Newsletter September 2012
Margarida Sampaio @
August lived up to its reputation of being the busiest month of the year for Carvoeiro by far with the beaches packed everyday and the streets, bars and restaurants full every evening.
A drive to Rocha Brava during the last week of August saw the cars parked on both sides of the road from the entrance to Centeanes beach almost all the way to Julios restaurant while you nearly had to park in Ferragudo itself if you fancied a trip to Caneiros beach this August!
The highlight of the month of August had to be the annual Carvoeiro party in honour of Nossa Senhora da Encarnação which seemed to have attracted a bigger crowd than ever this year.
As usual we had the cannon fire in the morning and throughout the day (scaring the life out of anyone who was unaware of what was going on) then this was followed with a fashionably late procession through the streets of the statue of Nossa Senhora da Encarnação.
The statue was positioned on a sort of raft decorated with flowers and then carried by some very red faced and hot bearers who successfully managed not to pass out in their robes as they went through the streets including up Rua do Barranco (the out road) and back down Rua dos Pescadores (the in road) before heading back up to the church up the impossibly steep hill past the GNR station.
Hats off to the guys who held the statue and managed to carry it all the way up and down the hills for everyone to be able to have a look - not a job for the faint hearted!
Behind the statue there were members was a full brass marching band that managed to create a great atmosphere with their suitably somber music that was played professionally while marching in time and then behind the band came members of the congregation.
I am not sure that many of the people watching the procession really had any idea about what was going on but it didn't seem to matter because everyone got into the spirit of the event which was originally started as a way to bless the fishing boats on the beach but is now more of a symbolic procession (mainly due to all the fishermen being busy doing cave visit boat trips all summer long).
Anyone who missed the procession would have noticed the influx of people to Carvoeiro on the last Sunday of the month and also the incredible stage set up in the square. Ricardo Sousa was the act for the evening and although he is usually a one man and his guitar kind of performer, he was launching his new CD and had enrolled a full band, lighting and film crew to add some sparkle to the performance!
The night was finished off with some highly anticipated (mainly because nobody really believed it would happen at all) fireworks. It may not have been the biggest or longest show but it was a brilliant way to round off the evening and it was generally declared by all to have been a great night for Carvoeiro so congratulations to all involved!
Ricardo Sousa was the main act for the Carvoeiro party but he was also featured on live national Portuguese television during August along with the Pedro Frias Band.
The acts were featured on RTP 1 on a show called Verão Total on August 22 which took place at the Fatacil and all the performers did Lagoa and the local area proud with their show - well done to you all!
We can't get through August without mentioning the Fatacil which took place during August in Lagoa at the Fatacil showground.
This year everyone was worried that the economic problems in Portugal would see a poorer show than usual but it seemed to be actually a better show than last year and the fewer people at the show only made it a more enjoyable experience for those of us who do not enjoy shuffling around trying to get a look at the stalls while the crowds push through.
As usual we had a good mix of stalls from beautiful arts and crafts to less beautiful bits and bobs as well as the horse shows, live music and municipality stands.
Fatacil may not be for everyone but it is always a great place to pick up a couple of caipirinhas and a juicy smelly goats cheese and presunto ham sandwich - so I was happy!
With all the activity in Carvoeiro in August it is hard for anyone to find the tie to think of anything more than serving the next beer or getting the towels ready for the next guests but there has still been time in the town for some small but great improvements to have been made.
Firstly, at the top of the O Farol, opposite to the junction and slightly before the Tivoli hotel, there has been a new rubbish bin area created. This is now a clean and organised space and not an eyesore for anyone coming into the town for the first time.
Not a glamorous improvement but a much needed one and one that will no doubt ne appreciated by anyone who lives near this area and for anyone who has to walk past it each day to get into the town.
Other not so glamorous changes have also included the provision of new cigarette tubes in the town. There have been a few of these tubes placed in the town and any smokers are encouraged to put out cigarettes into the tubes rather than dropping them onto the floor.
Everyday the local street sweepers come out each morning and do an amazing job of tidying up the town but any help we can give them to make their life a little easier and to make Carvoeiro look its best all the time has to be a good thing.
Finally we have seen some "town furniture", as it is refered to by the local councils here, coming to Rua do Barranco (the out road) and onto the O Farol (the hill).
A series of new benches appeared overnight into Carvoeiro and there have been bottoms on them ever since!
These new benches have small flower pots on either end, complete with flowers(!), and have made a real difference to the feel of Carvoeiro allowing people to be able to have a sit during one of these terribly hot days, or to watch the world go by in the evening.
A much needed improvement that has really helped to up the level in Carvoeiro despite being a small investment.
Now that September is here many business owners are able to finally exhale a little and a have some time to see what ois going on outside the kitchen doors but that doesn't mean that Carvoeiro is expecting a quiet September, far from it. Carvoeiro is actually a great place to come to in September and for many it is the best time of year (myself included here). The weather is still amazing and there is still a real buzz about the place but without the hoards of the peak of summer.
Carvoeiro will continue on with live entertainment with the square being the centre for live music and entertainment every evening in September, the full listings of all the acts are available to view on the boards in the square itself which have all the details you need to pick your favourite night.
Live music and entertainment also continues as always in The Round Up Saloon and across the road in the square with Mungos, Mirage, Classic and Colibri there will still be music and entertainment at the weekends and on other selected nights throughout September.
THE BIKES ARE BACK
If you are looking for something a little different in September then it is worth heading down to the Autodromo do Algarve (Algarve Motor Park) near Portimão this month for the World Superbike Championships which will be taking place at the race track over the weekend of September 21 until September 23.
It is the penultimate round of the championships and is usually a great weekend for motorbike fans and racing enthusiasts and if you have never been to an event like this before then it is a good place to start as it is much easier to get into than other events around the world.
Look out for all the bikes on the road over that weekend as many visitors from the rest of Europe travel down on their bikes for the races and this makes the car park of the autodrome just as much as a draw as the race track itself with the bikes all lined up and gleaming in the sunshine!
Entry to the event costs from €15 with children under 12 entering for free and tickets can be bought directly from the autodrome which is easy to find and well sign posted from the A22 motorway.
More details about the event can be found at www.autodromodoalgarve.com
Being as September is the start of the golfing season again in the Algarve why not sign up to take part in the Golf For Strays charity event taking place at Pestana Gramacho on September 7.
The tournament costs €40 to take part in with guests being able to join the lunch for €10 after the golf is over and done with.
The money raised from the event will be donated to the donkey sanctuary in Estombar which looks after and re-homes cats, dogs and donkeys and is always in need of funds.
If you are interested in taking part then please email firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible.
I am off now to show off my very nicely tanned legs to any holiday makers who just arrived and to finally find a space in one of my favourite haunts to enjoy a cool glass of vinho...as I said earlier, it's a hard life!