Newsletter July 2015
Margarida Sampaio @
Can it be July already? Summer is officially here and Carvoeiro is buzzing with activity as the busiest time of the year gets into full swing.
Love it or loathe it, the summer is what keeps Carvoeiro ticking over and it is great to see the streets filled with people and the restaurants and other businesses making the most of the influx of people once again.
Who turned the heating up this month!! It seems to have been heat wave after heat bomb over the past few weeks with unseasonably hot weather and tipping the 40 degree mark on occasions, sending even the most hardened of sun worshipers scurrying for the shade!
The last weekend of June saw heat wave take on an entirely new definition with it staying over 30 degrees even into the night and similar temperatures are expected again this month with weather experts predicting an increase in these periods of extreme heat.
Most people coming to the Algarve like the sunshine but once we go over the 35 degree mark life becomes a little tricky and even a breeze from the sea is impossible to enjoy because you will be too busy jumping up and down attempting to not burn your feet on the scorching sand.
If you are in Carvoeiro or the Algarve during one of these very hot periods it is advisable to seek out shade for most of the day and to make sure you keep hydrated (swap every other beer for a water?).
BLACK AND WHITE SUCCESS?
Carvoeiro saw the streets filled with people and the town turned Black and White once again for the second consecutive year as Black and White night returned.
This year they once again closed the roads at the bottom of the town to allow people to move about without the fear of being run over and this allowed the businesses to increase their pavement space which worked well for a lot of them.
There were stages outside Mungo’s, down by the taxi rank, on the main square, along by Hemingways and a DJ space above the toilets down by the beach.
It is estimated that around 20,000 people came down for the evening of free entertainment to mark the summer solstice and while for some this was fantastic, for others it proved a little problematic.
The majority of people stuck to the dress code of Black and White which on the plus side create a great atmosphere and got everyone into the spirit of the event; on the downside you could not spot anyone in the crowd because everyone was looking very similar!
The hoards of people all of course came in cars and with the roads being closed the options for parking were limited. Anyone who read my last newsletter was given due warning about the impending car parking mayhem and if you were down in the town before 7.30 then you had a good chance of finding a parking space this side of Lagoa. Those who had not opted to come down early doors were left parking out as far as the Cepsa petrol station and then switching to shanks pony for the rest of the route – fine on the way down, not so much fun on the way back after a couple of caipirinhas.
The sheer amount of people who came to Carvoeiro showed that the event had been well publicised and was clearly one of interest to people but it was really REALLY busy! This made it tricky to walk about the streets and if you had not booked a table for dinner (I did warn you guys!) then you were in for a long wait.
The quality of the entertainment was hit and miss - again depending on your expectations and interests. Most agreed that the DJ set to finish the night on the beach was good and broad in the music picks, while the Orchestra was a big hit with a lot of people.
Other stages and forms of entertainment were more questionable and then there were the pole dancers…I am no prude and I am all for the odd nipple tassel, but I am not sure what people were expecting and some were certainly trying to distract their children as they deflected awkward questions…Only in Carvoeiro I guess!
Whatever your experience of the night it has to be said that the event was well organised and certainly worked to place Carvoeiro firmly on the map. If it managed to bring new visitors to the town for the first time then it has to be a good thing and many of the businesses did really well on the night which also is much appreciated.
Let’s hope that they decide to bring back the Black and White night next year and at least we can all be prepared for the night!
APOLONIA COMES TO LAGOA
Well, you know the area is coming up in the world when you get a branch of Apolonia on your doorstep – basically the Portuguese equivalent of the Waitrose effect and now Carvoeiro is the proud new home of a sparkling new €9 million Apolonia supermarket.
The supermarket is located on the new roundabout on the road between Carvoeiro and Lagoa (You can’t miss it as it is so big is basically obliterates the sun for most of the day) and is the supermarket for shoppers looking for something a little special.
The supermarket is lovely and swish with big wide aisles and a great choice of products but if you are buy top notch then you need to prepare yourself for the price tags that go with this.
Great for the extensive butchers counter, freshly made sushi to take away and the huge selection of fruit and veg but it may be worth shopping about for the essentials to prevent blowing your budget on one shopping trolley!
As if to highlight just how fancy this supermarket is, it even has its own moat…
Now summer is in full swing we have plenty of events going on locally and further afield in the Algarve that are well worth making the effort to get out and take part in.
In Carvoeiro we have the live music now every night on the square with a good mixture for all ages and tastes. There is the basic schedule but look out for special events taking place including the Silves Philharmonic with a special moonlight performance on the square on July 3.
All around Carvoeiro there will be live music and entertainment throughout the summer so be sure to check the boards outside Round-up Saloon, Mungos, Rascals, Hemingways, Harrys Bar, Bradys, Taste and lots of the other local businesses.
In Lagoa this month we have the return of the candlelight cultural market between July 9-12. This is another free event which involves more than 1,000 candles being laid out throughout the streets around the Convent and also includes, food, drinks, handicrafts, workshops, performances and much more with the theme this year being based around Jewish heritage and culture. The event will run each evening from 5.30pm until midnight.
Over in Porches there will be the second edition of the Snail Festival between July 8-7. The event is held at the sports and cultural centre in Porches and is a brilliant event to go to if you are looking for a real slice of life in the Algarve. If you have been put off snails in the past then give them a go the Algarvean way – you may be surprised at just how good they taste – especially when washed down with a beer or two which tends to make them taste all the better as the night progresses.
And finally look out for all the motorbikes on the roads between July 16-19 as the International Motorbike Festival returns to faro for the 34th time! If you ae a fan of bikes and all that surrounds the culture then brave the heat and get down to the site in Faro for the weekend of music and fun. If you would rather watch from the sidelines then look out for the bikes circulating around Faro over the weekend in their annual parade. Be sure to drive safely over this weekend (and at all other times too!) and to look out for bikes.
I am off now to sit in a darkened room and try and avoid the next hear bomb on the horizon, I will be back next month…unless I have melted of course…