It’s Carnival time!

The skies may not be as blue as they were last year, but there was just as much fun, as many happy faces and a wonderfully eclectic mix of costumes. We had decided to return to São Brás de Alportel for the Sunday parade – it is quite close, not too busy and most importantly it is on a loop! We’ve learnt to never arrive early, and so on Sunday it was about half hour after the official start time when we turned up, we were followed about 10minutes later by the Vikings.

Did you spot in the last picture the boy in white with stripey socks? Took us ages to work out who they were dressed up as. We’re pretty sure they are tea bags but what do you think? More pictures below. It was the Portuguese who introduced tea to Britain, and Liptons is one of the oldest tea companies in the world. It’s a Scottish company which began life 128years ago, bizarrely though you won’t see Lipton Black Tea (Yellow Label) on sale in British shops as the ‘mother’ company is Unilever and they sell PG Tips. However Liptons is everywhere here in Portugal.

There didn’t seem to be a parade theme, although now I look back at the first three groups I am wondering if this parade was all about what has come to Portugal. Golf courses didn’t really appear here until 1966, when Henry Cotton laid out the Championship course at Penina. No forget the theme, as look what came next!

The golfers were followed by numerous Tinkerbells and Lost Boys on skates, who in turn were followed by Wonder Women. My best photographs of the Wonder Women came when they returned on the loop so you are going to have to wait for those. At this point I have got a little confused as to what came when as we were close to the turn which meant we got to watch the floats as they came down and went back up. Great for watching and taking photographs but very confusing looking back!

And then they were all arriving at once. There were the Spanish, the Crusaders, Fado singers and musicians, bread makers, aeroplanes, mermaids, Neptune and more. So much happening and so much fun. The sun even came out for the little ones.

By this point I didn’t know which way to look and what to photograph. There was so much going on. The music was getting louder, the groups seem to me merging at times and I soon lost what little understanding I had of what was going on. Did I care though, nope, we were just loving it! Such fun. Also in awe of what they have all created, especially in just a few more weeks it is the flower procession.

Remember I said right at the start that this carnival is on a loop. Well here you are, the Vikings have returned but without Lipton’s Tea. And the golfers were in disarray, I think some of them had found the clubhouse and others were in the rough. However Captain Hook was still in his boat and the full sized Tinkerbell appeared to be challenging the Chieftain.

We decided not to stay for the full loop but I couldn’t leave before I saw the Wonder Women again. I had spotted they were performing their acrobatics on their second time round. There were also a few clowns who had sneaked in from the audience.

And the fun continues tomorrow. So if you’re in the Algarve put on your glad rags tomorrow afternoon and join in the carnival fun. We’re off to another local one but if you are looking for the biggest in the Algarve and the oldest (continuous) one in Portugal head to Loulé.

Author: BeckyB

It had been a good life walking, cooking, photographing, volunteering, blogging, and best of all spending time with MrB, family, & friends. Sadly it no longer is. Suddenly and unexpectedly I have become a widow.

39 thoughts

  1. Very colourful and most eclectic. I think I prefer being an armchair viewer of a carnival, I’m not too keen on crowds these days, so it is lovely to take part virtually 🙂

    1. Very small crowd on Sunday – we had noone in front or behind us. Mostly just a single line – tad different at today’s though! I’ll try and post them later x

    1. And we are doing exactly that here in Olhao – a festival we have only seen once by accident two years ago we are going to fail to see again this year because we are away. So irritated, but I have finally discovered it is the 3rd Sunday of Lent it happens so next year . . . . . . . . . . .

  2. The Viking at the wheel is as grumpy at the end as he was at the beginning! Hilarious, and some fabulous costumes. Definitely teabags, though Lipton’s is not English. Sir Thomas Lipton was a Scot and started his business in Glasgow – he was born in the Gorbals and is buried in the Southern Necropolis there.

    1. Ooops! Of course he is – so sorry. I’ve read a great book on him – how on earth could I have forgotten that. I’ll amend.

      He reminded me of Paul O’Grady as there was the occasional twinkle in that grumpy face!!

  3. Those are the cutest teabags I ever saw, Becky. Even though I don’t like English tea 🙂 🙂 Altura was similarly small scale but I was very impressed with their floats, which came from around the region, including Castro Marim and Odeleite. Loule was its usual boisterous self and I really did enjoy it but we had a few personal dramas going on.

    1. Altura sounds brilliant – did think of going there today but decided we’d try another one on our doorstep so Moncarapachao it is 😀

      PS sorry to hear about the dramas. Hope they’re now resolved xx

      1. We enjoyed Moncarapacho in the rain last year, with a forest of umbrellas, so you should do much better. It’s another of those very Portuguese places 🙂 🙂 I doubt we’ll make Paderne, but we’ve done 2. I have to make pancakes later and the WiFi has run out so need a trip to Gran Plaza. Fab day for a hill walk though. 🙂 🙂
        Did you ask somewhere for Dave Sheldrake’s site? I remember someone did but can’t find the comment.

        1. ah was it Moncarapacho you did last year – couldn’t remember!! Looks like will need sun hats today 🙂

          oops re Wifi, hope you get it sorted and enjoy your walk later xx

          PS Nope not me on Dave’s site.

        2. Was it, Gilly? I need to post some photos on there tonight but I’m not as efficient as Becky. Just finished making pancakes. 🙂

        3. I think so, but I’ve slept a little since then, that isn’t very helpful is it? I had a big cherry scone this afternoon so didn’t have room for pancakes!

        4. Good day walking? Mick did some work this morning then we tried out a new tapas place in Tavira. Lazy laidback lunch and I’m trying to resist naughty Portuguese treats now we’re home. 🙂

  4. Looks like a brilliant carnival and you’ve got some super photos. What camera do you use and do you carry extra lens? I know it’s not always down to the camera, more often it’s the photographer which a good eye for placing a shot, but I love to know what other people are using when their pix are as good as yours. It’s so lovely when these events just come out of the blue or when you happen upon them. Something similar happened to us way back in the sixties in Benidorm (yes, I was one of the early visitors to that now fabled city) when there were only a few hotels and large stretches of green fields between them, and we arrived the night before their carnival to be awoken at 5.00 a.m next morning to firecrackers, fireworks and noise from every instrument the inhabitants could lay their hands on. It carried on for 4 days, but I don’t suppose it’s still happening, too many visitors, too busy. Mind you, health and safety might also have stopped it as the danger to life and limb from the fireworks in those days was ever present.
    Anyway, thank you for that lovely post and your pictures really are amazing. Oh, bring me home a Viking, will you please!

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