I recently visited Carvoeiro to check it out for a beach visit with my grandchildren, who often stay with me in Lagos. I drove around the streets towards the beach and was unable to find a parking space, so left to proceed out of the village.
However, as I drove up the street, I noticed a car backing out of a parking space so waited for the spot and parked. I noticed a large ‘P’ was displayed and walked to the beach for five minutes.
On my return, I was asked for my documents by a policeman who was standing by my car. He informed me that although a ‘P’ was prominently displayed, underneath it in Portuguese was a notice advising that parking was restricted to loading and unloading only.
I was then led to a waiting police car and fined 60 euros together with another visitor to the town who had parked with his family for less than two minutes.
Having worked closely with the British Highways Agency, I am aware that the sign is incorrect and misleading. The sign should have said Loading Bay only.
Given that English is accepted as the international Language (of computing and other areas) and few visitors speak Portuguese, I see this as a money-making scheme for the unwary foreigners as was obviously the case since the police could have done a more responsible job by warning visitors not to park instead of watching them and then fining them.
I, for one, will not be visiting Carvoeiro again.