Newsletter February 2003


by:Nigel Anteney Hoare

Welcome to the first Newsletter written in 2003. Over the coming months I will try my best to keep you abreast with what is happening here in Carvoeiro.

With the unseasonal September rain and early January surprise cold snap apparently over, the sun is shining again and it is time for everyone here in Carvoeiro to start thinking about the coming summer. Restaurants and bars that have had a break during the last couple of months are re-opening having had alterations, decorations or just a good clean up. Some people complain that "Carvoeiro closes in winter". It is true that quite a few restaurants and bars take the opportunity to shut for a month or even more but please, dear reader, remember that the summer season is long, hot and hard for all those owning and working in the food, drink and general tourist business and they do deserve a break. Also it is often simpler to close and give all staff their obligatory one month's holiday than trying to stagger those absences. Having said that "Full Marks" to all those that soldiered on through the low season and kept the place alive.

On this point I must mention Julio and his team at the Hotel Carvoeiro Sol. They closed for a while but their prices have been so low I felt like moving in myself. I spoke to one visitor who had rented an apartment only to find the heating inadequate. He promptly located to the "Sol" where a warm room and an even warmer welcome awaited him. Well done Stuart and Julio for keeping the place "alive" it is important that reasonably priced accommodation is available year round.

Sully'shold the record for the shortest shut down I think, having been shut for no more than a few days during which time it had a paint facelift, a good spring clean and a new bottle cooler fitted.

On the opposite side of the square Smilers is looking bright and cheerful also having had a paint job courtesy of Geraldine's husband Rob - the only painter I know who doesn't need a stepladder. In between brush strokes Rob has been learning his lines, as he will take the stage at the Lagos Cultural Centre on the 6,7,8 and 9th February as one of the Ugly sisters in the Algarveans Pantomime "Cinderella". Yes he is going to be the tall one! This looks like it will be a jolly good fun production. After last years "alternative" panto it is back to basics for Director Alison Slater with plenty of laughs, corny jokes and "look behind yous!" If you are around at that time you should get a ticket.

I see Xico Ze is having a roof job done, Lanterna Velha is still shut, the "family team" having had a good rest, and due to open on 1st February, Big Will is often seen outside the Round Up Saloon suggesting a few alterations there and basically all is getting revved up for all you visitors.

I haven't fully examined O Barco on the square but it is looking very nice indeed. Hope they don't put the prices up, as it is such a neat place to spend an hour on a warm summer evening listening to the music. On the matter of music I understand that there are two camps - Pro and Con the music. I personally like it, even the dodgy stuff! I think it adds that certain summer something to Carvoeiro and if it went we would miss it. A Poll has been placed on the front page so please vote as you see fit. I will see that your votes get known to those who matter!

The very cheap low season flights have been a big topic of conversation. Whilst the adverts do not tell the whole story (add taxes etc) it has been possible to get back to UK and other destinations very reasonably and this winter it seems every resident has flitted off somewhere. I guess the summer will bring high prices but probably the message is to keep your eye on the charter websites and book early.

With global political uncertainty the prognosis for tourism this year is not that good so you may find some late bargains to enjoy the latter end of the summer. Whenever or however you come you can be sure of a welcome from the residents of Carvoeiro.

All the best!