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Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Carvoeiro on the Portguese Algarve (Part Two)

The weather in Portrugal was not as brilliant as usu
al for the first few days but I didn't mind - I'm not a sun-worshiper. I was quite happy to spend my time painting (It was the first time I had remembered to take painting equipment with me).
While the others were muttering and cursing and shaking their fists at the sky I was happily reading or drawing. The villa where we always stay is on a cliff top over the small former fishing village of Carvoeiro. Today the Algarve (Portugal's southernmost province) is largely about golf; that's not something I can get interested in but lots of my friends go there to play. I find it to be more unspolit than Spain and a bit more friendly. Because of the Euro-Stirling exchange rate, prices seemed expensive for us but I don't usually worry too much about those things when on vacation; I just bite the bullet and pay the price. That's my philosophy at all times anyway because there is no point in spending ones life complaining and moaning; better to simply enjoy life.
This was a hedonistic holiday mostly centered on eating, drinking, talking, walking, lazing in the heated pool, reading and, for me, painting. I'm not very good but it's a hugely enjoyable pastime.
My first book was  'Pictures at an Exhibition' by DM Thomas. It was a very 'difficult' read and ultimately unsatisfying. It deals with the same subject as his earlier masterpiece, 'The White Hotel', that is  - the holocaust, Freuidian pyschoanalysis and human sexuality. Much more enjoyable is a book I am still reading. 'Ordinary Thunderstorms' by William Boyd opens like an good but standard type of man-on-the run thriller buts seems to be developing deeper more meaningfuul themes.

Ferragudo with Portimao across the estuary in the distance.
Picture from
The coastal towns we visited this time were Ferragudo, Portimao, Alvor and Quintera. They are all interesting and hospitable places in their own different ways. For example Ferraguda is full of old, narrow, cobbled streets that lead down to the harbour lined with whitewashed buildings and fish restaurants directly in front of where the fishing bosts unload. There are even vendors grilling sardines right on the quayside. The village is overlooked by a ruined castle.
The area has been settled for more than two thousand years, having been variously occupied or settled by the Phoenicians, Romans and the Moors.


Kelly said...

Sounds like you had a better time than your friends. Beautiful picture of that place, by the way. I know what you mean by a difficult read. The book you described sounds like the author was trying to put too many things and complex ideas in his literary zoo of a book. I'd like to see your paintings.

All in all, if I had the money, I'd like to visit a place like Carvoeiro. Sounds inviting.

Take care, Bazza

joanne fox said...

I struggled through The White Hotel years back and didn't really like it.

Hope you came back with some paintings you were happy with. I used to dabble in painting and drawing, though was never very good at either. What I liked about it was that it really made me look at things properly.

Unknown said...

Beautiful pictures. I am just happy you had a wonderful time.
Have an awesome day.

bazza said...

Kelly: Well, I think we all had a good time but I just had more of a good time! If I can figure out how to load my own photos again I might be brave enough to show some of my paintings.

Joanne: I really enjoyed how the the ending of The White Hotel explained the psychological prescience that the woman experienced. I agree how painting makes you look at the world differently. I filled a small book with stuff which I just might show soon! Thanks for dropping by!

Mr Stupid: I recommend your zany site for a laugh! Thanks for the kind thought.

klahanie said...

Hi bazza,
It seems like you had a therapeutic time in Portugal. For you had, despite the misgivings of the weather, positive distractions.
I think that is great and welcome back.
With respect, Gary.

bazza said...

Gary: Thanks, it's good to be home. The holiday was certainly therapeutic in terms of 'chilling out' and relaxing.

rob said...

I heard william boyd on radio 4....he sounded very interesting.

Glad holiday went well despite initial lack of sun.

bazza said...

Thanks Rob. Boyd's most famous book is An Ice-Cream War set in East Africa during World War 1.