people who are really good at golf is actually quite exciting and it is also really funny to watch certain more moody players lose their cool at a bad shot!

If you prefer sport of the motor variety then take a trip down to the Algarve Autodrome this month for the Classic festival which is being held over the weekend of the 18th to October 20th.

All the old classics (please insert your own appropriate joke here) will be out on the track in an event which has become one of the largest in the Iberian Peninsula and ticket prices are pretty reasonable for this one too, especially if you buy them before the event where discounts are available.

FADBC, First Algarve Duplicate Bridge Club - the oldest bridge club in the Algarve is based in the Hotel Baía Cristal in Carvoeiro. Bridge sessions are on Mondays and Thursdays, starting at 2 pm. (Please arrive no later than 1.45pm). FADBC is a very friendly club and welcome players of all standards. Please contact Iggy Gannon on 282 352 022 for more information.


Looking ahead to next month we have the Grand Night of Variety taking place in Lagoa at the Auditorium on Saturday, November 2.  This is usually a sellout event so look out for details about when and where to buy your tickets to make sure you have a seat at this fund raising night of fun.

I am off now to sulk a little longer about the end of summer and to pack away my flip flop collection for another year…I think I heard someone just mention it is less than 100 days until Christmas…