Newsletter February 2007

by: Carol Carpenter

Welcome to all old and new visitors to from your new correspondent.

Thank you Karen for all your hard work over the past year. I know everyone enjoyed reading your newsletters.

I have volunteered to take over, although this is a completely new venture for me and any advice or constructive comments would be most welcome.

Whatever happened to January, where did it go? The fine weather remained with us for the first half of the month, but the last two weeks have been quite cold in the East wind and it was a case of thank goodness for the log fire which we kept alight throughout the night.

Most restaurants and bars in Carvoeiro close this month as the Portuguese take themselves off mainly to Brazil for a well deserved winter break. Nevertheless there are enough places open for you to enjoy a drink, people watch or have a good meal. Smilers bar has now re-opened after their Christmas break but, when I went to meet a friend for coffee the other day, I found a very fraught Geraldine rushing around frantically informing customers that “Yes we are open”, apologising for the mess and telling everyone they were welcome inside. The Camara had decided to replace the paving with calçada without informing her!! She was also busy installing new ultraviolet fly traps because – wait for it – it is now politically incorrect to electrocute flies!! Personally I get great pleasure in hearing the buzz when they hit the wire!! The work has now been completed, the paved area looks much more attractive and Smilers is now back to its normal busy self.

We ourselves have been very busy this month enjoying many beautiful walks with some of the local walking groups here in the Algarve. Most are circular walks with some enjoying lunch at the end in a local hostelry at very reasonable prices. Everyone is welcome – the walks are advertised in the local papers – and it is a great way to make new friends with many people returning at the same time each year to meet up again.

I am very lucky to have my father here at the moment and he enjoys nothing more than a walk along the cliff tops at Carvoeiro with the beautiful views of the sea ending up at the Agar Seco bar for his coffee and brandy. We have also enjoyed a Burns Night Supper held at the Ponte Romana in Silves. The Haggis was flown in specially from Scotland, traditionally piped in by a piper in full regalia, was absolutely delicious and enhanced by the whisky ´gravy`!! The poem Tam o`Shanty was read, followed by Scottish dancing to round off a superb evening.

For those of you interested there is a Social Club (CASA) here in Carvoeiro which has many events, including lunches, dinners, car treasure hunts, dinner dances, weekend excursions and a longer Autumn break going on during the year. Each month you will receive a newsletter to enable you to book in advance to coincide with your next visit. Membership is 15 euros per couple – which I think is good value. All ages are welcome – even my father at the tender age of 84 took to the floor and thoroughly enjoyed himself. The CASA contact is Franz Pecheur on 282 312 819 or Urb.Arroteias, Lote 28, Pera 8365-204.

I hope you have enjoyed this first effort, apologise for it being short but now feel that I am getting into the swing of it and next months will contain more interesting features.