Newsletter April 2019

Margarida Sampaio @


April is here and so too are the notorious April showers. After having a good few months with hardly any rain at all and temperatures warm enough to get your flip flops out, we are now back into the winter woollens and to hibernating back in the house again.

Plans to head out and enjoy the great outdoors before the temperatures get too hot and the parking becomes impossible, have all been put on hold thanks to the rain. I know it sounds ridiculous to anyone living further north in Europe that the rain can put such a dampener on things but if you have ever tried to do anything here in a down pour then you will realise the situation!

I had personally wanted to go out to the Quinta dos Vales Open Door over the weekend but the thought of sipping on my wine as we huddle for shelter ended up not really appealing at all, while the prospect of trudging around Zoomarine with wet and moaning children was also out of the question.

Rain in the Algarve leads to only one thing – packed out shopping centres because in reality there is not all that much you can do here when the heavens open. The Algarve has very much been designed to appeal to people in the summer months and while efforts are being made to make the region a little more friendly to people in the rain, these have generally fallen short.

We really do need the rain in the Algarve, a quick trip out to one of the many alarmingly low reservoirs in the region will instantly show you that we need rain and parts of the Algarve are now classed as being in severe drought even before the summer starts.  And this rain that we are having now during April is in reality not nearly enough to sort out the problem.

I personally am hoping for heavy rain every night and beautiful clear skies during the day – then we can have the best of both worlds!

WELCOME BACK

April generally means the start of the season in Carvoeiro and this year was no different with almost all of the businesses now open and the number of visitors increasing too.

We now have Mungos Bar and the Round Up Saloon open for drinks which has helped to bring back a bit of life to Carvoeiro after the long dark winter nights!

We also have paid parking back in town so be sure to pick up your ticket when you park ion one of these areas, otherwise you run the risk of coming back to a clamped car. The parking rates are very reasonable in Carvoeiro and while it may be a pain for local residents who have to find somewhere else to leave their car as they try to pop in to places, in reality it helps to offer visitors the chance to park within an easy walking distance of the beach and to frequent the local businesses in town.

If you do use the paid parking places in the town just be sure to have some change with you and to read the times carefully to not get caught out as the paid parking does not last all night long so you can cut down the costs if you make sure you know when the cut off points are.

Now that we have a good amount of people around the town we also have the little tourist train running again. If you have never been on this then I would suggest it really is worth doing it, especially if you have never been to Carvoeiro before. It is not just for kids!

The train takes various routes around the local area and is a really good way of getting your bearings on what is around in the local area, it also gives you an idea of how far away various local points of interest are and if you would consider them walking distance in the future.  If you do have children with you then younger ones will love just hoping on the train for a ride around but be aware that you will need to leave your pushchair in the car or at home as there is no space to put this unless it is a travel one that can fold up and slip below your feet.  You also need to be careful when you are on the train that small travellers don’t bash their faces on the metal seats – I speak from experience here after travelling with kids who were initially joyous about the bumpy ride but then became less so as they nearly knocked out the only teeth that they had!

ROAD WORKS

Road works and general works in Carvoeiro never really seem to end and this month is no exception. In the small square in front of the Soares shop we have had a digger working away for some time now with most people saying that this is to improve the sewerage system.  Carvoeiro can be really quite smelly at times, especially during high tides such as those we have been experiencing recently which have caused minor rock falls along the cliffs, this also doesn’t help with the smells but hopefully this work will help to reduce that.

We have also had ongoing work on the road between Lagoa and Carvoeiro so be sure to drive carefully along this road because there appears to always be a row of traffic waiting at lights at the moment!

Finally, the road down from the top of the town along the boardwalk leads to the road behind the Carvoeiro primary school.  This cut through road back down to the town will be closed from April 9 until April 11 as the sanitation in the school is upgraded so be prepared to take a diversion.

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CELEBRATIONS AND HOLIDAYS

Portugal loves a bank holiday and at this time of the year we have more than our fair share! Look out this month for municipal services and other businesses being closed on April 19th for Good Friday, April 21st for Easter Sunday and then again on April 25th as we celebrate the carnation revolution. The bank holidays then continue on with another on 1st May for labour day – so if you find everything closed on these days then you know why!

April 25th celebrations are always held across the country and Carvoeiro is no exception, with 45th anniversary celebrations taking place in Carvoeiro beginning with the raising of the flag at 9.30am in the square and the singing of the national anthem by the maritime scouts.

Then at 9.45am you can take part in a 4.5km or 9km walk/run around the local area organised by Muv Gym, a great way to discover Carvoeiro with many of the local residents.

At 11am we have a dance performance from the local Carvokids dance group, followed by a zumba class for everyone to take part in at 11.30am in the square.  Ther is also something going on with pigeons at some point in the morning but I can’t really work out what this is – so perhaps it is worth going down to find out!

We are also supposedly celebrating Easter in Carvoeiro with an Easter market in the square between 19th and 21st April, however trying to find out any information about this has proved to be difficult so I would check with locals before coming down to this if you are travelling specifically!

REGISTER YOUR DOG

Carvoeiro and Lagoa have recently launched a new campaign aimed at encouraging dog owners to register their dogs with the local junta. Dog registration is mandatory and Carvoeiro and Lagoa are offering to complete the registration for free while also giving owners a bag dispenser and a torch as an added incentive to sign up. Anyone who does not register their dog may face a fine of between €50 and a whopping €3,740 so it is well worth following the rules on this one. For further information about registration, visit the junta in Carvoeiro or call 282 356 690.

Well, I’m off to try and do some work before the onslaught of bank holidays hits us and the entire country comes to a stand still – well at least it is a good excuse for a bit of a party!

Until next month

Bjs

Margarida