In the past few years I’ve watched Carnaval parades in many different Algarve towns and villages. They all share a sense of fun, exuberance and a zest for life that is infectious. High in the hills, nowhere is more traditional than Alte. I couldn’t wait to see how they celebrated.
Approaching the quiet village, the empty dragonboat’s hopeful gaze was the first sign that all was not quite normal. A horde of Norsemen, carousing outside the café, helmets under the table, was the second. I climbed the steep streets to the church, in search of more evidence.
Paper flowers wreathed the church, gaudy competition for the real ones. Respected elders sat patiently in a little leafy shade, recalling the parades of their youth, while the young cavorted excitedly below. Plenty of time to inspect the assembled floats before selecting a good vantage point. No-one seriously believed that the procession would start promptly at three.
It’s a pretty village at any time, but the skillfully decorated floats brought gaiety to the scene. Gradually the noise level built as the cast of characters swelled gently into position. Bill the Flowerpot Man weaved in and out, genial host with a friendly welcome for anyone who crossed his path.
The decibels increased to deafening level and they were off! Windy Miller amused me greatly by turning the sails of his windmill by hand, as they swayed around the narrow, cobbled streets, his bakery assistants tending the buns in the glowing oven.
Indians with sweet faces, a fierce-looking biker lady, astronauts who seemed to be auditioning for a role in Star Wars, dinosaurs who kept escaping from their cage, only to be pursued, captured and returned, only to escape again … Mafia hoods, a float of ‘doces’- not real, unfortunately- two wacky old gents doing a shuffle dance… all slightly barmy but very endearing. And finally, the Vikings had donned their helmets.
No serious walking this week, but a whole lot of fun. If you get the chance to visit Alte for Carnaval, I can highly recommend it.
Thanks to everybody who has contributed this week. And to all you armchair readers. That’s what blogs are for- right? Join me next time, here on Jo’s Monday walk. You can share a walk, if you like, or simply read.
Gotta love Sue! Mother Theresa or Dark Lord? (now don’t take that personally, Sue ) I’ll let you all judge :
Many years ago I witnessed ‘June Gloom’ in La Jolla. It looks much prettier through Rupali’s eyes :
Dog looks so very intelligent! I guess he’s seen a lot of life, Geoff?
Did you know about oyster shell recycling? Nor did I till I asked Alice :
Something I’ve missed this year, but they seem abundant in Wales :
Oh, my! You’ve not seen cherry doughnuts like these! Thanks, Janet!
And one of Jackie’s Mojitos might be nice, too!
If you’re really trying to make me happy, a veranda would be wonderful. Rocking chair ready, Karen?
Meanwhile Jude is treating us all to a feast of Spring, complete with lurching rhododendrons!
I suspect she’d like to join Margaret for this one, too
Becky’s back in the UK for a short while, but not without leaving a flavour of the Algarve behind :
While Georgina crosses the Guadiana to take a closer look at our hillside flora :
In the Canaries, meanwhile, all is peaceful :
The Vikings were not the most peaceful of folk, but Amanda has found us a beautiful, ancient church :
How about an indoor forest? That’s what Sandra has in store this week :
And Drake? A few tubs of luscious dates
Walking in heat, and running out of water! I can relate to that one, Cathy!
Because she really is an inspiration, I’m submitting this walk for Cathy’s Photography Invitation. Let her show you wonderfully scenic Ouray, Colorado. Have a great week, and see you next time!