August is drawing to a close, and the summer visitors from the city are heading back home now that the holiday month is over. The last few days have been very hot, in the upper 30’s, and lethargy has stolen over me to the extent that I have wanted to do nothing more than sit in the shade and admire our harvest of squashes and pumpkins as they stack up along our veranda. Our garden has been quietly growing itself throughout the summer, and we are currently enjoying the fruits of our earlier labours – especially the tomatoes, peppers, chillies and huge courgette/marrow hybrids that we keep discovering in the vegetable patch! Our trips to the supermarket have been remarkably few over the last couple of months, as we have been living off the garden produce and what we can glean from the hedgerows. The figs are just starting to ripen now, and it is a wonderful thing to be able to feast on sweet fresh figs from the tree – as it is to enjoy a blackberry and apple crumble full of fruit we have picked ourselves. At this time of year there is a constant exchange of produce, as friends and neighbours swap bags of potatoes for bags of pears, tomatoes for figs, and we all search for new ways of serving marrow and squash. There will certainly be no shortage of pumpkins for Hallowe’en lanterns this year – that’s for sure!
Today I breathed a huge sigh of relief on waking, knowing that the Motorbike Festival was over for another year. I try to put myself in the position of a bike enthusiast – I imagine the conviviality of being with like-minded enthusiasts, the sense of freedom from the usual restrictions of having to wear helmets, the sheer joyful anarchy of being able to tear up and down the street on a great thrumming metal machine…yes, I can just about imagine it, but it still makes me jump when the engines are revved, and I cannot really get into the whole big noisy machine thing. Having said all that, it is rather wonderful to see the little town of Góis filled with happy smiling people (I like the people more than their bikes) and to feel that party atmosphere in the air on such a large scale. The music I can take or leave, (with the exception of the Bob Marley tribute band, where I was singing along with the best of them) but the sheer fact of having a huge stage with a proper lighting and sound system is pretty exciting, I will admit. Then there is the sight of so many of the local community doing their bit for the Moto Club, all voluntarily, and the knowledge of how the money raised benefits the local community, as well as the benefits for the local traders…so perhaps it is not so bad after all, and it IS only for one weekend in the year - therefore I have decided not to be curmudgeonly about it. But it is still nice to see the motorbikes leave and to have our town back to normal.
If you are somebody who DOES like looking at big shiny bikes and bikers of various shapes and sizes, click on the link below to see more photos:
Góis Moto Clube
For the last few days we have been enjoying the Góis agricultural and commercial fair, which precedes the annual motorbike festival. This is a comparatively calm event (compared to what is to come!) with folk dancing and traditional music, and stands for local organizations to display their activities. For the youngsters, the highlights of the event are the Superbouncer – a construction on which they can perform a cross between bungee-jumping and trampolining – and the foam party that takes place at the Parque do Cerejal at midnight on Saturday, accompanied by a live band. Teenagers leap up and down animatedly and small children disappear into the rising tide of bubbles, - all eventually reappear, cleaner than they were before, usually having inadvertently consumed a few mouthfuls. Ibiza it is not, but we all look forward to it every year!
On Sunday it was the 2nd annual go-kart races of Vale Moreiro/Manjão, and like last year, it attracted many entrants and even more spectators. Our company having sponsored an entrant and provided the official t-shirts for the event, Richard was keen to be out with his camera catching those wonderful moments of triumph and disaster – I was happy to simply observe proceedings from the comfort of my hammock on the veranda, just catching the odd flash of a go-kart speeding past…And how happy I am now that we are back to having our nights disturbed only by the barking of the village dogs – the thunderous rumbling of practicing go-karters at 3am being over for another year!