We started 2018 quiet. January was relatively a cold month with (too) little rain, low temperature but sunny and lots of blue skies. We walked a lot during the day, discovered new areas in the Algarve and Alentejo and in the evening we had a good time infront of the fireplace.
Now we are fully engaged to prepare our holiday accommodation for season 2018! From the 1st of March we re-open, after our holiday. The garden is tip top, everything is pruned and some trees are already flowering. Our painter has been ordered to do some small work on the walls. At all our bathrooms, in our holiday accommodation, we installed now glass shower panels.
Furthermore, we are also busy to get ready the rooms. Together with Cristina, our regular help since summer 2017, everything is turned upside down to wash and scrub. At the end our floor tiles are put in the wax (in portuguese it is called ‘cera’). All floor tiles in our small boutique hotel are a typical product of the Algarve. The tiles are authentic so-called Santa Catarina’s
These Santa Catarina’s are named after the place where they are made, the village of Santa Catarina in the East Algarve. This small friendly village is located 13 kilometers from our holiday accommodation. Here you can visit one yourself, the factories and see how the Santa Catarina’s are made. In addition to various types of floor tiles, they also make roof tiles. The Santa Caterina’s are completely handmade from the red-brown clay-earth from the Algarve’s hinterland. After filtering the clay (the so-called ‘barro’), it is poured into molds. By hand, all tiles are removed from the molds to ‘rest’ in a drying rack. After some days, they put them into the oven. The tiles are moved hand by hand, like a chain of men, from drying rack to the red-hot oven. They are baked for about 1.5 days. By the same ‘chain of men’ they are loaded on pallets and are ready to transport to the suppliers. It is a very impressive process and the factory is definitely worth a visit!
This week we are on the road to watch the Volta ao Algarve, an international cycling tour, which takes place every year in the Algarve. Today we watched the start in Almôdovar and the finish in Tavira. Sunday, the cyclists will cycle through São Brás de Alportel and will pass our holiday accommodation in the Algarve. It is really a beautiful tour to ride by bicycle or even car!
Our first guests in March are a Danish MTB bike group, doing a tour in the Algarve. Are you a cycling lover? Take a look at our website to see the possibilities to do a cycling holiday in the Algarve. You can also email us at email@example.com to ask about the possibilities.
We look forward to the season 2018 and say welcome to our new guests.
Bert and Els