Newsletter June 2011
Margarida Sampaio @
WELCOME TO THE SUMMER
It has felt like Carvoeiro has been a hive of activity of the past couple of weeks as everyone puts the finishing touches in place before the onslaught of summer gets underway.
I myself have swept the balcony to prepare for the enjoyment of a couple of glasses of wine on a warm Carvoerio evening and all these new faces in the town have even forced me to double check that I am wearing a clean top before I leave the house and to occasionally brush my hair!
Others in the community have been putting in a little more effort than me into making Carvoeiro and prettier place for the summer season.
One of the best new features of the town, in my opinion, is the new zebra crossing between Monte Dourado and Rua do Barranco.
I have my own personal obsession with zebra crossings in Carvoeiro, the obsession mainly surrounding the issue of what is the point in having a zebra crossing located... (fill in location which is usually in a ludicrous place where nobody needs it) and why paint on a zebra crossing that nobody can actually even see properly after a couple of weeks of rubber have covered up the white parts.
Rant now over! I was very happy to see a new zebra crossing painted on the junction between Rua do Barranco and Monte Dourado (by the ice cream shop) as this very impressive, shiny, bright crossing has actually been placed where it needs to be and at least for the moment you can still even see it!
There have been many other changes in Carvoeiro over the past month but I will start with the one that I am sure has caused most interest – the introduction of parking metres – almost.
I spoke with a member of Vozes Intensas and they have confirmed that the parking metres will be put in place in the spaces between A Vela Restaurant on Rua do Barranco and Innside Caffee and will cost drivers 80 cents an hour to park there.
The Junta had been repairing the calçada in all these spaces to get them up to scratch before they install the metres some time in the near future, although as usual we are unable to have a clear date about when this will actually be.
The metres will be the responsibility of the Junta in Carvoerio and the money collected will importantly be going straight back to the Junta and will not be diverted to other areas in the Lagoa municipality.
Vozes Intensas told me that they were a little disappointed that despite Jorge Pardal talking about parking metres for the past two years and even mentioning about them in the last meeting held by the association with him, that they are to be brought in with so little notice but they are however pleased that the money is staying in Carvoerio.
There have also been works on the parking spaces on Rua do Farol outside the Atlantic Sud shop but I am assured that this is just general repair work before the summer and these spaces will not be having metres put on them.
The Junta are also doing a general tidy up of Carvoerio and will be painting the bench seating in the area of the square in front of the Soares bottle store – perhaps with all the money raised by these new metres more work will be done all year round to keep Carvoerio looking lovely not just for the visitors in the summer but for everyone all year.
Regarding parking, you can now park in the new car park area on Monte Dourado and this area is free to park in, it does not however include oxygen tanks to help you breathe when returning to your car from the beach with your bags, towels, umbrellas, inflatable's and then collapse at the top!
GETTING INTO THE SUMMER SPIRIT
In Portugal the official bathing season starts on June 1 and this date has now become synonymous with the start of the tourist season.
We already have a rather spooky looking man who covers himself in a strange sand mixture and stands in the square most evenings to scare passing children (I think they are called living statues) and have had some fire shows while on Rua do Barranco the little stage has been set up again for live music in the evenings (opposite Restaurant Oasis).
All this activity in Carvoeiro does make it feel like it really is summer again and members of Vozes Intensas would like me to remind everyone that if they have a handicraft skill and would like to sell their items along the streets in Carvoerio that the process or getting licenses is an easy one and you just need to pop into the Junta to fill in the relevant forms.
The association are working hard to try and encourage people to get onto the streets in Carvoeiro as it really does create a lovely atmosphere and add to the “holiday feel” of the town while also keeping visitors in Carvoerio and putting them off travelling to the shopping centres to spend their Euros.
The association are also working to try and make sure that there is a full programme of entertainment in the main square every weekend and are currently working to bring everything from demonstrations of tile painting to performances of classical music from the local Lagoa conservatory.
SUMMER PARTY PROBLEMS
While licenses for handicraft sellers and entertainers in the square may be easy to come by it seems that paperwork an red tape are standing firmly in the way of the planned summer beach party due to take place on June 25.
The association told me that thy had initially been given the green light to go ahead with the party and were just waiting for the official letter to come through so the plans could be finalised, however those holding the rubber stamp have now said that they are not happy with the plans for a party on the beach.
The association is now waiting for this official refusal of the license and the reasons why, which they will then be taking to the Junta for this to try to be worked out between the authorities.
So I cannot give any more information about the summer party as it is still very much up in the air, we all need to keep our fingers crossed that the paperwork can be sorted out in time to allow this celebration to take place as it would again be another great draw for visitors to the town and would also be a pretty good excuse for a party for the rest of us!
For many of us Carveorio never really changes and this in the main part is true but there are always constant alterations to the status quo going on with an example of this being Phoenix Nites.
The popular Sunday lunch spot and venue for many a charity dinner in Monte Carvoeioro is now no longer being run by Tim and the team and although this is a change it is not all bad news as the entire outfit seems to have simply shifted around the corner and into the main complex of Monte Carvoerio into Slam Bar -so its all change but no change.
Other changes in the business world of Carveorio include the change in management at Taste restaurant (Rua do Barranco, opposite Innside Caffee) while I should have mentioned in the last newsletter that the King is back! Curtain King Dean is now selling his fabric in the main town again in a small shop unit opposite the post office.
Now the summer season is here I am sure many of you regular faces will be making your way over for at least a couple of weeks of sunshine in the coming months and if you are looking for something a little different to do then there seems to have been some sort of seeing of the light moment at the Lagoa Câmara because for the first time in living memory the Câmara have made sure that there is actually something do do in the municipality outside Carvoerio.
For those of you who have driven past that run down looking factory on the EN125 opposite the bus station and wondered if you could ever have a look at the old winery then I can let you know that there is now a new initiative there that brings together the winery of Lagoa, which is really not that bad at all, and local artists.
A new gallery is now open at the winery with the latest exhibition showing of works from British artist Jean Brown, known for Her bronze works, and German painter Ernesto Mies, just call 925004051 if you want to find out any more information about the gallery and the exhibitions.
Meanwhile some fairly big names in British music are making their way to Lagoa (“Lagoa” I hear you say, "surely not!").
Ok, well the bands are not exactly cutting edg but they are big enough in their own right and the concerts will be taking place right on our doorstep so it could be worth having a little look.
The first band to head down to Lagoa is Lamb who will be playing at the new congress centre in Parchal from 10pm on June 10.
The tickets for the concert are priced at €25 and can be bought either from the ticket office at the congress centre or online at www.ticketline.pt
Tickets can also be bought to see the chill out act Morcheeba who will be playing in the same venue on July 22 from 10pm with the concert also costing €25 per person.
It may not be much but it is certainly a start and shows that the tourism board, ho are behind the Allgarve programme of summer events in the Algarve, are taking a little bit of notice of us don here and not just organising everything for the Golden Triangle, Albufeira or Portimão.
Finally, I will be finishing my Carvoeiro round up this month on a sad note as this month saw the very untimely death of Dean Vogel, who may of you will know better as Taxi Dean.
This came as a great shock to everyone and he will be sadly missed by Carvoeiro and I send my condolences to his family and daughters.
The death of any of the residents in Carvoeiro is always felt by many who both live here and visit but I hope that it serves to make us all realise how lucky we are to be able to enjoy this beautiful place, especially when it is bathed in the summer sun.
Have a great month of June; enjoy the sun, try to ignore the lack of parking and if it all gets too much then take a sip on a nice cool bottle of Cristal...