Newsletter January 2018

Margarida Sampaio @


Happy New Year readers!  As we welcome in 2018 we can all feel comforted that no matter what else is going on in the world, you can rely on things in Carvoeiro to remain the same as ever!

Walking around Carvoeiro this month so far I have not found too much evidence of “New year, new me” and quite honestly I am more than happy about that.  There is something very reassuring in knowing that it doesn’t matter how long you have been away from Carvoeiro, when you return you know that very little will have changed.

Of course we see new faces, new businesses and new developments every year but change happens at a gentle pace in Carvoeiro and that is probably why we love this special place in the Algarve so much.

FESTIVE SEASON

This time of the year is known for being particularly relaxed and we appear to have slipped into 2018 without too much of a fanfare.  It has been years since there have been fireworks in Carvoeiro on New Year’s Eve and sadly once again there was no big celebration in the town itself.

Those looking for a bit of life to welcome in the New Year generally headed off to busier places in the region with displays and entertainment in Lagos, Praia da Rocha and Armação de Pêra and literally thousands of people went across to Albufeira.  There were around 70,000 people down on the fisherman’s beach in Albufeira with the particularly large crowd mainly due to the fact that the Portuguese band Xutos & Pontapés were playing their first concert following the death of their guitarist Zé Pedro on 30th November.

While New Year in Carvoeiro was a quiet affair, there were a good few people about over the festive period in general, with plenty of Christmas parties taking place around the town.  The Christmas lights in the main square and at the entrance to the village helped to make the place feel more festive in general and while the may have been described as a little underwhelming by most people, it was good to have something about!

To be honest, the best Christmas lights in the local area were probably the ones in the Intermarché supermarket carpark, where they had gone to the trouble of draping many of the trees in sparkling lights, just the perfect amount to distract you as you drive along the road and attept to avoid running into the back of the car ahead that is turning right…

The lights in Carvoeiro were complimented by a small nativity scene at the entrance of the village but anyone who was looking for something a little more impressive only had to go down to Lagoa in December while their Christmas market was on – because there you could find a full size nativity scene!

Carvoeiro also hosted their annual Christmas market in mid December and the weather held out enough to make it a lovely couple of afternoons – well done to everyone who took part and helped to make it such a nice day out for the family.

DARK TIMES

Now we have got all of the excitement of Christmas and New Year out of the way, it is back to business as ever in Carvoeiro.  With so few people about there has been very little to report but one thing that has been causing a bit of a stir in the town recently has been the lack of lighting up on the O Farol and beyond.  Thanks to many of the businesses being closed being combined with a total lack of street lighting for prolonged periods, walking up the hill has become tricky at the best.  The problem does appear to have been solved but there were lots of complaints about the situation, particularly because it was actually dangerous to find your way in the pitch dark!

Another area which has been raising eyebrows is the road between Carvoeiro and Rocha Brava (passing the Tivoli).  The local council have been working to put in a walkway along this part of the road – which in theory will make this a much safer route for people coming in and out of the village on foot and for drivers trying to avoid people as they try to find a safe place to walk.  Sadly works appear to have come to a bit of a stop and we have areas now that are actually more dangerous than they were before – so it came as no surprise to anyone to see that a car had come off this road and crashed in December.  Let’s hope that things get going again as soon as possible and this project can be completed for the safety of everyone.

CYCLING STARS

The Algarve will be welcoming stars of the cycling world in February and Lagoa will be hosting some of the key stages once again.

The Volta ao Algarve race is one of the first on the cycling calendar and even if you are not a fan of the sport there is no denying it is a lot of fun to watch them as they speed past along the roads in the local area!

Stage 3 is a time trial stage and is being held entirely in Lagoa on Friday, 16th February.  On this day the cyclists will be covering a 20km route which passes through Carvoeiro itself – so be aware that roads are going to be closed and have a look at the official website in English at www.votaaoalgarve.com if you want to work out where you will park yourself up for the day to watch the event.

The race moves about the Algarve each day and starts on 14th February in Albufeira with the final stage over in the east on Sunday, 18th February.

The 44th edition of the race promises to bring out some of the biggest names in cycling coming over for the event, including 13 WorldTour teams of Team Sky (GBR), Quick-Step Floors (BEL), BMC Racing Team (USA), Team Sunweb (GER), Trek-Segafredo(USA) and Movistar Team (ESP). The other WorldTour teams confirmed are Bora-hansgrohe (GER), FDJ (FRA), Lotto NL-Jumbo (NED), Lotto Soudal (BEL), Team Dimension Data (RSA), Team Katusha Alpecin (SUI) and UAE Team Emirates(UAE).

If you can’t get out to watch the race yourself then it is being broadcast on Eurosport as well as on the Portuguese television station TVI24.

WHAT’S ON IN JANUARY

Not all that much if we are going to be completely honest!  In Carvoeiro itself, lots of places are still closed for their winter break so we are left with the old faithful places that have stayed open, the odd quiz night and the Friday night darts league for general entertainment.

If you are happy to venture out this month from Carvoeiro you will find a few things going on though!

Walk/Run – On 14th January there will be a walk/run taking place in Estombar around the fonts.  This walk is suitable for children to take part in and begins at 9am with a reception at the fonts, with the walk then setting off properly at 10am.  If you fancy enjoying some fresh air while taking a walk around this beautiful area then join the fun with friends and family.

Al-Mutamid Music Festival – Listen to sounds from the middle east during the 18th edition of this unique music festival being held in the convent on 26th January in Lagoa.  The show will be paying tribute to the poet king Al-Mutamid and will feature Arab-Andalsí music, Sufi music and dancing as well as middle eastern music and dancing.

Chouriço festival – This one is a real favourite of mine and if you are a fan of Chouriço sausage then you should get in the car and head over to Quernça in the hills near to Loulé.  They have a procession and live music at the festival but to be honest it is all about the sausages so get ready to indulge on 21st January!

Markets – When there is not much going on in the local area then you can always rely on the local markets for a morning out.  Ferragudo hosts a flea market on the second Sunday of every month, which falls on 14th January.  This market is held on the riverfront between 8am and 1pm and is a great excuse for a spot of lunch out in Ferragudo after the market.  We also have a market in Lagoa on the fourth Sunday of every month which lands on 28th in January.  The Lagoa market is held next to the Fatacil and sells everything from pot plants to fresh produce and everything else in between.

AND FINALLY….

If you are considering booking a trip out to Carvoeiro to enjoy some winter sun (it’s raining right now but it’s set to clear!) then why not consider booking dates to coincide with Carnival?  Every year we have a parade in Carvoeiro and this year it will be taking place on Sunday February 11th with the main event then being on Tuesday 13th February.  This is a great time of year and a welcome change from the quiet of the winter months for those of us who are here full time!

Have a great month

Until next time,

Margarida

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