Newsletter May 2012
Margarida Sampaio @
I think I may have spoken to soon last month when I said how great the weather had been because no sooner than I had hit the send button did the heavens open and the rain began.
And it has rained off and on ever since!
I shouldn't be complaining about the rain – we desperately need a bit to be able to fill up the reserves here and to keep the risk of fires down but the sad faces over Easter did make me wish that it could have held off for just a couple more weeks.
In between the torrential rain we have had some beautiful spells of sunshine but it has made choosing what to wear tricky most days – I would currently recommend a bikini with Wellington boots just to have all bases covered.
The first weekend of April saw the tents being erected and the crowds coming out for the second annual Easter fair in Carvoeiro.
The event was organised once again by the local business group Vozes Intensas in association with the local authorities and despite the poor weather on the Saturday there were plenty people about for the event.
Tents were put up in the area in front of the Soares shop with local people selling everything from beautiful photographs to homemade cakes and jewellery.
As well as the commercial tents there was also a stand selling fairground food and a huge bouncy castle area that went up on the main square next to O Barco.
The bouncy castle area was a great idea and the children all loved bouncing around and throwing themselves down the huge slides. It has been mentioned that in the summer months the inflatablse could possibly return to the square as a new form of entertainment for children visiting Carvoeiro.
I can only see this as being a good idea as it really draws people down to the centre of Carvoeiro and is also an essential respite tool for any harassed parents looking for 15 minutes away from over excitable children.
The live music that was put on for the event was also very enjoyable with a few even taking to dancing in the rain while Carvoeiros very own bunny girls pleased the children with free gifts of sweets.
Congratulations once again to the organisers for putting on such a good event and one that can only grow in the future.
Another initiative by Vozes Intensas during April was the first Gastronomy Fair of Carvoeiro. Similar fairs and initiatives have taken place in other parts of the Algarve including in Portimão and Tavira with great success and the organisers were hoping to stimulate some much needed interest in local restaurants with the event.
As with all fledgling ideas the fair did not run without the odd hitch and there were some complaints that there was a lack of advertising of the event however I hope it continues for another year as this could potentially blossom into something that will bring new trade to Carvoeiro in the future.
Something that has had a huge amount of publicity in Carvoeiro in the past month has to be SuperBock.
There is nothing quite like a cool beer in the sunshine to round off a perfect day in the Algarve and now you will be able to find any bar supplying SuperBock with ease thanks to the mass marketing campaign the company has completed in Carvoeiro.
You cannot walk 10 metres without spotting another new SuperBock sign while both Smilers, Hemingway Bar and Doce e Mar have all benefited from new snazzy SuperBock chairs.
I would say that the town colours are no longer blue and yellow but instead red and white thanks to our friends from the beer company – but at least we have some new terrace furniture throughout the town as thanks for this.
Every month I like to let everyone know about new comings and goings in Carvoeiro and this month is no exception with new businesses opening and others coming under new management.
We have two new fashion shops that have opened on Rua dos Pescadores.
The first has opened in the old sports shop near to the Chinese shop and the second has opened in the small shop in the arch way that used to be Gelados and Companhia.
The smaller shop sells some make up, hair accessories and also offers alterations services for closed while the larger shop “Chic” sells clothing.
Good luck to both new businesses in Carvoeiro – it is good to see more retail coming into the town that may tempt people away from leaving Carvoeiro and heading straight to Primark.
Under new management we have the Flamingo restaurant just up from Bradys Bar on the O Farol. The restaurant now offers a full English breakfast as well as a restaurant menu.
Meanwhile we have seen the Atlantic Sud shop on the O Farol moving next door (to where Shoe World used to be).
The clothing shop is now much larger and although it was due to open on May 1 it was actually open early and is already operational from this new shop.
New businesses are great to able to let you know about but we have also seen improvements made to the municipal play park (at the top of the cliffs near to the church).
The Câmara have kindly decided that the children are now allowed some shade up there and we have two large shades covering the park – so no more sun frazzled kids after a trip to the park now!
Things may be tough in Portugal and everywhere´else for that matter but that didn't stop the good folk of Carvoeiro from digging deep into their own pockets to raise money for Help for Heroes and the Bombeiros with events organised by Harry's Bar (on Rua do Barranco after the kebab shop).
Bob and the team went beyond the call of duty during the day and the evening to help raise more than €400 for the charities thanks to a Tug-O-War competition on the beach and an evening of cross dressing held in the bar later.
The Tug-O-War competition saw some young, strong young men (and Bob) take to the rope for Harry's Bar while the rather less prepared team from Hemingway Bar grabbed the other end with Bill from Brady's acting as the referee.
Not much input from Bill was needed in the end as the brave volunteers from Hemingway Bar were dragged across the sand three times by the Harry's Bar team.
The Tug-O-War was very amusing to watch but not nearly as much as the soaking that many people got as they were put into the stocks for charity.
Dave from Hemingway and Aaron from Harry´s Bar managed to raise the total collected by sticking their faces through the holes while the rest of Carvoeiro threw wet sponges at them.
After drying themselves off the men all went home and put on their best party dresses for an evening of Karaoke.
I'm not sure how motivated by charity the guys were in the end because they all looked like they were having far too much fun – especially Brendan who had worn his dress all day and Aaron who had put together two DIFFERENT looks for the event.
Well done to all involved and for raising some much needed cash for some very worthy causes.
The end of April also marked a special birthday – the eleventh birthday of Carvoeiro as a town.
In 2001 Carvoeiro moved from village to town status while the mighty Lagoa went from town to city.
There were no real celebrations for this birthday except for a ceremony in Lagoa.
There were also no celebrations in Carvoeiro to mark April 25th – the day that marks the carnation revolution of 1974.
I had hoped that there might be something going on at the sociadade but I was told there would be no events held there until at least after the summer.
I know there is not a lot of money about but a bank holiday is a good chance to do something a little special and I felt this was a bit of a missed opportunity in the town to celebrate all things Portuguese.
In stark contrast to the lack of celebrations for a day to mark the freedom of Portugal were the celebrations of the Dutch residents in the area for Queens Day at the end of the month.
O'Kido near Ferragudo was decked out in orange to mark the day with hundreds of people coming to celebrate with some traditional Dutch food, some great live entertainment from Ilze and Mandy and plenty of wine and beer.
The children were kept happy with tennis games, football on the pitch and playing on all the toys at the centre while the adults were content with the food and drink.
This was a great afternoon out – even for an honorary Dutch person for the day and the celebrations continued the next day at Carvoeiro Bar with Elvira and Alfredo putting on a party to mark the Dutch Queens birthday.
April was a busy month for the town with May looking like following the same suit.
This is the month that usually sees the tourists return in force and the bars and restaurants are gearing up for the influx.
If you are out and about in Carvoeiro this month then look out for traditional Fado music at A Vela and Pimenta Preta or head into Lagoa to see the latest exhibition from Arte Algarve.
If you are looking for something a little different then make a date to go and see the latest show by the Algarveans Experimental theatre group. “Poor Old Uncle George” is an adult comedy being staged at the auditorium in Lagoa between May 17 and 19 with doors opening at 7pm (see www.thealgarveans.com for further information).
And don't forget to look out for the latest updates to Carvoeiro.com this month including the updated beach section - now with more information for you to be able to get the best out of the local beaches in the Carvoeiro area.
I´m off now to slap on some sun screen before putting up my umbrella and taking to the beach in Carvoeiro.
Until next month