Newsletter March 2016
Margarida Sampaio @
It is March and already there is more life coming back into Carvoeiro with everything re-opening or due to open their doors again very soon as we prepare ourselves for a new summer season on the way.
The weather here has been mixes as usual with us experiencing all four seasons over the month of February, including snow – yes SNOW!!!! Although we didn’t really have snow in Carvoeiro itself, if you were brave enough to venture up the Monchique mountain at the end of the month there was enough to build your own (miniature) snowman!
Generally it has been pretty cold recently and the fires have all be roaring but we have also had our fair share of great weather and clear days – perfect for exploring the empty beaches and soaking up the vitamin D.
Sadly, when we really needed the sun to shine we were unlucky and Carnival was almost a wash out – luckily the party spirit kept everyone going!
This year carnival landed early but it seems that it doesn’t matter what time of the year we have carnival, the biting northerly wind and rain clouds always seem to gather and this year was no different again.
Luckily we have two main parades for Carnival and the parade on the Sunday was a dry one with the sun making an appearance too which was lovely.
The celebrations began on the Friday with the children from the local primary school doing their own parade in the morning following the theme of “The people of the municipality” this translated as them all dressing up as women from the sardine factory of the past and fishermen in general which was very sweet to see tiny people pretending to be elderly!
The theme of the main parade for Carvoeiro was fairytales which was loosely interpreted by those involved!!
As usual we has a fair share of men dressed as women, men dressed as babies and our local carnival hero Danny who led the way in front of the floats.
We had the Wacky Races, Alice in Wonderland and of course a float following the theme of Frozen with hoards of little girls dressed up as Elsa and Anna and even a little Reindeer taking his place in the parade.
There were some fantastic costumes and a lot of effort had gone in to producing the floats once again it was a great shame when the heavens opened on Tuesday, only an hour or so before the parade began and sending lots of people scurrying for shelter. The rain did stop to allow the parade to continue so many congratulations to those who took part, especially those with the more skimpy of outfits who had to brave the chilly weather but still managed to have a smile on their faces the entire time!
Carnival is a massive event in the Algarve and Portugal with many parades taking place in towns and villages up and down the country and it is great to see the people of Carvoeiro really getting into the spirit and so many people also supporting the event.
I have mentioned the brilliant #carvoeiroboxes project which has been bringing lots of colour and art to the streets of Carvoeiro over the past couple of months and now the project has expanded further across the town.
If you take a walk along Rua do Barranco and Rua dos Pescadores (the in and the out roads) then you will have seen the old grey electricity boxes have been transformed into pieces of art and now the boxes up the O Farol have also had a similar treatment.
If you want to see examples of the boxes and to keep up with the ew ones as they arrive then have a look at the dedicated Facebook page about the boxes and the street art in Carvoeiro https://www.facebook.com/Carvoeiro-Street-Art-and-boxes-1075673039132975/?fref=ts .
There is always something new going on in Carvoeiro and this month we have the newly opened Atlantic bar in what used to be Rascals.
The bar is located just up the hill from Sullys bar on the right hand side and has amazing views and is being run by Mandy and her team – best of luck to them all!
We also have another familiar face making a return to the bar scene with Jailhouse Dave returning back to the Jailhouse. He is currently doing works on the business and is due to reopen in a couple of months so for fans old and new – look out for Dave this summer!
Many of you may have already heard of the Rota do Petisco, a tapas route that first started in Portimão and has since grown to include restaurants and cafes in Silves, Monchique and Ferragudo and now it looks like Carvoeiro could be joining the route too.
The concept of the route is for each participating business to provide a savoury tapas type dish with a drink or a sweet dish with a drink, both to be at a set price. Those taking part in the route can pick the places they want to visit and eat their way around the local area, giving people a chance to sample local dishes and try new places without having to fork out for an entire meal.
Over the past few years the route has become incredibly successful and it will be returning again between 27th May and 26th June and plans are in place to include businesses in Lagoa and Carvoeiro.
This is a brilliant initiative and means you can pop in for a quick bite without having to book a table as a special area should be reserved for those following the route. You can also buy your own “passport” and get stamps at each of the places you visit – see how many you can do during the month!!
Talks are currently in place to include the businesses of the local area and fingers crossed it all comes off and we can hope to welcome lots of new faces to the local area to enjoy some of our best restaurants.
Easter is coming early this year, which hopefully means that we should see lots of people returning for some spring sunshine. Usually at this time of the year we also have an Easter little fair although, there is still no news about this yet. This does not mean that it will not be taking place, anyone who has read my newsletters before will know that it is quite usual to not know the details of any event until about two days before.
If the event takes place as it has in previous years then there should be a few stalls in the square selling local handicrafts and gifts, as well as some entertainment to mark the event – so let’s see what happens!
COMING UP THIS MONTH
Looking ahead through March, we already have a few interesting events coming up, including the fantastic Monchique Sausage Festival – a lot more fun than it may sound!
The “Feira dos Enchidos Tradicionais”, traditional sausage fair of Serra de Monchique is a highlight on the events calendar of the region thanks to it offering a true taste of mountain life with a combination of great food, local drinks and entertainment throughout the event.
This year the sausage festival returns for the 23rd year and will once again be held at the municipal heliport between the 4th and 6th of March.
The aim of the sausage festival is to promote the traditional chouriço sausage that is produced in the mountains and is part of many dishes made both inland and along the coast in Portugal. The recipes of these sausages are closely guarded secrets and are handed down from one generation to the next and the unique ingredients and blends allow these sausages to have a truly wonderful flavour and one that you will find yourself going back for to try more!
We also have the Algarve Jazz Orchestra returning to Lagoa on 26th March for a performance at the Auditorium from 9.30pm and if you like watching athletics then head over to Albufeira on 13th March for the 39th Almond Blossom International Cross Country Race – this is one that attracts a great field of athletes and is usually a brilliant atmosphere.
It may seem a long way off but if you are planning a trip to Carvoeiro this year and are not sure when to come, then book your break to coincide with the upcoming Black and White party which will be taking place this year on June 18th and looks like being a fantastic night once again!
I’m off now to soak up some early spring sunshine…I hear it’s snowing in other places….