Algarvean Daze

Events & Activities - mainly during the daytime - across the Algarve

Shake, Rattle and Roll

For the second noticeable time, my good lady wife (GLW) has missed out on feeling the earth move beneath her feet. Or, as it was in the early hours of the morning, her back.

The first earthquake I ever experienced - and she failed to - was probably about two years ago. GLW was at the local market, and crushed amongst the throngs of shoppers and pickpockets, she missed noticing the brief figure of eight motion that the ground beneath her feet made.

Last night, blissfully asleep, she missed again. My first thought was that an unscheduled train passed by, but it was just a little too quick and a little too 'shakey'. When I concluded that it must have been a terremoto, I attempted to validate this by using the incredibly good website's seismology section. As access was impossible, I went back to bed convinced that GLW had missed another opportunity.

Graphic courtesy Instituto de Meterologia Portugal
This morning, when I was able to get onto the website, confirmation of the magnitude 6.0 earthquake off the coast of Sagres was there, along with detail of the additional twenty tremors which occurred between 1:43 and 11:29.

Life is never dull in the Algarve.

Letting The Cat Out Of The Bag

Pardon the pun. Sometimes things that are particularly close to me cause me to get a bit carried away. Case in point, the Gala Dinner & Dance that will held on Sunday 13 December 2009 at the Hotel Paraiso de Albufeira, located, strangely enough, in Albufeira.

I don't often wax lyrical about events such as these, but this charity event is being co-sponsored by AGA, the Amigos dos GATOS do Algarve, along with two other animal charities. The work that these charities do is often thankless, and frequently unknown. I will do my best to right this wrong.

Before you dismiss this as of no interest to your good selves, hear me out. This is the best WIN - WIN situation you may find this year. OK, let's assume you are a cat lover, as I am. There is little you wouldn't do to help ease the plight of stray and abandoned moggies here in the Algarve. We enjoy a reasonable standard of life here, why shouldn't our furry friends?

OR, let's assume that you are a cat hater. This is right up your street. The AGA runs programs aimed at providing an environment where feral and stray cats are caught, neutered and released back into their environments.

From the perspective of the cat lover, this affords a better life to the cats living wild, and for the cat haters, this means a reduction in the number of cats who have the audacity to approach you while you are sitting in one of Algarve's numerous restaurants.

So, regardless if you couldn't be without cats or if you can't abide cats, here's your chance to champion your own cause. Tickets for the Buffet Dinner and Dance at the Hotel Paraiso de Albufeira are on sale at the AGA charity shop in Montechorro at €27.50, or will be available on the night at the venue.

For more information, or to reserve tickets, have a quick chat with Lesley on +351 96 241 4584 or email her at

St Nicholas Day

It's 6 December, the sun cannot seem to make up it's mind, it's cool enough outdoors to ensure that we have a fire indoors later, lunch today will not be eaten al-fresco. And today is St Nicholas Day, the day we put up the Christmas decorations.

The Algarve has fallen in line with the rest of the 'civilised' countries in it's ability to promote one commercial season as soon as the previous season's extraction of lucre has drawn to an end. Christmas begins when Halloween ends. As Christmas ends, St Valentine's will begin. This is very unfortunate progress indeed. This is not the Algarve I want. C'est la vie. Or, I suppose I should say, ao vida.

These conspiracies to part me from my money will not overshadow my enjoyment of what Christmas is to me. Although I am not a religious person, it is a religious holiday. And, as such should always remain a religious holiday. I will never subscribe to the theory that it should be watered down to a 'Winter Holiday', regardless of how many persons of various non-Christian faiths it offends. I do not care that the traditional Christmas fare of roast fowl may offend Vegetarians. I so do not care that the iconic imagery of Christmas Trees, Mangers, Angels and Wisemen upsets the fundamentalists who deem such as akin to worshiping idols.

For those of you who may feel targeted by this rant, I will not say 'Get a life'. You already have a life. Let other people enjoy theirs. Merry Christmas.


Sitting at a favourite venue, one already popularised here on Algarvean Daze in the posting 'Forced To Drink By The Police', our afternoon relaxation and social intercourse was rather rudely interrupted by the sound of an approaching siren.

This is unusual in our tiny part of the Algarve, as rarely do emergency vehicles feel the need to loudly announce their presence. Located as we were, in a quiet, verdant part of the Quinta da Larga Vista, the decibel level grew until it eliminated any chance of reasonable conversation.

When the antiquated, noisy diesel Transit Van turned off the 'main' road onto a side road, my initial thought was that it was getting well and truly out of the way of what turned out to be a police car. This was partially correct. It was not only trying to get out of the way of the police, it was attempting to elude the police. Not quite power-sliding around the corner, the van with it's side door open and people struggling to remain inside, was being pursued by the police so closely that it appeared that the predator vehicle was being towed along.

Eventually out of sight and sound, conversation turned to the futility of the situation from the van occupants' perception. Preventing a police car from overtaking on a narrow, windy road should not have been difficult. Getting to the other end of the road, some kilometers away, without expecting to be greeted by more police was probably folly in the extreme. It's only heresay, but I've been told you can't outrun a Motorola.