Newsletter January 2014

Margarida Sampaio @


So we have finally made it to 2014!  I am struggling to write this newsletter update as my laptop wobbles on my slightly expanded tummy area but I guess it wouldn’t be the festive period if we didn’t all eat and drink a little too much!


You may have found it difficult to notice that it was Christmas at all in Lagoa thanks to the total lack of Christmas lights again this year but there was actually plenty of Christmas cheer around the place thanks to a plethora of Christmas fairs and some entertainment about the place.

There was once again a fair at the Fatacil in Lagoa and this one was offering the children fee bounces on the inflatables while parents could go inside the main building and browse the stalls filled with local handicrafts.  While the homemade cakes and decorations were beautiful it had to be the stand in the far corner of the building that had the most attention thanks to the slightly over 18 nature of it!  I am not sure how much trade the adult stand received over the few days being as most people were trying to divert the attention of their children away from the fluffy handcuffs and dubious looking massage devices but it was certainly a talking point among the visitors!

There was also a great Christmas fair again in Ferragudo where there were a few Christmas lights about to create a festive atmosphere while the newly elected local politicians in charge of the joint Lagoa and Carvoeiro parish councils arranged for street entertainment from Mother Christmas, Frosty the snowman and elves!  The merry band made their way around Lagoa and Carvoeiro to all the local schools to spread some cheer, make balloon models and perform some magic tricks.  It was great to see everyone coming out to see what was going on and to get into the spirit of things with people of all ages having fun until it started to rain!

For Carvoeiro the main event of the month had to be the Christmas fair which was held in the square and piled down onto the beach.  We were really lucky with the weather this year and had glorious sunshine for the weekend making it the perfect place to sip on some mulled wine and catch up with everyone who was back for the Christmas holidays.

This year the organisers changed the layout of the fair making it far more open and easier to get around and see all the stalls.  We also had live entertainment each day with Ilze and Bradley singing on the first days and then Simon opening up the DJ mike on the final day of the fair for a spot of karaoke.  I am not so sure how successful the karaoke was but it was certainly entertaining with it being far from compulsory to have any musical talent at all to take to the stage.  I can only assume that the brave volunteers had drunk more far more mulled wine than me and to be honest it was starting to turn slightly surreal when we had a rendition of Nevermind by Nirvana being belted out.

It may not have looked like Christmas as the children played on the beach in the sunshine on a dubious looking bouncy castle that appeared to give birth periodically to screaming children as they scooted through the tunnels, but there really was a fantastic atmosphere in the square each day that I hope many of you were able to enjoy if you were here.

It was great to see so many familiar faces down in the square for the Christmas fair and lots of local people turned out to support the event and those who came along with their stalls.  It is not always easy to get everyone motivated to do events in Carvoeiro, especially in the winter months, but this was a real success and I hope it will be repeated again next year – well done to everyone involved.


The weather may have been fantastic for the Christmas fair but it was far from that on Christmas day and Christmas Eve with some sort of hurricane hitting the Algarve on December 24.  We had huge waves and a walk anywhere near a cliff top on either day was a very dangerous prospect, especially for those who had not managed to eat their own body weight in chocolate.

There were trees blown down in the Alentejo and the emergency services were stretched to their full across Portugal but luckily the damage in Carvoeiro was generally limited to a few branches here and there and perhaps the odd roof tile.

We have had all four seasons of weather not only through the month but sometimes in a single day in December with the only bonus of the grey skies being that the temperatures have risen up again and even in the evenings it has not been freezing cold (that quilted jacket with fur lined hood is now looking a little over zealous now and would perhaps be suited to more northern countries!)


After all the excitement of Christmas we had the usual pre New Year lull in Carvoeiro which luckily was filled with plenty of sunshine giving us all an opportunity to get out and about and walk off some of those calories.   

There seems to be more places open than usual this year in Carvoerio, that is not to say that the town is packed full of people but there has been a little more life than normal.

It has been many years now since we have had fireworks from the cliff tops in Carvoeiro to mark the start of a new year and this year saw no change but there were lots of little parties going on around the place.

From the mad crush in Continente supermarket on New Year’s Eve I would guess that most people were staying in for New Year’s Eve – perhaps the special promotions on beer helped to sway the undecided!

For those who did go out a good few restaurants were open and there was certainly a lot of partying going on in Mungos, Boa Vida, Carrvoeiro Bar and in Harrys Bar with a good mixture of local residents and visitors making up the numbers and dancing away through the night.

Since the New Year it has been pretty ghostly in Carvoeiro though but I managed to find where all the people are hiding – Aqua shopping.  Scenes reminiscent of something from a Christmas shopping nightmare were being relived in Primark with queues snaking through the shop as bored dads tried to entertain hyperactive sugar filled children while mums were rooting through the bargains making it even more of a pleasure than usual to get back to the calm and peace of Carvoeiro.


This time of year is known for being one of the quietest in the Algarve but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t a few things going on still.

On a cold winters day why not head off to the newly opened cinemas either at Algarve Shopping in Guia or in Portimão at the Continente shopping centre on the V6 in the city.  Lagoa will also be showing films at the auditorium this month with one film screened for adults and another for children.

This month the film for children is the latest from The Smurfs and will be shown on January 26th from 3.30pm in the auditorium.  This is specifically aimed at being a family event so do not go along expecting a peaceful screening as the 200 children inside make more than a fair share of noise and cannot be guaranteed not to throw popcorn at your head.  The adult screening this month is Le Capital with Gabriel Byrne and is being shown on January 17th from 9.30pm.

We also have the monthly local markets that take place in the area that are well worth a trip to for anyone looking to pick up local products or a bargain.

These markets run throughout the year but when events and activities are thin on the ground they become highlights of the calendar!

There are two different types of local markets that take place in the Algarve on a regular basis: the flea markets and the general markets.  In Lagoa the flea market is held in the Fatacil on the 4th Sunday of the month which in January falls on January 26th and is open from 7am until 1pm.  There are also monthly flea markets held in Ferragudo by the waterfront on the second Sunday of the month (January 12) and in Porches by the Associação Cultural Desportiva Recreativa on the third Sunday of the month (January 19th).

At the flea markets you can pick up lots of second hand goods at great prices and barter your way to a bargain while at the general markets there is more of a focus on fruits and vegetable and local produce.

The local market for Lagoa takes place in the area opposite the Fatacil (where they park the cars for the Fatacil fair each year and the Circus parks up).  The Lagoa market is on the second Sunday of the month and this month falls on January 12th.

If you are looking for something a little more cultural then we have the return of the Al Mutamid music festival on January 24th.  An oriental inspired music and dance show will be taking place at the convent in Lagoa from 9.30pm featuring a show with elements from Sudan and Syria.


As we move into 2014 things seem to be looking up for Portugal and the Algarve, although we are far from out of the woods yet it is great to see new people starting to move to the area and breathing some much needed new life into the place.

Who knows what 2014 will bring to Carvoeiro but let´s hope that it is a good one for everyone.

Happy 2014 to you all and hopefully many of you will be able to make it to Carvoeiro this year to enjoy our little piece of paradise!



Service message: A statement (see below) relating to Astra2E move to its final position and activation has finally been released and from an official source – SES. SES are the owners and operators of the new satellite. The following article was published on SES's Facebook page on 11/12/2013. This has been their one and only press release relating to the Astra2E activation, finally, after many months of waiting, we have definitive information and not rumours.

As part of SES' ongoing fleet renewal programme, we will be transferring all the UK Spot Beam transponders currently operating on ASTRA 1N across to ASTRA 2E.

This move at the 28.2/28.5ºEast orbital location will take place over several weeks beginning early February 2014.

The transfer will have no adverse implications for viewers in the UK and Ireland as the affected channels will continue to operate on the same frequencies and will be broadcast at the same, or slightly improved power levels, across the UK and Ireland.

TV viewers outside the UK and Ireland may see an impact and may not be able to receive channels from ASTRA 2E UK Spot Beam, which has a smaller footprint than ASTRA 1N. The new footprint on SES' replacement fleet has been designed to meet the requirements of UK and Irish broadcasters who target their channels for distribution in the UK and/or Ireland. UK and Irish broadcasters hold broadcasting rights only for the UK and/or Ireland but not for other countries.