Vila do Ouro Mini-Blog

  • Rainy31 March 2012

    Rainy

    Last night it rained cats and dogs until sunrise! The Algarve is happy, though the soil had some difficulties in absorbing the water because it is hardened by the drought.

    During the day it was dry, 18 ° C and fairly cloudy. The next few days, there remains a threat of rain, it will be partly cloudy, but there will be enough sunshine for sunbathing. Spring has often a period of one week to 10 days in which some rain showers will occur.  

    The picture of today shows real spring flowers.

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  • Summer drinks30 March 2012

    Summer drinks

    It was forecasted to have a rainy Friday the 30th of March, but it was eventually not that bad. It was a bit cloudy though and once and a while it was a bit windy, but we had some sunny spells as well. It was 19ºC today.
    The picture of today shows our nice and cozy sun terrace with the pools. The bar on the picture has been built in February and that is the place where our guests can buy (self-service) summer drinks. 
     

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  • Where to go...29 March 2012

    Where to go...

    The signpost on the picture of today is typically a sign as you can find on roads in the small villages. A few words are very useful for tourists to know. For example, "Junta de Frequesia 'means' the townhouse', GNR is the police, "Centro de Saude" is a small Hospital,  'Farmacia' means 'Pharmacy', 'Igreja' is the 'Church' and the CTT is the Post Office. Every tourist will probably pay a visit to the post office during their holidays. This is not just to buy stamps, but the post office is also the only point where the toll of the tollway can be paid. Since December, the A22, the highway from east to west Algarve, became a toll road. The cars are flashed and after the ride on the highway, within one week, you must go to the post office to pay. More information about this weird system will be send to you a few days before your departure to Vila do Ouro.

    Today started cool and cloudy, the sun managed to break through, but eventually there was this thick layer of clouds over the Algarve. Rain is forecasted for tonight, tomorrow and Saturday. It was only 19 º C. 

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  • Wild Oranges28 March 2012

    Wild Oranges

    Today's picture shows a bit of a bush near Vila do Ouro. It is not very easy to see on this picture, but the tree in the middle is a wild orange tree. During your hiking you can find some wild fruit trees like citrus fruits and avocados.

    Today was windy, sunny and 24C.

     

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  • Pool27 March 2012

    Pool

    The Algarve enjoyed wonderful weather today. It was quite warm and we measured 24ºC on the central sun terrace of Vila do Ouro. The picture of today may look like a bit strange, but it is a picture of the water of our swimming pools. It was a bit windy, so that makes the movement in the water. The bright light of the sun in the middle shows that it was sunny today. 

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  • Villa26 March 2012

    Villa

    Our villa, sleeping 8, is not only a big house, but also has a big plot which includes a private pool with sun terrace. There is a large covered terrace with barbecue where it is great to have breakfast, lunch, tapas or diner. Furthermore, the villa has a number of nice places to sit and enjoy the garden. For example under the huge carob tree in the middle of the terrain or on the marmoire seat at the front door (see photo today). If you had not had enough sun during the day, then you can enjoy in the evening sun in this place. The picture of today is taken at 6.15 pm. All these places make the villa a good holiday home  for two families as well: there are always plenty of places where you can sit alone for a while.

    The weather was beautiful today. A bit wind, lots of sunshine and a temperature of 23 º C.
     

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  • Dust25 March 2012

    Dust

    Yesterday, Saturday, March 24, we woke up by a sound that we didn't have heard for a long time: rain. It took only 1 minute, but it was rain. The rest of the day was cloudy, 20 ° C and windy. Last night it rained again for a minute or 5, but this rain brought us more dust than water. Everything was covered by a layer of desert dust, transported by the wind from the south. Sunday, March 25 was sunny with little wind and 23 º C in the shade on the central terrace of Vila do Ouro.

    The picture of today shows the view of the westerly part of the balcony of the standard apartment for 6 persons. The picture was taken at 6.15 pm. The bush that borders the balcony in the front, looks still scanty, but in a few weeks there will be hundreds of red flowers. The bougainvillea grows so fast that they need a good pruning in winter. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bougainvillea
     

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  • Windy23 March 2012

    Windy

    From the moment we woke up this morning, the wind increased bit by bit untill it blew us around the ears with 27 knots. The picture of today, taken from the balcony of an apartment for 4 persons, shows the waving palm leaves.
    The wind came straight from the south-east and brought delicious warm air.


    The winds from the east and the south are mostly warm and the winds from the north and from the west often bring cooler air.
    The temperature was very pleasant. It was 22 º C. The morning was sunny, but after the lunch the sky slowly began to hide itself behind a gray blanket of clouds
     

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  • Ecological22 March 2012

    Ecological

    ViladoOuro is situated 150 meters above sea level and the main building is also another 3 stories high. When you are on the roof of this building, you have a wonderful view over the whole region. And you have to have a head for heights. The men in the picture are busy with the final connection of the solar water heaters. The intention is that all hot water for the coming seasons is warmed by the sun. We want to make Vila do Ouro ecological as much as possible, without losing in quality. All accommodations of Vila do Ouro have solar water heaters now. Ecological as well is for example that we collect all the sanitary water which is recycled and reused for the garden. It is in these dry times, it is not a needless luxury! All new equipment we have to purchase, has to have a AA + label. We also try as much as possible to work with ecological cleaning products. In this way we try to do our part to contribute to a better world.

    In any case it's a waste to not use the energy of the sun. The sun is shining in the Algarve, after all, 300 days a year. Like today again! Although the afternoon had some veil clouds. It was 22 º C on the pool terrace and a stiff breeze blew from the east. 

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  • Helicopter21 March 2012

    Helicopter

    This photo shows, besides the dark blue sky from today, a fire helicopter which flew over us today around 6 p.m. Hopefully we will not see the helicopter often next summer. Unfortunately the drought creates a great danger for fires in Portugal and Spain. We didn’t have real rain so far in 2012 and probably we will not get it before te summer starts. The only thing which might be possible, and that is where the local people are hoping for, is some strong thunderstorms during the months of April and May.
    In case those thunder storms come, it would be probably at night or at the end of the afternoon, so it wouldn’t bother the tourists so much.

    For now we continue with blue skies, sunshine and temperatures between 20 º C and 25 º C. Today it was 23 º C on the pool terrace of Vila do Ouro.
     

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  • SPRING TIME20 March 2012

    SPRING TIME

    Spring has oficially started today on the calendar, but as far as the weather concerned it was not warmer than it already have been lately. It was 23 º C in the shade on the central terrace of Vila do Ouro. It was another day with nothing but sunshine and no clouds in the sky. A light wind from the north was blowing and made it now and then a bit chilly. In any case, the insects and frogs did feel the calender change: the frogs began to croak and the grasshopper on the picture slowly became more active today. Not active enough to jump away before he got shot by the camara! These grasshoppers are regularly seen in our garden. They are about 10 to12 cm long and in winter they sit or sleep in the same place for weeks. 

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  • Spring flowers19 March 2012

    Spring flowers

    These flowers of succulents (family of Aloe Vera) on the pool terrace of Vila do Ouro are only flowering in March and April. These are typical spring bloomers and make the garden at this time very colorful.

    The sky was bright blue today, no clouds at all and there was a fresh breeze blowing from the north. It was 20 º C. The night was as cold as in winter with only 9 º C.
     

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  • Mimosa18 March 2012

    Mimosa

    It's spring and plenty of spring flowers are all over the Algarve. There is for example the fragrant jasmine and the beautiful yellow Mimosa, which you can see on the picture of today.

    Today was another wonderful day with lots of sun, some clouds and a light breeze. It was 21 º C in the shade.
     

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  • Amazing17 March 2012

    Amazing

    Nature continues to be amazing! The way the flora in the Algarve survives the drought and the heat in summer, is very ingeniously. The small tree on the picture of today amazes by starting its life in a crevice in a rock.

    Today began sunny, but around lunch time there were some thick clouds, sometimes gray. It was 20 º C on the main sun terrace of Vila do Ouro.
     

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  • Sunrise16 March 2012

    Sunrise

    The picture of today is taken at 8 am this morning and shows how high the sun already is. The fog in the back of the picture disapeared in a few minutes after this picture was taken. The sun gave enough warmth to have breakfast outside.

    The morning was sunny, but around lunchtime some clouds came in from the north. It was just 20ºC in the shadow today, but as soon as you put your face into the sun, you could feel the power of the spring sun.

    The picture of today shows as well the east side of our apartments building.
     

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  • Fire and Mountains15 March 2012

    Fire and Mountains

    The weather today did not match with the weather from the other days of March 2012. The day started cloudy, there were even some drops falling from the sky (unfortunately not enough to feed the plants) and the day remained mostly cloudy. Now and then there were some sunny spells what gave beautiful skies. Just take a look at the picture of today, taken at 6.15 pm. After so many days with blue skies, it was nice to enjoy the scenery like this. Sometimes it seemed as if the beautiful clouds were mountains and that Vila do Ouro was a resort in the Alps and sometimes it looked like we were surrounded by fire and smoke.

    A low pressure area in the Algarve area, also caused a temperature drop of a few degrees. It was not warmer than 18 º C.
     

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  • Windy Algarve14 March 2012

    Windy Algarve

    Just like yesterday, it was a windy day today. The warm wind from the south-east was a bit stronger then yesterday, between 12 – 14 knots. The picture of today can show the wind! Just take a look at the leaves of the palm trees of our swimming pool terrace….

    It was sunny, now and then small clouds and the temperature raised untill 21ºC.
     

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  • Art Algarve13 March 2012

    Art Algarve

    In summer Vila do Ouro is very colorful with all the summer flowers, but inside the apartments and studio’s  we felt it was always a little too white. Therefore we have decided to re-style our apartments and studios this season by putting all new and colorful paintings on the walls. We have placed an order with the Dutch artist Maggie, who is also the mother of Linda. This winter she will paint more or less 70 paintings for our accommodations.

    The paintings all belong to the 'Summer Ladies With Hats' collection of Maggie. The entire collection, especially painted for Vila do Ouro, brings the classic summer vibes and on a day like today, Maggie (picture of today) got very much inspiration. Today was full of summer vibes with temperatures above 25 º C. The skies were so bright blue, as we regularly have in the Algarve. A balmy breeze was blowing from the south-east.

    Maggie runs her own pottery painting house in The Hague, Holland. Look at the following sitehttp://www.dezusvantantetil.nl

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  • Gypsies in the Algarve12 March 2012

    Gypsies in the Algarve

    In open fields nearby cities, gypsies are often putting up a camp for a night or two. The picture of today shows the gipsies of this morning, breaking up their camp near the village of Ferreiras. They sleep under plastic sheets, in vans or simply in the open air. The gypsy community in the Algarve is quite big and you see regulary a horse and carriage with a gypsy family riding along the roads.

    There are weekly gypsy markets in the Algarve, which attract many tourists. In these markets everything is for sale and the atmosphere is something special. All accommodations in Vila do Ouro have an overview of the weekly markets in the Algarve. For those who like visiting markets, it is a must.

    Today was a lovely warm day with 100% sunshine and a temperature of 23 º C on the pool terrace of Vila do Ouro.
     

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  • Sunny Sunday11 March 2012

    Sunny Sunday

    The picture of today shows the beach of old Albufeira, where, on a day like today, many young people were playing volleyball and other kind of beach sports. On this picture it is not visible, because the activities took mainly place near the sea behind the photographer. The photo shows besides a part of the beach, the 'boulevard' of old Albufeira. This boulevard used to be the fruit-, vegetable- and fishmarket, but it was years ago taken over by the tourists. In fact, tourism in the Algarve started over here in the 60s. In the 70s the first nightclub of the Algarve opened on this avenue, but currently there are only restaurants. A few of these restaurants are worth visiting. Quality food, quality service, quality view….

    Today it was like summer: 25 º C on the pool terrace of Vila do Ouro, no wind and blue skies with a big warm sun in it.
     

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  • Huge Supermarket10 March 2012

    Huge Supermarket

    From Vila do Ouro it takes just 10 – 15 minutes to drive to a super large supermarket. These types of supermarkets can be find all over Portugal. The supermarkets have a big assortment, but the good thing is that a lot of fresh food can be purchased. There is an internal fruit / vegetable market, a butcher, a baker, a fishmonger, a cheese market and it possible to purchase some freshly cooked meals. A disadvantage of the huge supermarkets is that you can get lost if you're not familiar with them. Always follow the signs ...

    Portuguese love to go for shoppings and supermarkets during the weekends. They take their best clothes, because they combine shopping with socializing. The shoppingcentra or the supermarkets are great meeting places.

    Today was sunny, a semi strong wind from the southeast and 22 º C on the central terrace of Vila do Ouro.
     

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  • Fresh Air in the Algarve09 March 2012

    Fresh Air in the Algarve

    The Algarve is a region with lots of good smells. Every season has its own smells of flowers, plants and trees. Currently, the unpaved roads are accesible by normal cars because of the drought and one does not need a 4x4 vehicle to the drive through the wilderness. Also by mountain bike or on foot wonderful nature tours can be made. From Vila do Ouro you can be, within a short time, between forests of eucalyptus trees and fields full of fennel. The picture of today shows a number of eucalyptus trees.

    The Algarve also has no air pollution of industry and because its direct location close to the Atlantic Ocean, the Algarve has very clean and pure air.

    Today it was windy, sunny and 22 º C in the shade.

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  • Spring Feeling!!08 March 2012

    Spring Feeling!!

    After a day like today we know that winter is over. The highest temperature measured today was 25ºC outside our lounge at the central sun terrace with the swimming pools. The evening colored red and had even 19ºC at 8.00 pm. Even the Portuguese people slowly start wearing summer cloth and it are not just the British tourists who wear shorts and bikinis. It is still too cold for swimming: the big pool has 15ºC, the children's pool has 16ºC and the Atlantic OCean has 16ºC.

    Today's picture is taken on the beach of Galé and the ocean shows us that it was a bit windy today.

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  • Sharks07 March 2012

    Sharks

    Portugal has, in contrast with countries such as Spain, France, Italy, Croatia, Greece, never had shark attack. So if you as reader has not yet decided which country you want for your vacation, take this information well in your decision..!! In fact there are sharks swimming regulary along the coast of Portugal, but apparently they are satisfied with the amount of fish over here, so they are not looking for food on the beaches. The Atlantic Ocean is probably still "healthy". And that is the subject of our blog today: the picture of today is not taken under water, but against the wall of the second largest aquarium in the world, the Oceanium in Lisbon. The trend this year is that many guests from Vila do Ouro fly to Lisbon, stay there for a few days to look around and then go south for a sunny holiday in the Algarve with us. For those traveling with children, the Oceanium is great fun and very interesting to visit. http://www.oceanario.pt/

    The Oceanium has a huge number of marine animals together in a mega-sized aquarium and pretends that they have created a very tolerant sea climate. There are different types of sharks, stingrays, angelfish, tuna, giant turtles, but also sea horses, sea dragons, jellyfish and penguins. It is all made in an easy way to understand how the oceans function and how the present state of the oceans is. That's not so good… There is much about over-fishing and the lifestyle of mankind who is to blame for all of this. The Oceanium supplied a Fishing Guide, which has a list of the fish that are endangered. Among them for example the tuna fish, the fish that lived decades ago in large quantities in the Algarve. The list also gives alternatives for consuming, so that people leave the tuna fish for consumption. If lots of people will stop consuming tuna, their value will drop and the catch will stop as well. To force their message of stopping consuming tuna, the restaurant of the Oceanium had a tuna dish on the daily menu! Maybe it was just to show that everybody is a hypocrite…we don’t know, but we will come back with some more information after we have spoken to the staff about this.

    Lisbon has many more exciting attractions like the Zoo, the cable cars, the old tram, and the big castle on the top of the city. Yesterday we could not upload the daily blog, because the hotel where we stayed had a fee of 10 euros per hour for Internet acces. We thought that is way too much for nowadays, especially since we in Vila do Ouro have free internet for all guests.

    The weather here in Southern Europe: fantastic! 

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  • For the children05 March 2012

    For the children

    Portuguese love children and therefore reserves each municipality a reasonable amount to make and maintain play facilities for children. Some municipalities on the coast have great playgrounds on the beach. For example, Portimao or Praia da Luz. Albufeira has several playgrounds (all free), but the biggest is in the new part of Albufeira, near the municipal football stadium. For smaller children there are several slides, climbing walls, swings, climbing frames and playing fields. For older children there are complete skateboard courts with walls, quarterpipes, halfpipes, slide bars, ramps and stairs. For team sports there are soccer fields and basketball courts. The Portuguese also love to go somewhere with for a cup of coffee, so there is a café overlooking the playground. It's busy every day. The picture today is taken around 6.15 pm.

    The Algarve had beautiful weather today! Sun, sun, sun and a temperature around 24 º C during the day (measured on the central terrace of Vila do Ouro). It was however quite windy today, but that did not spoil the fun. The frogs stopped their hibernation today and we heard some crickets tonight. That means that the real night cold may be finally over now ....
     

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  • Paderne04 March 2012

    Paderne

    Paderne has beautiful old buildings. The origins of the village dates from somewhere in the 8th century. The buildings of the present village, built much later, have nevertheless a lot of history as well. The picture of today shows a building from the main street of the village.

    It was real spring weather today. A warm wind was blowing, there was plenty of sun,  we had occasionally clouds and we have measured 24ºC on the pool terrace.
     

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  • The Lake03 March 2012

    The Lake

    Again a the story about the drought. Today we went to the lake of Funcho, about a 25 minutes drive from Vila do Ouro. This is a huge reservoir which also can be seen from the plane when flying to Faro. Normally this lake fills up in winter and releases the excess water to the Ribeira de Arade, a river which runs along the city of Portimão. As shown in the picture from today, the lake is not full at all.

    Baragem the Funcho, as the gigantic lake is called, has no tourism, but you may go to enjoy the nature and the scenery. For miles you do not see anyone and you have to drive mostly off-road in the wilderness to get to this lake.

    The weather was great today, with 22 º C, plenty of sunshine and few clouds.
     

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  • Drought02 March 2012

    Drought

    The rain of yesterday was not enough to end the drought. The picture of today shows the dry soil and is taken somewhere in the 'campo' around Vila do Ouro. As shown, the soil was cracked by the drought and there is little vegetation. The few olives in the picture, are not for decoration, but the photo was taken near an olive tree.

    Today brought no rain and there's still no rain forecasted. The weather is a bit cloudier than the recent weeks, but the temperature is on the other hand much more pleasant. Today was a real spring day with delicious aromas and cheerful singing birds. The sun was shining a lot and there was blowing a soft breeze. It was 22 º C at Vila do Ouro.
     

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  • Finally Rain01 March 2012

    Finally Rain

    The Algarve had to wait a long time for it, but today finally we had some rain! It was not much, just 10 minutes, but it was enough to wet the streets.
    We hoped that we would have more rain today, but that was not the case. Hopefully tomorrow we will have some more drops.

    It was cloudy with sunny spells today and the temperature was pleasant with 18 º C in the shade. Occasionally there were beautiful skies. The picture gives an impression of how it looked like over here.
     

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