Moaning Martin’s Maladies – August 2

I want you to picture in your mind the most beautiful beach that you can think of.

What do you see on this beach? Sand? Palm trees? Anything else? No, just the sound of the sea.

Here is the problem with the Algarve, instead of tree-lined beaches we have concrete and slabs, lots of it and ugly too. Every beach has at least one restaurant overlooking it, no privacy.

These very expensive restaurants also take half of the beach to place expensive-to-rent sunbeds on it. The council, in all their wisdom, have decided that wooden walkways are also needed – more clutter.

Rent a pedalo, canoe, jet ski, dilapidated graffiti covered signs, so on and so forth. Men constantly walking up and down the beach shouting at the top of their voices “bolinhas”! Screaming kids! I don’t go to the beach anymore, it’s noisy and horrible.

Over the years, I have watched, in disgust, beautiful and quaint villages by the sea turn into ugly modern concrete jungles. Horribly designed hotels, you know the ones, the ones that look like office blocks that we built in Britain in the 60s and have since been demolished.

The various Algarve councils ripping up old trees and replacing them with concrete benches, concreting over grass and gardens so they don’t have to maintain them, tearing down quaint fisherman’s huts and building modern units instead. Building modern public conveniences and then not maintaining them so they become a health risk instead of a clean and healthy environment.

The Algarve has been modernised into oblivion and has lost all its charm.

There is graffiti everywhere you look. People associate graffiti with inner city crime. The more concrete you build, the more places there are for it.

I have had tourists ask me if there is a crime problem in a resort because they see graffiti everywhere.

The moral of this story is that the more you modernise the less tourists you will get. It’s sadly too late for the Algarve because it’s all concreted over, there are only a couple of unspoilt beaches left, Salgados and Meia Praia, and their days are numbered.

I can’t think of one green park in any resort in the Algarve.

People don’t go on holiday to look at concrete, they want to be surrounded by beauty – how could the council be so blind? Not only that but the dragon’s tooth footpaths are lethal too, why do you think everyone walks in the road? Girls in high heels simply cannot walk on it and when it rains even I have to tread carefully in trainers! I’ve seen hundreds of people fall on these stupid paths over the years.

Concrete stinks, grass and flowers are beautiful and smell nice too, simple.

Bah humbug!