Newsletter December 2010
Margarida Sampaio @
Welcome back to the new monthly newsletter from Carvoeiro.com!
I will be trying to bring you a selection of news from Carvoeiro itself and the Lagoa municiplity in general every month.
I hope to try and cover everything from what is going on with redevelopment work, to news from the bars and restaurants, sports updates and basically anything else that I here of as the weeks go by but to be able to do this as best as possible I really need your help so if you have any news please let me know and I will try to include as much as I can.
Equally, if there is anything you want to know more about and think would be of interest to everyone on carvoeiro.com then also drop me a line and I will always try my best to see if I can find out any more information or clear up any questions.
Tis the season to be jolly, well at least it is supposed to be anyway! As I am sure many of you are aware things are pretty tough in Portugal at the moment with workers being forced to take pay cuts in schools, hospitals and government, taxes increasing and further austerity measures being discussed right now.
However, I always like to think of my small beer as being half full rather than half empty so lets try to look on the bright side as everyone, not just here, seems to be having a hard time at the moment,
Due to budget cuts Lagoa Câmara have stated that they will not be providing Christmas lights for the municipality this year, including Carvoeiro. This is in line with all the municipalities across the Algarve although some still will be spending a reduced amount on decorations including Vila Real do Santo António and Faro.
“No loss there,” I hear you cry, “We never really had any lights in the town anyway!” Very true, but it is a sad reflection on the reality of the situation here and last year the tree in the square was nice but all is not lost as the business owners and residents assocation of Carvoeiro have jumped into action and decided that this year the first Christmas Fair of Carvoeiro is to be held in the town.
Between Sunday, December 12 and Sunday, December 19 the town will be hosting its first Christmas fair with entertainment for residents and visitors firmly at the centre of the plans.
The first day of December 12 will be the Christmas Party day and is to kick off at 2pm with a parade through the streets follwed by entertainment for the children including a magic show and Christmas performance by lical children, parents and residents.
This is a chance to see all thoses very sweet children dressed up in their Christmas outfits before a visit from Father Christmas!
From Monday, December 13 the Christmas fair is to open at midday daily with live music everyday at 3pm including local acts Ilze (December 18), Rui Sax (December 16), Dave and Brendan from the Jailhouse (December 13) and Beto Kalulu (December 14).
A highlight of the week, well for me at least, is the promise of the Santa train procession at 2.30pm on December 13 – I am not exactly sure what this entails but the mind boggles!
A number of local businesses have already pledged to take part in the fair all week serving festive food and drinks while others will be trying to counter the lack of official lights in the town by illuminating their shop windows with Christmas scenes.
A member of the association told me that this had been suggested as a way to not only literally light up the town, but also to encourage visitors and residents to take a walk about and perhaps discover new places here which can only be a positive step.
All the events of the Christmas fair will be subject to the weather, so if it is anything like this past week, be prepared to see the timetable adjust accordingly to the downfalls.
IT'S RAINING IT'S POURING
While in the UK we have all seen the pictures of the snow which have led to cancelled flights, tailbacks, closed schools and general chaos, here the rain has begun to fall again.
I can´t really complain too much as we still have daily temperatures well above freezing here in the Algarve while much of the north of Portugal has also been hit by the big freeze but it is bringing back horrible memories of last winter when I actually forgot the sun ever shone here.
Washing is back to taking four days to dry, the puddles never seem to evaporate and the heating is very much on already.
It pained me to pull out all the winter coats and boots as it really is the sign that our wonderful summer has gone but just because the sun no longer has his hat on there is no reason to curl up and hibernate as the winter can be a great time in Carvoeiro.
Although the weather is hardly tropical down here in the winter it is not all bad though as the legions of “Snowbirds” who flock here every winter go to show.
So what do you do in Carvoeiro when there is no sun? Well there is golf of course, which as Scotland has proved does not need sunny weather for, but while there is plenty of golf about there is also other “sport” in the village that continues on through the winter.
Firstly we have the darts, now a very well established pass time through the cold winter months. From humble beginnings when the league started up again some eight years ago to the twelve teams that are out every Friday night in bars across the town, darts has become a firm favourte for many in the winter.
Harrys Bar, Phoenix Nites, Sully's, Safari Bar, Irish Times, Hemmingways, Joker Bar and Acordeão Bar all have teams in the league and if you pop into any of them and ask when and where the next game will be then someone can point you in the right direction.
Although all the bars have teams there are open competitions for men, women, mixed doubles, doubles, singles and even triples throughout the season and you don't have to be Phil Taylor to take part!
This has become a great way for people to have a god night out on a Friday and brilliant for businesses here who know they will all have at least eight people in the bar on a Friday night and spectators are welcomed as although it can get a little serious, it is meant to be an opportunity to have a night out.
Meanwhile, for the more energetic out there there is a weekly football session held on the municipal pitch (near the Mirachoro Hotel) every Monday evening from 6.30 and a netball session every Thursday in the same place also at 6.30pm.
All ages, nationalities and skill levels take part in all these sports and it is free to take part so if you are looking for an excuse to leave the sofa of an evening then this is a good way to get out, have fun, do a bit of exercise and perhaps meet some new friends.
The men on the footbal team have been playing for a while now but the ladies who head to the court are of all levels and are still working to improve, so if you played a little (or a lot) and fancy it then this is something to look into.
There are no confirmed plans for New Years Eve in the town yet, although I know that several bars will be open and hosting parties of their own.
If the Christmas decorations (or lack of) are anything to go by then I would be guessing that there will be no budget for fireworks in the town, however the two New Years Eve hotspots in the Algarve have confirmed displays.
The only official offering from the Lagoa Câmara will be a New Years concert by the Orchestra of the Algarve on January 2 from 4pm.
For those looking for the “oooohs” and “aaahhs” of fireworks then the only places to be are in either Portimão or Albufeira.
Normally Albufeira puts on a show of live music and entertainment followed by the display at midnight and this year will be no different, although if you do not watch Portuguese television then you probably won't know the names on stage.
Albufeira will be hosting the grand final of the hit tv talent show “Idolos” (Pop Idol) to then be followed by the infamous fireworks and a DJ set from Diego Miranda who is billed as “one of the most famous Djs at the moment” but I will have to take their word for it!
Over to the west, Portimão will be trying to outdo their municipal rivals with fireworks not only from the riverfront in Portimão but also in Praia da Rocha and Alvor.
There may not be fireworks in Carvoeiro but you don´t need to leave the town to enjoy them. If the weather is clear then just park up at either the church or Paraiso beach for a view along the coast of all the displays without having to fork out for the taxi.
Well that is it from me for this newsletter. This one was put together quite hastily so it is only brief but I hope that as the months develop we can work to make this a newsletter that is informative, useful and light hearted.
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and I will be back next month with tales of how the festive season went here so let me know how you celebrated.
There will also be information about the residents and business association and their plans and news of what is open, what's on with entertainment, Câmara updates and anything else you would like to know about.
I will see you in 2011!