Newsletter November 2015
Margarida Sampaio @
Well it appears that we have sort of skipped autumn here in the Algarve and have gone straight to winter with the temperatures plummeting, the heavens opening and the storms arriving in force for November.
STORMS AND FLOODING
We all know that the Algarve boasts 300 days of sunshine a year but it looks like we are cramming those 65 wet days into a very short period at the moment with October being a very soggy month and November starting with an enormous storm.
When I look at the weather for other places in northern Europe I shouldn’t really feel so sad about these grey days but it is hard to deal with the rain and the cold when we are used to wearing our flip flops for the majority of the year!
While October was wet, it was nothing to the storm that hit into the early hours of November 1st. This started with a heavy shower that then developed into thunder, lightning, gale force winds and torrential downpours that went on for a good 24 hours.
Luckily the local council in Carvoeiro had the foresight this year to clean the drains and generally tidy up in preparation for the storms that traditionally come at this time of the year and while it was a struggle for the drainage to cope and at some points the roads became little rivers – Carvoeiro was generally OK after the storm.
The day after the cleaners were out sweeping up the sand from the streets that had washed up and blown in and there were a few people who had some leaks but no real damage had occurred in Carvoeiro.
We had suffered from power cuts with the centre of the town out for a couple of hours on the Sunday and other areas with intermittent cuts and when the power came back on and we switched on the televisions we were able to see just how lucky we had been in comparison with our friends down the road in Albufeira.
Down town Albufeira had turned into a fast flowing river with water levels rising so fast that cars were swept away, people were trapped in buildings and businesses saw the water rising above the level of the front door.
Works to clear up Albufeira are still ongoing and we are yet to see the full extent of the damage which to be honest, is going to be very high by the looks of the footage circulating on Facebook and hitting the news eah day.
Very sadly, one man died in the floods, an 80 year old man in the Boliquieme area was reported missing after his car was found abandoned in fast flowing flood water. The next day his body was found some 100 metres from his car with the windows of the vehicle broken.
The people of the Algarve are known for being a resilient lot but this one is really going to test the people of Albufeira – let’s hope they are able to have everything back in order before the season starts again.
DID YOU FEEL THE EARTH MOVE
We get a lot of earthquakes in Portugal, more than I enjoy really and more than my home enjoys with cracks appearing ever time the earth moves again – but usually these earthquakes are very small and we don’t feel them – however this last earthquake was felt by lots of people!
The earthquake in question occurred on Wednesday, October 21 and left lots of people reaching straight for their phones to ask if they were going mad on social media or if there really had been an earthquake.
The 3.4 magnitude earthquake rattled houses and businesses at 9:39am with the epicentre being later confirmed as being in Silves and while half the population were looking around feeling confused, the other half didn’t even notice it!
A school in Silves was evacuated for safety but in the end no real damage was done and nobody was hurt.
Away from natural disasters and freakish weather other things have actually been going on in Carvoeiro over the past month and while it is much quieter now, we did see a good number of people coming over for their holidays over the half term break, giving many businesses a much needed boost before the winter season kicks in proper.
Halloween turned out to be quite an event this year in Carvoeiro with more than just a few dressing up and a pretty impressive parade and float!
There have been Halloween parades in the past but this year around 40 children joined a marching band, a float and some very scary looking witches to parade down the O Farol and along Rua do Barranco for passers-by to enjoy.
The children made a real effort with their outfits and many of the bars including Six, Brady’s, Smilers and Mungo’s all made an effort for the evening to encourage people to dress as spooky/sexy/slutty/questionable (delete where applicable) characters for the night.
Well done to all involved and I hope the Halloween parade grows next year as this is a great way to bring people to the town for a night out at this time of year – even if you are not a fan of the event, you have to enjoy the faces of distressed parents as their children are fed more sugar and bounce around the streets like crazy things.
You know it must be the winter in Carvoeiro if the darts league is back up and running and we have already had the first couple of games of the season in the town.
Lots of the usual suspects are back for the league including Harry’s bar, Sully’s, Accordeão, Hemmingways, LSD Bar and Charlies (so sorry if I forgot one!) and we also have the addition of Six now in the league.
We have seen the league reduced down to one tier now with all the teams playing each other – a bonus for some of the teams as it means that they can never be relegated!
If you are looking to find some life in the town over the winter then pop into one of the bars that are in the league on a Friday night when games are played - you can be sure to find usually at least eight people in the bar and if you like to throw a dart or two look out for the open singles and doubles competitions that take place.
Lists of the fixtures can be found in the participating bars so just pop in and find out who is playing where and when and cheer on your favourite team!
CHRISTMAS IS COMING…
I don’t know how many days it is to Christmas because I generally try to avoid even thinking about it until mid December then find myself in a mild panic as I try to purchase tat for friends and family…however it appears that the local council is already on the case!
The annual Christmas fair will be returning to the square in Carvoeiro on 18, 19 and 20 of December with a promise of lots of little stalls, entertainment and stuff to keep the kids busy. There will also be a fair held inside at the Fatacil in Lagoa on 11,12 and 13 December with the indoor location being chosen to make sure that the weather doesn’t ruin the day for everyone.
The early planning is actually fantastic and very welcome for those of us who love to plan ahead a little – it is also great news for anyone who may want a stand at the fair as you actually have some notice that it is taking place and can apply for your stall until November 13 by visiting the parish council office to pick up a form which is also available at www.uf-lagoa-pt
FIND OUT MORE…
I always try to include information about what is going on in the local area each month to give you a little inspiration while you are in Carvoeiro but there are always lots of things about that don’t really qualify for the newsletter but are great fun anyway!
If you are looking for some inspiration then why not have a look at our new section on Carvoeiro.com with our “Top 10’s”.
We have already posted a couple up already; Top 10 activities for kids & Top 10 ways to spend a winter day and I will be putting together a new Top 10 every month and we would love it if you would collaborate with us on these so we can put together the best ideas of things to do, places to go, beaches to visit, restaurants to eat in and everything else for Carvoeiro.
This month, with the weather being on the wet side, I have a put together a Top 10 of things to do in the rain – have a look, you may be inspired! And if you have some of your own great ideas then share them with us!
Next month I want to compile a Top 10 Christmas and New Year in Carvoeiro and the Algarve list – so let us know your ideas on the forum – best places to have dinner, where to watch fireworks, where to buy gifts, where the parties are, where to get decorations from, things to do on the big day – anything really that you know that helps to make this a special time of year in Carvoeiro!
I really love to hear all your feedback and if you have any ideas of Top 10s that you would like me to look into in the future then just get in touch.
I am off to go and drink lots of wine as the local council has asked us to collect all of our corks for recycling…and I could hardly say no to helping the environment could I?