This Algarve blog is intended to keep you in touch with the latest in Algarve affairs. Now that I'm living here, I'll be able to keep you right up-to-date with what's going on in the Algarve and around those wonderful beaches.
Here's my regular take on occurrences on what used to be my favourite vacation spot... now it's my favourite place to live.
Carriage driving in Algarve
Theres a new centre for carriage driving, should you
fancy some Algarve equestrianism, but are as poor a horserider as I am.
Its located between Lagos and Aljezur on what was
formerly a small hill farm. There
are lots of trails that can be followed, and if you fancy doing the driving
yourself you can enter one of the training courses on offer.
I havent been there myself yet, but its on my list of
things to do this Spring.
Telephone David Fry on 282 461 395 for more details.
(And, of course, if you dont want to experience
carriage driving, but would rather have only a saddle between you and your mount -
while enjoying great scenery and fantastic weather - why not try horse riding in
Saturday 31 March 2007
Equality? Who needs it?
So Wimbledon is the last Grand Slam to cave in and award
equal prize money to the women tennis professionals.
Good on ya, girls! The way I calculate it, the ladies champion spends about 5.5 hours on
court, walloping a series of no-hopers, then has a walk-over in the final
(always disappointing) when her opponent turns up in body only.
The men usually have to play something like 18 to 20 hours
before they lift that trophy (and the cheque of course), so by my reckoning, the
ladies champ is on about 3 times the hourly rate of her male counterpart.
And quite right, too.
Id like to see how the men would play if they had to wear the sort of
skimpy outfits sported by the girls!
Lets hear it for girl power!
And, when I go to watch McEnroe at Vale do Lobo this year,
Ill be sure to ask him what he thinks about this development.
You can bet Ill have my earplugs handy, though!
(Portugal is a little behind in the female equality stakes,
I understand but this does not apply to Algarve tennis, since Nev and I both
received identically-worthless medallions for coming absolutely nowhere in our last tennis
Thursday 29 March 2007
Up In Smoke
Now that the colder months are behind us, itll soon be
BBQ season in Algarve.
Lashings of local wines (yum) will be washing down tonnes
of assorted carne (meats) that have sizzled over charcoal fires,
from the west coast to the Spanish border at the Guadiana river.
All the garden outlets that I frequent are presently
stocked up with charcoal briquettes, stainless steel, easy-clean griddles and
even ready-built brick-and-stone barbeque stations that you can install in your
garden and use straight away!
reminded of a TV programme that I watched recently which mentioned some nasty
side effects of the BBQ lifestyle...
... Apparently, the fat that drips off the meat onto the coals is burned and then deposited, by
the rising smoke and heat, back onto the underside of whatever youre
barbequeing. Sound logical so far?
Trouble is that the stuff basting itself to the bottom of
your sizzling food has been found to be carcinogenic. Probably not a worry if youre an occasional BBQ enthusiast; but
if youre a regular, then you might like to reconsider whether its worth
the risk to your health.
Im not affected, since, being a veggie, I dont do
barbeque anyway. Even if there
are veggie options available, theyd have to be done on the same griddle as
all the meat stuff, so thats no thanks.
And there you go another health warning, courtesy of
Algarve Beach Life. Doesnt that
make you feel warm and cared-for?
Wednesday 21 March 2007
Going the Wrong Way?
The recent arrests of several people at Faro Airport
for passport fraud made me chuckle somewhat.
Not at the plight of those who are now in trouble. But at the idea that anyone would want to smuggle him- or herself out of
Thats really crazy, cos its great here!
There are so many people taking Algarve flights
to enjoy things here that the unfortunate trio of miscreants were really
swimming against the stream
Monday 19 March 2007
Cha Cha Cha-lgarve
If youve terpsichorean leanings (as I do) then you may
be able to polish up your high kicks during a visit to Algarve this year
Just pop along to the Pavilhao Gimnosportivo
Municipal (thats the sports centre, to you and me) in Portimao,
and for 10 euros you can learn how to wow folks with some Latin routines (just
like those celebs on TV).
Depending on when youre on vacation, theres:
Meringue and rumba (enrol by March 22 for class on
Slow rhythm and rock (enrol by April 19 for the
Tango and cha cha (enrol by May 24 for the 26th)
That last one looks worth the trip for me. I might even manage to drag Nev along. He can bring both of his left feet.
And if I can't interest him in that, I might just go along
myself to the final workshop that features mambo and a concluding 'spectacular'
(enrol by June 14 for the 16th).
Tel. 282 470 825 to confirm details.
Saturday 17 March 2007
Apology for the Appalling?
Someone wrote to 'The Resident' English language newspaper recently regarding the widely held view that bullfighting is cruel.
The gentleman cited some (unattributed) scientific research that sought to prove that bulls in the ring feel no pain because it is masked by the release of beta endorphins that the fighting engenders.
even if this stuff were true (and Ive no way of refuting it) what struck me about the argument was this
Why would it be okay to kill an animal for sport and entertainment so long as you can prove it isnt in pain? Wouldnt that make it acceptable to dose your pet dog with morphine and throw it off a cliff? Oh come on, officer, it really didnt feel a thing!
I honestly dont seek to control or restrict what others do with their free time. Leave that to the politicians. Just please dont try to convince me that killing things for fun is somehow humane.
Thursday 8 March 2007
so I parked one right on his nose.
It's not just on the roads that you can see some awful examples of bad driver
behaviour, it seems...
It hasnt happened here in Algarve yet (that Ive heard), but meter rage struck Lisbon recently. A motorist (hey, lets not be coy, I bet he was male) reacted to the clamping of his car by showing his prowess at fisticuffs to the offending parking warden.
The newly-implemented clampdown (pun intended) on poor parking habits includes penalties for poorly parked or double parked vehicles, overstaying meter limits, blocking of accesses
So could it happen in Algarve? It would certainly take a quantum shift in driver attitude to change things from how they are, I would guess.
No space on the road? Just use the pavement. Cars are left cheerfully and haphazardly in front of marked accesses, on pedestrian crossings, facing the wrong way on one-way streets the list goes on.
Want to do a quick bit of shopping? Just stop in the road, double parked or no, put on your hazard lights and hey presto, its legal and above board. Give a resigned shrug to the queue of incensed motorists behind your vehicle just as you climb back in, and youre on your way.
One things for sure if youre used to an ordered and logical scheme of road traffic, then Algarve is going to offer you a breath of change when you visit!
Just treat it as part of the local colour, and enjoy.
Monday 5 March 2007
Here's one for the 'strange but true' category...
Apparently, in northern Portugal, business owners rely on the superstitious natures of some ethnic groups to keep them at bay!
When I first read about this, I thought it must be a spoof... but no - it's seemingly true.
The businesses in question are shops, and the ethnic group they seek to exclude is the gypsy community.
And the method used? The shops put figures of frogs, either porcelain or plastic, at the entrances and throughout the premises. How does that work? It seems that frogs are regarded by gypsies as symbols of bad luck, and so to be avoided. And why is it happening? The businesses allege that the gypsies cause trouble in the district, including shoplifting, pickpocketing, begging and unsanitary habits.
This 'Kermit gambit' is claimed to be unfailingly effective.
I should just note that the gypsy community is the most discriminated-against in Portugal (so I read). Whether that is the result of general prejudice or because of any anti-social behaviour on their part I know not.
But, if you chance across froggy figures in Algarve shops that don't sell toys and kids' stuff, you'll know that the practice has spread southward!
Saturday 3 March 2007
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