Newsletter March 2019

Margarida Sampaio @

 Are we really in March already?  I’m not sure if it is because February is such a short month or because I am getting older and time appears to disappear in front of my eyes but we do appear to be in March!


Perhaps my confusion comes from the fact that this year we have had Carnival celebrations unseasonably late (at the time of writing I had already enjoyed one parade on March 3 while I prepare myself for the main event tomorrow, March 5, Shrove Tuesday).

As usual we were treated to only finding out about anything that was going on with the parades a few days before and even then the information was even more vague than usual!

So firstly we had the children’s parade on the Friday morning and the theme was animals (I think!) . We were very lucky to have decent weather fort the day, however this wasn’t at all fun for the children who had donned their onsie outfits and had to walk what seemed an incredibly long way for tiny people in sweaty pyjamas.

The children were of course very sweet looking and I always enjoy this one as a good way to get into the spirit of carnival for the next few days – because while in the UK we mark the event with a pancake or two, when in the Algarve it is 5 days or eating, drinking, dancing and parties (if you fancy it!).

On the Sunday the weather was fantastic and almost good enough for me to remove my winter boots and lap up the sunshine.  I think the good weather had a lot to do with helping to encourage people out of their homes for the afternoon to watch as the floats went by.  It is always great when there is a good crowd to support those taking part and to give more of a party feel and that certainly was the case in Carvoeiro!

The theme of the main parade was “Around the World” and basically meant that we had Danny leading the show with his usual flair and then being followed by floats representing the different parts of the globe.

Now I am not really sure how I should continue now with the descriptions of the floats.

Let’s just say that if you have ever been here before then you will know that political correctness is not something that has found its way to Carvoeiro yet.  You can make up your own minds as to the rights and wrongs of the parade but I myself will stay out of the political mud slinging (for now).

So from Europe we had some lovely ladies in traditional German dress and a good few flamenco dancers, over in the North pole there was Mrs Christmas and lots of penguins (who wants to be the first to let anyone know that neither can be found up there…).  It all then starts to get a bit tricky as over in Asia we have everyone dressed with Chinese umbrellas and silks, all done by the seniors of the town which is always great to see.  Then we have the Americas which includes a good amount of cowboys and Indians and everyone else in a sombrero (there were also a couple of men dressed as women who spent most of their time quietly flashing the crowd involved with this float).

The final two floats covered Africa and the Middle East.  The Middle East pained up their truck with ISIS flags and rocket launchers and was followed by belly dancers or people in burkhas, the African float involved big game animals and hunters and then everyone else with questionable face paint and afro wigs.

I don’t want to use this entire newsletter to pass on my thoughts about this, all I will say is that some visitors to the parade, particularly those from North America, found the entire spectacle to be unlike anything they had ever seen before.

If you would like to see the parade for yourself and make your own judgements then it is back on again on March 5 from 3pm.  Head down to the square where you can find lots of music, a dance area, food, beers and lots of fun until long after the sun goes down!


One of my favourite suggestions to anyone visiting Carvoeiro is to get on one of the boat trips to explore the caves and coast in the local area.  I personally always direct people straight down to the beach to use the local company there because I am a firm believer in promoting local business first and also the guys down there are lovely and know this coast better than anyone!

So it came as a big shock to read that there had been an accident on a cave boat tour.  It has not been reported which company was involved in the accident but from what I have read it appears that one man of Portuguese nationality, has been left seriously injured after the tourist boat he was on scraped the roof of a cave in the local area.  Local newspaper report that the boat was carrying 25 people at the time and that some fell into the water during the accident, however only the one person was seriously injured.

Accidents on the boats are incredibly rare so it was even more shocking to open up my news app to read about another incident involving a tourist boat on the same weekend. This other incident involved thirty two people being rescued from a tourist boat that started to take on water after scraping against a rock on an Algarve cave tour.

According to The Portugal News: “The rupture is understood to have happened after the Manguito boat broke down on a coastal cruise along the Algarve coastline on Saturday afternoon and ran into a rock. ( )

It was heading back to Portimão when it ran aground on the Portimão Marina beach to avoid sinking; all people on board, among them five children, were rescued “swiftly and efficiently”.”

Incidents such as this are never good for tourism but it is true that accidents do happen.  All I can add is that considering the sheer number of boat tours, the number of accidents is tiny so please don’t be put off taking a trip along the coast on a boat – it really is an amazing experience for everyone to enjoy!

Car rental: Sunny Algarve promotion! - prices starting at just 24,65 euro per week
-15% low season until March 31st 2019 & November 1st to March 31st 2020
-10% mid season April 1st to June 30th 2019

Discounts are deducted automatically, this offer is only valid in February 2019.
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Anyone who has read my newsletters for a while will know that an edition can’t go by without me referring to the weather and you will be pleased to know that this month is no different!

We still appear to be in the four seasons in a day time of the year which makes dressing for any occasion a nightmare as you are sure to be far too hot or freezing cold whatever you put on!

We have had some great weather on a couple of weekends, so hot that I admit to once again turning my nose a very unattractive colour while sat out for an hour or two, we even had a brief period where t felt like spring has arrived but please be aware if you are coming over any time soon – we are far from summer weather yet and you will need your coat, often in the day and always at night!

My top local tip is to remember that you can never really rely on the weather here until May 1st when everyone heads out for a picnic for the bank holiday, knowing thast you are not going to get wet or freeze.  I always feel that any sunshine before then is a bonus, rather than a given but to be honest we really do have 300 days of sunshine a year with su so while I love to complain – I know I have nothing to complain about really!


There are many worthy charities in the Algarve and we have our charity shop in Carvoeiro, however I became aware of the Madrugada charity shop which opened last year in Lagoa and wanted to let anyone who wasn’t aware know that there was another place to pick up a bargain or donate your unwanted quality items.

The Madrugada charity supports patients and families with palliative care in the Algarve and has been around since 2009, they already have a shop in Luzx and the new one in Lagoa is great.  It is located close to the main police station, near to the health centre in Lagoa and is a great place to find some treasures while supporting a worthy cause.  So the next time you are in Lagoa – pop in and have a look!

So I´m off to buy more tickets for those piggy sandwiches at the carnival!

Until next time