BHS – protest re oil exploration off Alzejur

On Saturday 14 April 2018 there was a demonstration in Lisbon against proposed oil exploration off the coast of Aljezur and south west Alentejo.

If Alzejur rings a bell, it was a favourite spot for Prime Minister David Cameron to spend his holidays. I have it on decent authority that it still is.

As you can see from the following map, Alzejur is situated beside a long natural park running from Burgau near Luz, then up this entire part of the west coast of the Algarve and the south-west Alentejo.

Although the people most enraged by the prospect of exploration are those in the western Algarve and south-west Alentejo, bear in mind that the protest was held in Lisbon. This is a photo taken in Lisbon.

Every year there is a survey of projects or activities contributing most to carbon emissions. The 2018 format was that 32 countries were listed, then 8 countries were shortlisted. The ‘winners’ were selected by on-line voting.

In 3rd place was Spain, chastised for slowing the development of solar energy in the Balearics, so leading to more fossil fuel consumption.

In 2nd place was Poland, on the basis it is allegedly still using too many coal-fired power stations.

In 1st place was Portugal, for this potential exploration for oil off the south-west coast of Portugal.

Oil consortium GALP/ENI has been given a licence for sound mapping of the sea to the west of Aljezur. This could lead to test drilling, and from there onto commercial exploitation.

If you look at the photo of the protest in Lisbon, Zero is one of the organisations involved in the reduction of carbon emissions.


Barlavento History Society

ShiningInLuz has been getting clogged up with lots of my other interests, and I want to start splitting these diverse subjects apart. ShiningInLuz was meant to be about life in Luz now, but it has become dominated by events surrounding Madeleine McCann, so I am going to retain it as a Madeleine-centric forum.

The first part I am splitting off is the Barlavento History Society, starting today.

We have just handed in our notice on our rental here in Luz, so come hell or high water we are moving to Portelas this month, whether the builders have finished or not. That means, house moving aside, I am on a time limit as to what I can poke my nose into in Luz.

Barlavento stretches from Albufeira in the east to Sagres in the west. It’s a big territory, the whole of the Western Algarve, but my reason for slicing it this way is history and photography.

90% of the interesting historical material I have is photographic. And roughly speaking, it dates to when a train connection was made between Lisbon and Albufeira. Or between Albufeira and Lagos. That’s 1922.

An awful lot of the material relating to Luz relates to Madeleine McCann. It is really hard to separate the two. But kindly look at this photo of a lady still working in a ceramics shop in Luz at the ripe old age of 82.


Maria Manuela Costa is reported to have lived all her life in Luz. Working out when she was born as 1935, that means she is a walking celeiro (granary) stuffed full of knowledge that interests me.

I need to see if she will tell me her memories.

If you want to find out how it goes, please check in at the Barlavento History Society. Brigad!