Anne Guedes – Luz Villa

Anne Guedes recently posted a link to a villa, and I mistakenly took the villa to be close to Faro airport, which it turns out it is not. Here is the photo of the villa from Anne’s link.

Vivenda Carolina Praia da Luz, Algarve, Portugal v2

I still don’t recognise the villa, but the general setting is familiar. There is a beaten-earth track which runs from central Luz to central Burgau, along the hilltop beside the sea. There is only one section which is a bit of a challenge. The rest is flat and easy. One hotel on the way has added benches to the track, so you can get a seat if you want a rest.

So I checked Google Earth along that track and Anne’s villa is about half way between Luz and Burgau. Here it is.

When you walk the track you don’t get much sense of what the various villa grounds look like. The Luz-Burgau trail is popular with ramblers, so I suppose the villa owners want a bit of privacy.

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SIL – return to Luz, and Hot Lips

On Friday 8 June 2018, I made my first return to Luz since moving out at the end of August 2017. We needed to visit because my wife gets special prescription medicine delivered to one of the chemists in Luz, so we went to pick it up.

I’ve got to say after my visit that I really haven’t missed Luz at all.

While there, I went to Spar and Baptista supermarkets. I follow Formula 1, and this weekend’s race is in Montreal. I like to do themed beer and a themed snack, so I was looking for Canadian-related goodies.

The snack was easy. A popular local dish in Quebec is poutine, which is chips, cheese curds and gravy. Don’t turn your nose up at this until you have tried it. It tastes better than it sounds, and better than it looks.

I don’t know where to source cheese curds, so I am using cottage cheese, which I bought in Baptista. The USP of cheese curds is that they are squeaky, but making my own cheese curds was a non-starter. It seems the curds only keep the squeak for a few hours anyway.

On the drinks front, the largest genuinely-Canadian brewery does Moosehead, which I have never seen in Portugal. I thought I had seen another Canadian favourite, Labatts, but I couldn’t find any of that yesterday.

The fallback position was Heineken, simply because it is the Heineken Canadian Grand Prix. However, neither Spar nor Baptista sold Heineken, so we had to stop off at Continente supermarket in Lagos on the way back from Luz.

My visit to Spar in Luz did unearth some valuables. The supermarket stocks various British beers, so I have laid in advance supplies for the British Grand Prix.

The other thing that caught my eye was a bottle of Hot Lips red wine. I thought about buying a bottle, just as a joke re Hot Lips Healy. At €3.69 it was inexpensive. Then I rechecked the price tag to find it was €36.95, so I decided to pass.

It seems the wine is made by a couple of young wine producers in Portugal. So here is Portugal’s take on Hot Lips.

This was the first time we had both gone out and left our puppy, Gonçalo, completely on his own. He was a bit plaintiff when we put him in his cage in the daytime, and we were out for two hours, but he seemed to be quite OK when we returned.

Madeleine v Rocha Negra

http://www.cmjornal.pt/multimedia/videos/detalhe/jovem-de-16-anos-morre-apos-cair-de-uma-falesia-em-lagos

A boy of 16 years old fell to his death on Tuesday, 29 May 2018, from a height of 100m on the cliffs above Rocha Negra, between the beaches of Porto de Mós and Luz.

Multiple authorities were involved in attempts to try to rescue him, but he was pronounced dead at the scene of the incident. Due to the difficulty of the terrain, his body had to be retrieved by sea.

He was with a teenage girl at the time. Presumably she was the one who raised the alarm. It is unlikely that a passer-by would spot a body at the bottom of the cliffs, based on personal experience.

The beach at Porto de Mós is much quieter and less touristy than Luz. Heading west from the Porto de Mós beach is a wide, flat, baked earth track. It starts a sea level, but surprisingly quickly ascends to the top of the cliffs. The track itself is 100% safe, because it is around 3m away from the edge of the cliff. You have to deliberately go over to the lip of the cliff before you are in danger.

The track runs from the beach at Porto de Mós to the trigonometry point on the hills overlooking Luz. The track is busier than one might think, for all sorts of reasons.

One is that ramblers like to do the walk from Porto de Mós to the trig point. The path is flat and the incline is fairly gentle, so it is an easy walk. An amble that is pleasant all year round. Then you come to the trig point above Luz, south of Bela Vista, and an opportunity for a chocolate box photo over Luz. The media love this as a special viewpoint.

From the trig point you have choices. One is just to do an easy amble back to Porto de Mós. Many pick this, because it is the simplest option.

If you wish instead to get down from the trig point to Luz, you have 3 alternative routes. This same choice would have faced Kate and Gerry McCann when they went jogging from apartment 4G, where they had been rehoused by Mark Warner at the Ocean Club. There are 3 routes up and down the hill. One route is a nightmare, one route is not joggable, and the third looks bad but it turns out to be easy. Mountain bikes go up and down it regularly.

I have no idea which route Gerry and Kate took.

The details of the 16 year old boy who died in the cliff fall are at best sketchy. Most of what you have in this post is local knowledge of Luz and its environs.

Madeleine – broadcasting live from Portelas

I am now broadcasting live from Portelas. All of our goods and chattel have been moved in, so we no longer live in Luz. The last main task remaining in Luz is that the cleaners come to our empty villa there. It has already had a level 1 clean, but this will be a deep clean.

When I say ‘we’, what I really mean is ‘I’. My better half is currently marooned in the UK for a gallstone operation. This is scheduled for 1 Sep 2017, and then there a 2-week recuperation period until a flight back to Faro is permitted (re threat of DVT). I trust you will understand that Madeleine is not one of my priorities at the moment.

What does the change mean in Madeleine terms?

The biggest difference is that I cannot wander down into Luz and hope to perchance upon anyone involved in the case or to snap piccies. Luz is 15 minutes away by car if you choose the short route. Today, my chauffeur took the back roads route. It was much slower but much more scenic.

There are smaller changes. Our new home does not have a land-line. And I detest mobiles. That means communication by phone is a no go. So it is just well our Internet in Portelas is fully functional. I spent a fair bit of time talking to a Panorama 10-year special researcher in the run-up to the programme. It looks like I am going to have to install something like Skype.

The news with similarity to the Madeleine incident is, of course, occurring in France at the moment. I simply do not have the time or energy to say something worthwhile on that topic at this point in time. I need to move in.

Portelas – moving – 21% – please do not switch off

There is very little happening on the Madeleine McCann front at the moment. I am currently working hard to get us moved out of Luz and into Portelas, just north of Lagos.

My better half is struggling with a domestic issue in Inglaterra, so has a flight planned ‘home’, plus is quite possibly suffering from gallstones, which may require keyhole surgery.

Hopefully, you will understand that my priorities do not involve Madeleine at this point in time.

We have to be out of Luz by the end of August. I intend to be up and active again on this blog by then. But please bear with me while we install a new location and reconfigure.

Kindly come with me and join us in our new home in Portelas.

Luz – Early 20th century

I got my hands on 3 photos of Luz from the early 20th century, and at first I thought they were almost identical, but in reality you can see the skeleton of Luz developing around 120 years ago.

Here is the first photo, undated other than around 1900.

The one and only place in Luz this photo could have been taken is the top of the mound dug up by Operation Grange in June 2014. Nothing else fits.

There are 3 roads running through this that turn up 100 years later.

The first runs from mid-left to the centre of the photo. That is Rua Vente Cinco de Abril. Except it would not get called that until 1974. Since it was the main road from Burgau in the west, it was probably called Burgau Street. At this point there seems to be one large house and very little else.

Joining up at the central point and heading out to the upper left is current day Rua Direita, heading for Lagos. In this photo, there are no buildings, just trees. Bear in mind we are back in horse and cart days.

Coming from the centre point of the photo to bottom right is Rua Calhete, currently home to the Bull, Kelly’s, Look Steak, Fernando’s, and the Dolphin.

As far as I can tell, very few buildings, the church and the Fortaleza apart, are still standing today. There may actually be one or two, but I am not in the business of checking antique buildings in Luz.

This grainy photo must have been taken a few years later. The posh villa, which was standing on its own on 25 de Abril Street now has a lot of neighbours.

Things have moved on again. There is a new building on 25 de Abril Street. The main road layout of Luz is in place. This photo is clear enough that you can see the trig point on top of the hill.

But please look from the the view at the top of the mound, directly over the Fortaleza, past Rocha Negra to the land sticking out in the distance. That place will return in the 1940s. Just as it did in Panorama 2017.

Luz in the 1940s?

Let me say up front that I do not have a date for the photo you are about to see. I can only say it appears to be consistent with Luz in the 1940s.

Shall we start with the obvious bits first? All of the land to closer to the photo taker than the church and the Fortaleza turned into a chunk of the Ocean Club plus other developments decades later, so the photo is hardly recent.

The promenade now has palm trees. Those in the photo are deciduous trees.

That big hilly lump in the centre of the photo still exists, although it looks like it has been much reduced in size.

It is possible to line up the church, the Fortaleza, the promenade, and that hill to pinpoint where the photo was taken. I am confident I can identify the photographer’s spot. But what I cannot do is find either of the two buildings in the foreground. They are either gone or heavily modified.

There are 2 further points for your attention.

There is what I would call a station wagon, on the left hand side of the photo, about half-way down. This is a poor match for 1930s station wagons. It happens to be a good match for 1940s station wagons, which is why I think this is 1940s or later. Here’s a 1940 Plymouth De Luxe.

In the bottom right-hand corner of the photo is a person who appears to be staring up at the photo-taker at the moment the shutter was clicked. The watcher and the watched. From the shadows, it is possible to tell the sun was around the mid-day point, and it was spring or autumn (not summer or winter). But I cannot get a year from the shadows.

PS For a bonus, can you see what looks like 2 people having a stroll on the beach?