Newsletter October 2015
Margarida Sampaio @
And who said nothing ever happens out of season in the Algarve? Well to be honest it is of course quieter now the crowds have gone but there is still plenty going on in Carvoeiro at this time of the year.
IT MUST BE AUTUMN
I guess it really must be autumn now because we have had some rain. So far we have not had the biblical storms that we all know are bound to be on the way but we have had a couple of days of rain to please all the gardeners and make those who are here on holiday shiver in their shorts and flip flops.
I, like many others in the Algarve, have a slightly unhealthy obsession with the weather which you may have noticed over the years (we won’t talk about the monitoring station I have) but when we veer from heat wave to torrential wave within the matter of days the weather does start to grip you here.
Probably the most exciting part about the rain this year was the fact that we didn’t have a flood. As with all the best news publications around it is possible to make no news at all something of vague interest but for the first time since I can ever remember the council decided that the forecast of rain was enough to burst into action and put in some flood prevention tactics.
We did not have the sand bags out but we did have a truck with some eager looking men jumping out, lifting drain covers and clearing debris in preparation for the down pour.
It turns out that the rains were not as heavy as expected but the drains were more than ready to deal with this and therefore we did not have the usual river running down Rua dos Pescadores and fingers crossed this will be enough to prevent it happening in the coming weeks.
ALL VERY POLITICAL
We should probably get the serious stuff out of the way first and while I know politics isn’t at the top of everybodys mind when they are in Carvoeiro, it is something that does have a bearing on what goes on here (such as drain cleaning regularity!!).
I won’t bore you with the details but basically all the parties seemed to be winners on the night strangely.
The centre-right party coalition between the PSD (Social Democrats) and CDS-PP (Popular Party) won the general elections, but failed to get an absolute majority, while the Communist/Greens alliance grew slightly, the Left Bloc grew more than any other.
Lusa news agency explains it all beautifully: “The coalition won because it got the most votes, the Socialists won because their share went up, the Left Bloc won because they more than doubled their MPs, the Communists won because the centre-right government failed to get a majority and one smaller party won because they got a seat in parliament.”
So it is all change and no change in Portugal but basically the voters didn’t do a Greece so nobody needs to panic that there is going to be a revolution or anything, especially as loads of people didn’t even bother to go out to cast their vote with abstention at 43.07%, the highest ever.
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SIGN OF THE TIMES
So back to more pressing matters such as what has been going on locally and an exciting development in Lagoa has been the placement of street name signs all over the place!
Recently they changed the road network and one way system in Lagoa, which combined with the lack of signage anywhere made this a virtually no go zone for anyone who didn’t live there and know that “shortcut” everyone talks about.
Now Lagoa is back on the map and you can actually Google the name of a street to be then able to look up and see if your GPS is lying to you or not – good times!
We also have developments right here in Carvoeiro with the opening of a new senior centre in the town. The old doctors surgery, located on Rua do Barranco near to the Junta office, has finally been put into use and is now a centre for the elderly to be able to drop in to.
Cuts in funding for basically everything in recent years has meant we have seen lots of very worthwhile projects stalling or even being cancelled so it is great to see that even a little investment is going to social projects like this one.
There had been talk of this unused building being made into a library and at one point it even opened up as a pop up art gallery but I think everyone will agree that this is a positive use of the space. There is already a senior centre in Lagoa but now the elderly of Carvoeiro have their own space that doesn’t require a bus trip.
The end of the summer must mean the start of the football season and league games for Carvoeiro untied are starting this month after a series of friendly games and an exciting cup game which resulted in a victory for the team.
League games are played from 3pm on Saturdays with the home ground being in Estombar, near to the school and easy to find. If you have not been down before then this is a great chance to meet up with local faces of all nationalities and to cheer on the local team while enjoying a beverage or two.
It is a family affair with all ages coming along, so make a date to see when the next home game is or follow what the team is up to on their Facebook page.
WHATS NEW THIS MONTH
A month cannot go by in Carvoeiro without a new business opening and this past month was no different with the opening of a new bar called 6 on the O Farol, opposite The Wolf restaurant.
6 is run by the team who were previously in Rascals and they have now opened up in this new venue serving their fish and chips, Sunday roasts and showing all the live sports you can shake a stick at – good luck to Sandra, Chris and the team.
October means it is time to dig out the broomstick and hat (although I keep mine at the ready at all times) and to get ready for some Halloween celebrations.
Halloween has grown in popularity here in Carvoeiro over recent years and you will find the pre school children usually out and about during the day marching up and down the streets, followed by some children who pop into the bars and restaurants for a treat (usually one of those sweets you get on the side of a coffee) during early evening.
To be honest it is really the adults in Carvoeiro who enjoy Halloween the most as an opportunity to get dressed up as something gruesome, slutty or a mixture of both in some cases.
Lots of the bars get into the spirit of the whole event with Havana bar being famous for their Halloween parties while Boa Vida, Hemmingways and Mungos are also all sure to have something on for the night and a good few people dressed up.
If you are over here for Halloween and want to make the effort then most of the Chinese shops sell stuff for costumes and there are usually also plenty of bits and pieces available from the bigger supermarkets, as well as pumpkins for those that want to show off their artistic side.
COMING UP THIS MONTH
As promised there is a lot still going on in the local area if you are around this month.
The music in the square has stopped for the year but there is still live entertainment taking place in lots of the bars and restaurants in the town, especially at the weekends – if you are looking for what is on then pop in early doors to find out in the individual venues.
As well as local entertainment we also have some big events coming our way this month with the biggest of all being the Portugal Masters taking place in Vilamoura on the Oceanico Victoria Golfe Course between October 15 and 18.
This European Tour event always draws a great crowd and tickets are not overly expensive for anyone who wants to get down there and watch in person. Be aware that Vilamoura is packed at this time of the year and that if you want a parking space somewhere within a 10km radius then it is a good idea to get down there early or to consider getting taxi to take you in instead to avoid the hassle altogether.
If you are feeling fit (or even not so fit) then sign up to take part in the annual Mamamaratona walk/run. This takes place in Portimão on October 11 with proceeds raised from the day going to the Algarve Oncology Association. You can sign up on the day but you need to get there early down to the old fish market on the riverfront to sign up and get your t-shirt and pay the entry fee.
The race track in Portimão will also see the return of the Algarve Classic Festival this month taking place over the weekend of October 23 – 25. One for those who enjoy classic cars or are simply looking for something a little different for the weekend.
Don’t forget to head down to Portimão for BLiP – Better Living in Portugal exhibition – taking place at the Portimão arena (the one that looks like a giant slug) on October 10 and 11. If you are looking for anything to do with living in Portugal as a foreigner or want to find out about paperwork, legal bits and bobs, doctors and loads of other business services then this is the place to come – and its free!
Look out for me near any of the stands selling delicious food stuffs!
Until next month