Newsletter May 2004


by: Kteee

As Nigel was off sunning himself in Brazil, he has asked me to fill in for him!

April in Carvoeiro didn't get off to a great start with cloudy, unsettled weather in the first week. The village started filling up with families out for the Easter break and the weather improved over the Easter weekend. The clouds cleared and we were back to blue skies and daytime temperatures in the mid 20's, the evenings were noticeably milder too and you could really feel the transition from winter to spring.

We moved house in the middle of the month, not only my husband and I, but also our travelling zoo! We brought our 2 dogs with us from England, but have been adopted by 2 kittens, Camões and Ginger, and a cat, Lucy. Unfortunately one of the kittens had to have an eye removed just before Christmas and after a 2 week convalescence we became very attached to him and his brother. When we took him to the vet he was a stray without a name, but the vet quickly named him for us. She asked us if we knew of Camões, we had never heard of him but she explained that he was a famous Portuguese poet with only one eye - so Camões he became!

Camões is very shy so trying to catch him to put him in his box for the move was not easy - you would think that his disability would give me the advantage, but no. His brother sat patiently in his box while I circled the dining table in pursuit, and after 4 hours with both of us exhausted I succeeded. Lucy was even more elusive and we had to go back for her a few days later when a neighbour managed to catch her. I was concerned about moving 3 ‘stray’ cats but they have settled into their new home really well, and they haven’t wandered too far yet! The dogs hated cats in England but the laid-back Portuguese lifestyle must have got to them as they have accepted the new arrivals and they are all firm friends now.


Samson and Ginger
Our current home has an excellent sea view and I was delighted to see a pod of dolphin playing near a sailing boat - I’ll try to get a photo for the website if I see them again.

My sister and her boyfriend had helped with our move so we decided to treat them to a meal and went in search of somewhere different to try. We went to Guia and found a shop with the unusual boast of being the place with the largest number of lighters on display, they cover the walls and ceiling and a newspaper cutting displayed prominently confirmed the status in the Guinness Book of Records. Unfortunately the record has now been broken, but who would have thought there would be such a claim to fame in Guia!

We crossed the road to Atlântico restaurant which was very busy for a Sunday night. The owner was extremely helpful and even made a special vegetarian dish for my sister although it wasn’t on the menu. The rest of us ordered fish (monkfish and sea bass) which was excellent, we were tempted by the home made desserts but decided we were too full and settled for coffee instead. The bill was a very reasonable 73 euros including starters and wine, and it is well worth a try if you are in the area.

We had an unexpected opportunity to meet up with some forum members in Colombos on 14 April, Ellie, e-richard. trazie, e-llen and I all turned up. We had a good evening together with lots of laughter, the waitress didn’t believe that we had only just met and had assumed that we had known each other for years! I met up with Ellie and e-llen again before Ellie returned to England and had a really enjoyable lunch together. A quick reminder that there is a forum get together planned for 31 May at Anteak bar for anyone who can come!

On 17 April, Havana bar held a James Bond theme night. There were cocktails - shaken not stirred - canapés, music from the films and prizes for the best dressed couple and best villain. It was an excuse to dress up and is just the first of the theme nights that are planned for the summer. If you are coming to Carvoeiro this summer, call in and find out what they’ve got planned!

Havana Bar's Bond Theme Night

We were woken by the boom of rockets on Sunday 25 April, being fired to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the revolution. Although, surprisingly, not everyone seems to think that things have improved since the days of Salazar, it is worth remembering how much Portugal has changed in a relatively short space of time. The câmara raised flags on the beach and there was live music in the square although the celebrations seemed slightly muted.

We took another trip in search of restaurants outside of Carvoeiro and ended up in Armaçao de Pêra. The high-rise buildings can be off-putting, but we found ‘A Grelha’ down one of the side streets at the fisherman’s beach end. It purports to be the oldest restaurant in the Algarve and has an extensive menu of meat, fish and vegetarian dishes. I know from the forum that vegetarians can find eating out in the Algarve difficult, so I think it is worth mentioning those restaurants that provide an alternative to meat and fish. Our meals were very good, particularly the fish casserole, and again very reasonable.

The last week of April brought another cooler and slightly unsettled period of weather. We took advantage of the unusual situation of both my husband and I being off on the same day (what happened to the laid-back life in the sun we came here for?) and went to Edra for lunch with my parents. The restaurant is on the corner of the Poço Partido road (going from Carvoeiro to Lagoa, turn right just before Intermarché) and provides good food at even better prices, we had 2 courses each and including wine the bill came to 44 euros!

We also visited our regular haunts - Imprevisto, Frasers, Cheers, Oasis, Casa Algarvia and O Cantinho - during the month, all providing a warm welcome, good food, drinks and service.

Rather fittingly, I bumped into Nigel in Havana bar on 30th April and handed the newsletter baton back to him.

Until next time........ kteee