I have lived permanently in Portugal for 22 years – always in the Loulé area. My house is 4kms from the centre of Loulé and I walk into town every morning and return by walking through the municipal park.
The population of the municipality is, I believe, something in the region of 70,000, with the town itself being about 25,000, and I am amazed at the size of and facilities available in the park for a town of this size.
I almost always enter the park from the “town/south end” at the monument and first pass by the Infant’s play area, which is invariably well populated with very small children accompanied by their parents or teachers. In this vicinity are the toilets, a café which serves various types of food and views of the adjacent excellent tennis courts and the Olympic-size swimming pool.
When I walk further into the park with the rugby field on my left and the secondary school on my right, I reach the area of the amphitheatre and a second café.
This large area of the park hosts the larger children’s play area, 11 personal fitness machines offering all sorts of exercise and 18 holes of mini golf. It is also well fitted out with footpaths and benches.
The skateboard park (which always seems to be in use by the younger element), dedicated walking/running tracks and the very large artificial grass area for various activities are at the northern end of the park and it is in this area that I start a walk with my two dogs. There are numerous points throughout the park at which “doggy bags” are available to clean up after our four-legged friends as and when necessary.
The park is maintained in excellent condition and great credit should be given to the local authority but what amazes me is that when talking to many expatriates in and around Loulé, I find that they do not even know that the park is there.
Well worth a visit.
By David Morley