Newsletter February 2017
Margarida Sampaio @
So we have managed to get through January successfully and February has started feeling distinctly spring like – which is a good job because we have had our fair share of exceptionally cold weather!
While it may not have snowed in Tavira (there were some great hoax photos doing the rounds on social media) there were a few snowflakes spotted floating around in the eastern Algarve during in January and a fair bit of frost in exposed areas.
On the whole though we have had generally warm weather and hardly any rain at all compared to other years so we will try not to complain too much about the temperatures…especially when I look out of the window at the blue skies right now and temperatures into the 20s!
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WORKS IN CARVOEIRO
As is customary at this time of the year there are plenty of works going on in and around Carvoeiro – better than starting them in July I guess!
The works in the Tivoli continue at a crazy pace, with so many workers, lorries, trucks and cranes around the place it is actually pretty amazing to watch. If you take a walk along the cliff tops behind the Tivoli then you can get a good look at all the changes along the back of the hotel. Every room appears to have been altered, new balconies, there are no tiles around the pool area...here’s to when it opens again in April, I can’t wait to see the completed transformation.
Just a quick word of warning though regarding the Tivoli, do be careful if you are driving along the road past the hotel as there are now often many parked cars and trucks along the side of the road in this area and turning lorries etc – so take care.
We have also had a lot of activity at the entrance to Carvoeiro, in the area where my beloved fishing boat used to sit as you approach Rua dos Pescadores.
These works have not been quite as frantic as those at the Tivoli but they are coming along well with a new pathway to make it safer for people to walk along this area of the village and a good deal of walling being done – not quite sure how useful that is but it does look pretty all the same.
What does not look pretty at the moment is the works that are taking place in and around Monte Carvoeiro.
The area at the top of the dangerous curve after Paraiso beach if you are approaching from the town centre, continues to be a huge mess and is now more dangerous than ever as the dodgy junction has been turned into an even more dodgy roundabout. I say a roundabout…currently it is just a very large concrete design painted in blue, with no road markings or signage and one of the worst road surfaces as you approach it from every direction that I have ever seen.
This has to be a priority of the local council to get these works finished as soon as possible because nobody has a clue how to negotiate the big blue thing while also focusing on avoiding all of the raised manhole covers.
All around the pre-school and doctors, up past the Jailhouse and in this area has had major works but these have not been finished meaning that we now have some sort of assault course to work our way around to get anywhere. This assault course is only mad considerably worse when it is around the time of parents picking up and dropping off children each day when we have the dreaded combination of bad double parking, road works and loose children…you have been warned!
So with the obligatory moan over it is on to things that are far more fun to talk about and this year carnival falls on the last day of February and is well worth getting at least a little bit excited about – if only for the thought that there may actually be some new faces in the town for the first time in a few months!
While Shrove Tuesday is the official day of carnival, not everyone here is about for these celebrations, so as usual Carvoeiro will be celebrating on both the Tuesday and the Sunday before.
The local children of the town have been given the theme once again of representing the tradition and culture of the local area and will be doing their own small parade on the Friday morning . So look out for lots of fishermen, hotel workers, surfers and traditional folklore outfits during this mini parade – and be prepared to be stuck in your car for a little while if you miss time your trip on that day!
There are still no details as to the theme of the main parades on the Sunday and Tuesday but we can be certain of a good few floats being involved and as the years have gone by these floats have become more and more elaborate – as well as the costumes.
There is always a really good atmosphere at carnival in Carvoeiro with many of the people watching choosing to gather in the small square by the beach to get the best view of the festivities and also to be closest to the roasted pork sandwiches and very reasonably priced beer.
After the main parades, which take place at around 3pm, there is usually music in this small square and a party in the Sociedade, above the funky fish store on Rua dos Pescadores. Don’t be afraid to join in with this – you don’t have to get dressed up but if you do, you will be given a very warm welcome and take advantage of the opportunity to have a couple of drinks and take to the dance floor!
There are of course carnival celebrations taking place all across the Algarve, with the main one being in Loulé, which this year is celebrating its 111th year and is always spectacular – the ladies wearing small knickers and body paint only are always very popular. There are also parades and parties happening in little villages such as Alte or in bigger towns and cities such as in Lagoa or in Portimão – all pretty much starting at around 3pm. So if you feel one day of Carnival in Carvoeiro is enough then you can head out to see what everyone else has to offer on the other day if you fancy it.
Hope to see lots of you down in the town for carnival and to offer some support to all the local residents who put so much effort into making it a great day for everyone.
February is not known for being an action packed month but we have the odd thing going on apart from just carnival.
If you are out here for Valentine’s day then it is a good idea to give your favourite restaurant a call to check firstly if they are open and if they are then take the chance to book your table now because this always is a busy night out in the town.
If you are more likely to be celebrating Galentine’s than heading out for a meal with your other half then why not head out to watch the Volta ao Algarve cycling race – it turns out you don’t actually need to know anything about cycling to enjoy this event after all!
This year there will be some 24 teams taking part with some very big names in the sport expected to make an appearance along the roads of the Algarve.
The event begins in Albufeira and travels to Lagos on 15th February, the second stage begins in Lagoa and continues up to Foia in the mountains on the 16th. On February 17th it is Sagres to Sagres, on the 19th it is Almodôver to Tavira and on the final day the 19th the race is between Loulé and Malhão. If you want to see maps and find out more details and times then visit www.voltaaoalgarve.com
In other news, you may have seen the very interesting article published by Forbes stating how cheap Carvoeiro is to live in that you may be able to live here without ever having to work. In the article “Quit your job and live abroad: 8 places so cheap you might not need to work”, Carvoeiro has come out at number one on the list with the writer claiming that you can live in Carvoeiro on a monthly budget of €1069…I guess that means you don’t have to work if you have that a month coming in already!
The article says: "Looking at the whole world map right now and based on my experience and the input of people I know, this is my pick for the top place to live," says Peddicord, who also describes Portugal as "the best-kept secret of old-world Europe."
Carvoeiro, a town on the Algarve coast, qualifies as the most appealing place on earth to call home for several reasons, says Peddicord: "The take-your-breath-away views from the rocky coast, the constant sunshine, the near-perfect weather year-round, the food, the wine, the history — it all adds up to top-shelf living for a very bargain price."
"It's also a great place for single women to start a business and start a life," says Peddicord. The current down value of the euro helps contribute to the budget factor.
...So I’m off to lounge on the beach, it’s so cheap here I don’t need to do anything else at all…
Until next time