Newsletter May 2016
Margarida Sampaio @
It wouldn’t be a newsletter without me complaining about the weather , so I am going to get it out of the way this month at the very start with a moan about impending weather instead – just for a change!
April is the month for rain, and we had plenty of that, and then suddenly we were met with summer time! Hooray I hear you cheer, however while I sit here and write this perspiring slightly (ladies don’t sweat after all) as the temperature creeps towards the 30 degrees mark, I am looking out onto the horizon for the storm clouds which have been predicted for the next week or so!
I actually don’t’ really mind the rain all that much but it is very hard to be upbeat when those who are here on holiday are gushing about the wonderful weather, knowing that the last time you checked your smartphone there was a picture of a thunder cloud for the weekend. Those who have looked ahead and see the forecast simply can’t believe we can go from scorching hot, to thunder and rain in the matter of hours and look to you for support – equally awkward when you know this is exactly how it can go.
My favourite question over the past week in Carvoeiro is the hope people have that I will be able to assure them that in (for example) 13 days time will the sun be back out again. I consider myself pretty smart but I want to avoid a Michael Fish style prediction at all costs so have to refer again to my smartphone, which actually is as good as useless on a prediction more than 48 hours ahead.
So, while I would love to herald the beginning of summer – and I really would – sadly this is not to be just yet.
BUT THE PEOPLE ARE HERE…
So while we have the sun for a bit, what we do seem to have back in Carvoeiro are visitors! The paid parking along Rua do Barranco from the junction to Monte Dourado all the way along to just before taste restaurant, is back again and you know that there are visitors in town because they are the only ones willing to pay for the top parking spots.
The paid parking is actually pretty reasonable for the whole day and there are concessions for those that live along the road but now all that has happened is that there is nowhere at all to park along Rua do Barranco as the cars all bunch up nearer the end of the village.
Actually, there seem to be a lot more cars about and the real lack of extra parking in Carvoeiro is already becoming apparent – even though it is only May. So be sure to get yourself the number of a taxi driver and avoid all that hassle of trying to find a place to abandon the car this summer.
The summer season isn’t officially underway yet but the businesses in Carvoeiro are getting ready for what is predicted to be a bumper year for Portugal and there are plenty of new faces who have joined the community.
It is hard to believe sometimes in the summer months that you need so many staff to work in all the businesses but already we have had an influx of workers coming for the season, or for longer.
If anyone has any properties that they are looking to rent out on a long term basis then this really is the time to get the word out there in Carvoeiro because one of the top questions the past month to me (apart from being about the weather) has been about trying to find apartments to rent in the town on a long let basis. I have run out of options for people now so if anyone has any bright ideas – perhaps they could share them here on carvoeiro.com.
When the sun is shining then the beach is one of the first places to go at this time of the year but please be aware that in the Lagoa municipality the official bathing season has not yet started. This means that there are no lifeguards on the beaches so if you go into the water and get into trouble, there is no official help on hand.
Usually the bathing season in Lagoa (which includes the beaches in and around Carvoeiro and Ferragudo) begins on June 1 and runs until the end of September. You will know when the lifeguards are there on the beaches because the sunbeds and shades also make an appearance, and the telltale sign is the flag flying to tell you of the swimming conditions – so look out and keep safe.
Portugal is feeling pretty proud of itself at the moment with the number of Blue Flags the beaches and marinas in the country have been awarded for the year and the Algarve is once again at the top of the list for the region with the most.
Blue flags are awarded to beaches that reach certain strict water conditions, security provisions and also give education to members of the public (among other criteria). The blue flags will be hoisted up on to the winning beaches in the bathing season but from all accounts Carvoeiro and the other local beaches that held the flags last year, will retain their flags for another season – great news for everyone who likes a trip to the beach and wants to feel safe at the same time.
There is always something new going on in Carvoeiro but I was really struggling to find something for this section this month! This has to be a record for the Carvoeiro.com newsletter!! It seems that everyone appears to be where they want to be for the start of the summer season so I had to look elsewhere for inspiration.
What is new is that the ampitheatre that is being built at the top of the hill behind the church and across the road from the primary school, is making some great progress and some of the hoardings that had been up to hide the site away are now down, revealing the fact that the steps all seem to already be in place, along with hand rails and other features.
We still have no deadline as to when this will actually be finished and the diggers and trucks are all still coming and going but it looks like this project may be completed sooner rather than later – let’s hope it is in time for the boom in the summer so that as many people as possible can enjoy it.
What isn’t such great news is that the new look out view point above the beach (located on top of the public toilets) is still having works done on it so nobody is able to make the most of this area at all. The decking appears to have been a problem and there is still a section with missing decking right by the entrance to the view point which has left it still out of action – a great shame and one that we hope is sorted out as quickly as possible.
With everything up, open and ready for an influx of people there are now lots of choices for live music and entertainment in Carvoeiro. There are bands already playing in Bradys, scheduled to start in Mungo’s from mid May and also in Bar Six on a regular basis. Karaoke nights, quiz nights and cocktail offers have all begun and if all goes to plan we will see the return of live music in the square in Carvoeiro from June.
There has been no official word yet as to when music will start in the square but usually each year the music on the stage starts in June and continues until the end of September so look out for information about who will be playing.
We also have the return of the Carvoeiro Black and White night on June 18, so if you have not booked your flights yet to come over and were wondering when a good time to come is then make sure you are here for the massive Carvoeiro party throughout the streets and on the beach into the early hours!
WHAT ELSE IS ON
Events in the Algarve start to become more frequent as we approach summer and hopefully we will have some big shows again this year. But while you wait for them to arrive then we have the 8th Portuguese Wine Show taking place in Albufeira at the Espaço Multiuso between May 6th and 9th each day from 3pm. If you fancy trying some great local wines then head on over to the event which will also include some show cooking sessions, workshops and of course ample opportunity to sample the wines on offer.
If you are a fan of the great outdoors then May is the perfect month for you in the Algarve with lots of activities and promotions taking place across the region as part of the annual Algarve nature week. The event is running from May 13th until 22nd and includes a whole host of activities, from horse riding and walking, to boat trips, dolphin watching and canoeing. Visit their website, which is available in Portuguese, Spanish and English to find out more about this initiative www.algarvenatureweek.pt
A massive congratulations to everyone who was involved in the 4 the love of Animals event held at the Carvoeiro Clube de Tenis on April 10. There was an amazing turnout for the family event, even though the weather turned decidedly arctic as the day progressed! The aim of the event was to raise enough funds to pay for the sterilization of some 20 dogs living on the streets in the Sesmarias area and on the day around €4,000 was made to fund this programme – so well done to all involved and we are looking forward to return again next year!
I’m off to the beach to catch some rays before the heavens open again