Come along Caldas

How many times in Portugal have you just stumbled across an event and thought why don’t they advertise this, it’s fabulous?

Either I need to get out more or something is amiss. Take last Saturday, I was in Caldas da Rainha with my two kids. With an eye on the fast-approaching endless summer holidays, I thought it would be smart to get some pre-break activity sorted out. My son wanted to visit an art shop for a canvas to paint up a design he had been working on for months and my daughter tagged along because, well she loves art shops and buying.

Just after we emerged from the shop, with the kids richer in artistic materials and I poorer in the lining of my pocket,  we decided to take a quick jaunt to the park. We walked to the end of the street and feeling agreeable  because of a sunny day I decided to extend my generosity to a round of ice creams. As we entered Central Caldas park I was succumbing to the airborne, wafting, succulent, and sweet aromas of the fried doughnut-like farturas. Then I was hit by an injection of adrenalin in my barriga (stomach). My eyes were filled with surprise because I recognised the horse show! It was on again and I never realised! I had seen no signs, no adverts, no communication and I really enjoy it too!
In fact, I enjoyed it so much last year I painted a picture from the event featuring two women in riding finery I happened to observe standing by a humble beer tent. I really adored working on the painting because the scene was a Renoir or Manet waiting to happen and I was pleased with the end result.

The Festival Oeste Lusitano seems to be held every year in the Central Park in Caldas da Rainha. If you ever get the opportunity, take time out to wander through the event, do it because it’s a marvellous opportunity to study the Lusitano breed at close quarters. There are corrals aplenty brimming with fine examples, show jumping events and parades.



Come along Caldas
Come along Caldas

This year the GNR dressed in splendid ceremonials did a long procession which would stand the test of a Horse Guards Parade at the Palace. So amid all the bugles and drums beating we wandered and spent hours just soaking in the sights.

We could have stayed till dark because there were still things like bull runs to see and a carriage ride around the park to take. However, school awaited tomorrow for the kids and baths and beds were calling. So after a few afternoon hours of happiness, we sauntered toward the exit. I couldn’t help thinking what would I have missed if I had not accidentally encountered the show. The promise of ice cream and my two hungry kids saved the day. Come on Caldas, do a bit more to make people aware of your events. Take the plunge and make a marketing splash rather than a puddle and a bit of a muddle!