Newsletter September 2014
Margarida Sampaio @
Wham bam thank you man - August has finally come to an end! Not that you need a calendar in this town to tell you the date, just walk out into the streets in Carvoeiro and already there are car parking spaces, seats in the cafés, the queues have left the ice cream shop and there is an air of morning after the night before around the place!
August is the month that we all love to hate and hate to love because without the influx of visitors the town would be in real trouble but with the influx of visitors the town feels like it is bursting at the seams with everyone struggling to keep it all together – but it does all keep together and all in all it was another successful month.
There have been varying opinions around Carvoeiro about whether or not this summer season was a good one or not for the town and it hard to tell because while the local supermarkets have been packed with families of 10 surrounding each trolley often in the evenings the square and around the town has been pretty quiet compared to usual at this time of the year.
There have certainly been a lot of people in the Algarve and anyone who has taken a drive along the EN125 will be able to vouch for the number of cars here! Top tip for the season has to be to avoid being anywhere near Zoomarine at opening and closing time as the traffic jams are huge and it came as no surprise to hear that they had record numbers of visitors this year – more than 8,300 on August 21st!
Hopefully the businesses in town had enough trade to keep them going and usually September in the town is a good month with the return of lots of regular visitors, golfers and still the odd family coming over to enjoy the great weather we have here in the autumn.
FEELING HOT HOT HOT
…And the weather has been pretty strange in August. Usually the first two weeks of the month are scorchers but August actually started out a little chilly, especially in the evenings when it was decidedly cold which probably didn’t help with encouraging people to come out and go to the restaurants and bars at night.
This all changed however as the month progressed and as we move into September the heat wave continues and I feel myself longing for the cool breezes earlier in the month as the air conditioning struggles to take the edge of the heat.
After what seemed like a slow start to the hot weather it appears to have arrived in force and now it is here let’s hope that it continues on to stretch out the summer a little longer!
There have been some very welcome changes taking place in Carvoeiro recently and our new Câmara officials in Lagoa appear to be pushing forward with lots of positive activity in the town.
Some of the most noticeable changes have to be as you enter the town on Rua dos Pescadores (the in road) where we now have a brand spanking newly painted sign on the right hand side of the road while on the left hand side where the garden area is there is now a beautiful traditional fishing boat sitting proudly on the grass.
This has created a great first impression for those coming into Carvoeiro and not only does it look very quaint and pretty it also shows that Carvoeiro is a town that is cared about and should help to encourage others to care about it too.
Although it is not quite finished yet we also have a wonderful new mural being painted on the wall of the building opposite the Fabrica Velha coffee shop (the wall that already has the tiled old fashioned advert already on it).
The painting is of the view across the bay in Carvoeiro and it is done in a graffiti style with deep blues for the sea and the sky and even though it still has a bit to go it has really lifted the entrance to Carvoeiro and is another example of care and dedication being put into the town.
As well as the new additions to the entrance of the town we have also had some new businesses open up in Carvoeiro recently including a para pharmacy where you can pick up non prescription medication above the Atlantic Sud shop on the O Farol and Frasers pizzas has reopened under new management.
We also have the opening of a new café/snack bar opposite Gelados and Companhia ice cream shop on Rua do Barranco, the new shop is being run by Jorge from LSD bar and sells food and drinks and is bright and clean and seems to be proving very popular already so make sure you pop in and say hello the next time you pass by.
Finally on the new business news section the guys from Havana have taken of Talvez (Maybe) bar on the other side of the road – very best of luck to them with their new venture and the last I saw they were looking for suggestions for names for the bar so if you want to join in have a look at their Facebook page.
BYE BYE SUMMER PARTY
All of the businesses in Carvoeiro were busy on the last weekend of the month thanks to the celebrations for Nossa Snra de Encarnação – the annual festival that happens on the last Sunday of August each year in Carvoeiro.
In previous years we have seen the main activities happening on the Sunday evening but this year the celebrations were extended to include Saturday night which saw a live band in the square followed by DJs on the beach into the early hours.
We were treated to a performance by The Mashups who did a great job of playing something for everyone and managed to even get themselves their own groupies screaming at the front of the stage at one point!
Then the children, the tired and the less inclined to rave on the beach left as first we had our very own DJ Ale take to the decks which were once again positioned above the toilets on the beach (not as grim as it sounds) followed by a session from DJ China with plenty of dancing on the beach.
The beach party followed the same format as the one that we had for the Black and White party earlier in the year and although there were perhaps less people than the last time it was still a great success and a good way to kick off the celebrations which took a more traditional turn on the Sunday.
Yet again we had many complaints that the festival on the Sunday was not publicised enough to let people know about it and to be honest it could have done with more adverts and posters put up around the town to let people know about what was going on.
There were certainly less people out for the procession at 7pm then there were last year but this could be to do with the fact that by Sunday a lot of the people who had come to Carvoeiro for the month had already started to make their way home as it was the last day of the month this year.
Those who had come out for the procession were able to see the very moving event which as usual involved a slow march down from the church down along Rua do Barranco and then back up the hill with the local scouts, a marching band and the Nossa Senhora decorated in flowers being carried through the streets as women followed behind with candles.
It perhaps would have been a good idea to close off the traffic for the parade as it meant that cars were still going past as the procession went by on the other side of the road and then when they were stopped we had a fair amount of beeping horns from those who had no idea what was going on up ahead which sort of killed the mood a little.
After the procession everyone went their own way, with some enjoying the music on the square and others heading off for a meal and waiting for midnight for the fireworks which were traditionally a little late but were very good and went on for nearly 10 minutes providing a good amount of ooh and ahh moments and finishing off the celebrations with a bang.
Now we are heading into September but with there still being a good few people in the town, the weather still lovely and hot and the entertainment continuing until the end of the month it is not feeling like the summer has come to an end just yet.
Live music will continue in the square throughout September every night from around 8.30pm until midnight so come down and have a dance or send the kids off to the bouncy castle, which this year is once again the very dubious looking tunnel that the children have to push themselves out of – it has to be seen to be fully appreciated!
If you missed the celebrations in Carvoeiro at the end of August then there will be similar taking place in Estombar and in Porches on Sunday, September 7 while in Lagoa the celebrations will be taking place on Monday.
Also look out for events at the Algarve Racetrack in September and if you fancy trying some traditional Portuguese style tapas then have a look at the Rota de Petisco which is taking place in Portimão and also at selected restaurants in Ferragudo and Silves. Any of the participating eateries will be offering a tapas type dish for €2.50 or a dessert and drink for €2 with choices for children too. This is running throughout the month and is a great way to discover new places and foods without having to pay a lot of money. Look out for details in the local press about the event and which restaurants are taking place or pop into a tourist office to ask for some details about it.
I am off now to take my place on the beach now there is space to lay down my towel…ahhh September how I have longed for you….