Newsletter August 2015
Margarida Sampaio @
We all know that summers are hot in the Algarve but when the mercury rises above 40 degrees and it is hotter in our little Carvoeiro than it is in Dubai…then you know you are allowed to start moaning!
HEATWAVE OR SUMMER?
I have been knocking about Carvoeiro for a good few years and while we have the odd week here and there with temperatures into the mid 30s I have to say I have never experienced a summer quite like it and a non scientific straw poll by myself, found that nobody else could ever remember it being o hot (not sure if that was to do with the amount of wine that had been consumed).
The hot days have only been made more tricky to deal with by the also very hot nights – with temperatures remaining at up to 30 on some nights and making it difficult to sleep. The result of this sleep deprivation and heat exhaustion has been the entire nation getting into a bit of a grump for the past few weeks. So if you are visiting Carvoeiro this month then please spare a thought for the workers who continue to try to smile - it can be a tough job at the best of times but in this heat anyone working in the service industry deserves an icy cool medal.
ALL CHANGE – AGAIN
As if the heat and the influx of people into Carvoeiro at this time of the year wasn’t enough- we have also had to contend with a change in the flow of traffic around the town.
To be fair to the local council they did put out a poster asking for people to give their opinion on changing the direction of the flow of traffic between the centre and Monte Carvoeiro and it seems that the majority were in favour of changing the road directions.
So now from the centre of the town you go UP the hill past Palacio do Cône and Tia Ilda and you come DOWN the town on Rua do Casino, past the post office at the bottom.
This sounds very familiar I hear some of you say? Well you would be right in thinking so because this was the road lay out only a few years back before they decided to change it!
I have no clue why we changed it in the first place as we were all pretty happy with the arrangement but now it is back to how it used to be with the exception that the cut through road by A Vela and the ice cream shop that takes you from Rua dos Pescadore to Rua do Barranco (and therefore avoiding the square if you want) that is still the same direction.
Many people are happy with the change in direction for the roads, personally for me a hill is a hill and whatever route I take I almost always end up driving halfway around the town. At least now when you travel down the O’Farol and want to go up to Monte Carvoeiro you don’t have to go out of the village and come back in again to do it.
My only criticism of the changes has to be who would think that it was a good idea to implement all of these changes in July? Anyone who has been to Carvoeiro in February will tell you that hours can seem to go by without a single car travelling through the town!
Luckily there had been some planning for the changes put in place and the GNR were put out to help tell cars to reverse all the way back up the hill.
NEW IN TOWN
The works to buildings along Rua do Barranco between the Gelados & Companhia ice cream shop at one end and Hemingways at the other, are making good progress and one of the buildings is already open for business, opposite Sandoskas.
The new shop sells a selection of beach wear, hats, bracelets and what I loving refer to as general “tat”. Avoid at all costs if you have children who are prone to moaning when not bought toys instantly but a good place to find little bits and pieces to take home or bribe said children with if needed.
Also new in town is Bistro 72, which is back with Mandy at the helm. The new look Bisto 72 is on Rua do Baranco and has had a complete face lift and now is more of a wine bar style venue with Mandy, who many will know from Carvoeiro and Rascals in the past, bringing her own touch to the place – good to see the place open again and another choice for everyone in Carvoeiro.
As we are now in August the town is now as busy as it gets at any time of the year and there is a great atmosphere about the place if you are able to find a spot of shade that is!
During the days many of the cafes and restaurants are full and the newly expanded beach is getting some good use with parasols and towels as far as the eye can see.
If you are not keen on the amount of people on the beach and are willing to travel a little there are lots of great local beaches about in the area. Praia Grande near to Ferragudo has to be a favourite thanks to it being enormous and with a good choice of beach bars and even a play park for little ones who don’t fancy getting wet.
In the evening Carvoeiro is full of life with live entertainment every night in the square by the beach and also inflatables for children just behind the stage. The heat wave has meant that the usually cool evenings have been replaced with balmy ones and the best time to be on the beach is perhaps at night when it is not so hot!
THE MONTH AHEAD
Although there are lots of people about this has to be one of the best times of the year to visit Carvoeiro and the Algarve if you are looking for entertainment and events.
In Carvoeiro itself we have the music every night in the square as well as lots of entertainment in the bars and restaurants and at the end of the month we have the annual blessing of the sea celebrations.
The last Sunday of the month will see a religious procession through the streets starting at the church and then winding down and then back up again. The procession includes members of the church, the scouts and a marching band and is a very beautiful sight for anyone who has not seen it before. It happens during the late afternoon and then gives everyone time to head off for something to eat before then going back down to the beach to watch the fireworks display at midnight. The details of the blessing of the sea have not yet been confirmed but there will be posters up around the town and outside the Junta office for those who are looking for more details nearer the time.
Outside Carvoeiro there are lots of other great events taking place including the city waterslide which is coming to Portimão on August 8 and 9, this is a slide that literally goes through the streets of the city with tickets costing €5 to take part. Details are a little sketchy again for this one but it looks like being a great event, especially if you have children who you are looking to entertain for the day.
Some old favourites are also returning this month, including the Fatacil fair held in Lagoa and Silves Medieval Fair.
The Fatacil will be taking place at the showground in Lagoa from August 21 until August 30 with the usual mixture of agricultural equipment, smelly cheese sandwiches, hot tubs, handicrafts and everything in between. This year the line up does not exactly have any familiar names on the bill for the musical performances, unless you are a fan of Portuguese pop and rock but even if you are not sure who is playing it is worth heading down to the main stage to watch the acts as they are usually pretty good or at the least entertaining!
The Medieval fair in Silves is also one not to miss this month and is being held through the streets of the city between August 7 and 16. There is a small entry fee and then you can head off to watch the performances, music, jousting (at an extra cost) and much more.
Be sure to wear some sturdy footwear to make it up and down the slippery calçada hills and be prepared to battle against the crowds as the night goes on. If you want to see all the stalls and have a chance to actually perhaps buy something rather than being pushed along, then get down there early, this will also help if you are looking for a parking space.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Thanks so much for all your feedback on the forum, it is great to hear from old and new contributors to the questions I set and this month I am asking which is your favourite restaurant to eat in when you are in Carvoeiro (or the local area).
With Carvoeiro being known for its top quality restaurants which are the best for those who don’t know where to even start – and if you could let us know why then that would be great too!
If you are planning on heading down to the Fontes in Estombar for a dip in the waters then please be aware that it is closed to the public from August 1 until August 11 because of the Didgeridoo festival which is taking place – if you fancy it then you can join in too!!
Until next month