Newsletter October 2012
Margarida Sampaio @
After months of uninterrupted sunshine and high temperatures the rains that came on September 23 were a welcome relief for not only gardens all around Carvoeiro but also to anyone looking for a break from the heat.
PORTIMÃO RETAIL PARK FIRE
It turned out that the huge storm could not have come at a better time in the Algarve as during the night of September 23 a huge fire broke out at the Portimão Retail Park.
I am sure many of you will have seen the news reports and pictures from the Portimão Retail Park since the fire but it is still shocking to anyone who drives past now and sees the crumpled metal and collapsed buildings that now litter the retail park.
For anyone who was unaware of what happened, basically a fire broke out at the retail park at around 2.30am in the morning and soon there were more than a 160 firefighters trying to contain the blaze. In the end all the major shops that were at the retail park have all been destroyed.
The large Continente supermarket, the furniture store Moviflor, the DIY shop AKI, the bits and bobs shop DeBorla, the sports shop Decathlon and the electrical goods store Radio Popular were all destroyed totally in the fire but luckily the garage and the petrol station did not go up in flames or the situation could have been a lot worse.
There is still no news as to how and why the fire started as the site was still too dangerous to enter on October 1 but investigators were due to go in to see if they could find the source of the fire during the week.
I think everyone was happy there were no casualties in the fire but it was a sad day for Portimão and the local area with around 400 people looking at unemployment at a time when the Algarve really could do without any more financial problems for the people here.
So far many of the workers from the Portimão Retail Park have been given jobs in other branches of the shops burnt down but some of the cleaners working at the park have been dismissed and there are worries that more people could be without work if the situation isn't sorted out quickly.
The mayor of Portimão has said that he thinks it will take about a year and a half to be able to rebuild the site but who knows if it will ever reopen. We already have the new Aqua shopping centre as well as the retail park next to this and the older Continente/Modelo shopping centre in Portimão as well as streets of empty shops in the centre of Portimão itself - unfortunately this could mark the end of this retail park.
LAGOA RETAIL PARK PROGRESS
While we may have waved goodbye to one retail park in the local area the progress on another new retail park seems to be coming along well.
The Lagoa retail park is currently being constructed along the road between Carvoeiro and Lagoa and is located to the right of the junction which then leads you towards the Fatacil showground.
I will never understand why you would build a development on a piece of land that always floods but I guess the civil engineers know what they are doing and the park is taking shape with workers there each day.
There is still no word as to who exactly will be putting their businesses in the retail park but the plans for the park show that there will be four different units built. Units 1,2 and 4 are large (around 2,000 square metres each) while there is also a smaller unit of 150 square metres.
According to the builders, one of the units, unit 1, has already been sold, while the other three are all up for sale as either shops or warehouses with the larger two costing €990,000 each and the smaller one costing €175,000.
There is no time scale as yet as to when the project will be finished but it does seem to be moving quickly and it could be of interest to any of the businesses that lost their units in Portimão.
The plans for the Lagoa retail park show that a new road will be built along the back of the retail park with a large roundabout at either end of the park for people to be able to access the existing road to Carvoeiro or Lagoa.
I will keep you posted with the progress!
Well the summer may have now passed but October is packed full of events with many happening very locally to Carvoeiro and most being great for residents and visitors.
Golf lovers who are still riding high after the Europe win at the Ryder Cup will be able to see some of the best golfers around in action at the Portugal Masters taking place in October in Vilamoura.
Darren Clarke has been confirmed as taking part in the tournament as has Tom Lewis who will be returning to try to defend his title on the Oceanico Victoria Course.
The Portugal Masters will be taking place in Vilamoura between October 11 and 14 and tickets for the event are available to buy from here http://tickets.europeantour.com/Event/PORTUGAL-MASTERS/Oceanico-Victoria/609956 with a day ticket costing from €15.
This is a really great event and the perfect place to go and watch some live golf if you have never been before. Make sure you arrive early if you want a parking space within a mile or two of the course or park up in Vilamoura and get a taxi to the gates if you don't want to walk to far.
The Better Living in Portugal exhibition (BLiP) returns to the Algarve in October with the usual blend of stands offering information, advice, services and discounted goods.
If you are new to the Algarve and are looking for help in settling in then this is a great place to learn about some of the local businesses that are about while the afpop team are always on hand to anser questions and to help out with all aspects of living in Portugal.
The event, which is free to enter, will be taking place at the Portimão arena on October 6 and 7.
Also in Portimão this month there is the annual Mamamaratona race. This is a charity event organised by the Algarve Oncology Association with money being raised going towards the construction of a respite house for cancer patients in Faro.
Every ear thousands of people turn out for this event and it is a real community day with people being able to catch up with old friends at the event held along the riverside in Portimão.
Anyone who is feeling fit and healthy (that's me out then) can run the race while there is no shame in completing the course at a leisurely pace nearer the back.
You can register to run on the day or you can pre register and pay less to take part. If you enter before the day it costs €5 for adults and €3 for children, registration on the day costs €6 for adults and €4 for children.
If you would like further information about taking part then simply email firstname.lastname@example.org
And if you are looking for a bit of a laugh this month then you only have to travel as far as the Lagoa Auditorium for the latest performance from the Algarveans Experimental Theatre group.
You can rely on the Algarveans to put their all into a performance and the promo shots alone of the show look great complete with those very bright yellow jackets that we are all so used to seeing on the Hi-de-Hi show.
If you are interested in seeing some local faces take part in the performance then make sure you get tickets for one of the shows taking place at the auditorium on October 18,19 or 20.
All the shows start at 8.30pm and tickets cost €12 for adults and €6 for students.
For further information or to reserve tickets, please email email@example.com
Normally I like to let everyone know about new businesses opening in Carvoeiro but this month we have said a sad goodbye to Innside Caffe (on the out road near to the Junta).
The bar has been a popular haunt with many locals and visitors over the years and I would like to wish all Pedro, Sergio, Ivo and all the team all the best of luck in the future and with their bar in Praia da Rocha.
Lets hope that something else moves into the space as quickly as possible to keep Rua do Barranco busy and full of life rather than being another empty shop.
We also said farewell to the London Chic shop last month. The shop was located on Rua dos Pesscadores in the arch way near to Palm properties. The couple in the shop sold homemade beauty products as well as clothes and accessories but have now closed and the space has been taken over by aitag travel agency - lets hope they do well in their new space.
After all the rain of the last week of September, October has started again with beautiful sunshine. I love a good storm but don't love trying to pick my way through the puddles that seem to stretch from one side of the street to the other and are far deeper than they first look when you step in them in a ballet pump - not a good idea.
I would love to think that we will be getting some funding in Carvoeiro to permanently rid the town of the drainage issues that have always plagued the town but I guess with the financial situation being as it is and not looking like getting any better soon we will have to continue to put up with the rapids that form in the square every time it rains.
Even as we slip into winter and everything seems a little depressing the sunshine here in Carvoeiro always lifts your mood so lets hope it continues on for many more months.
Roll on the winter months and days of sunbathing on the beach with nobody but the odd dog walker for company!