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!