Another special event during the week at Olhao is visiting the island of Culatra. It’s a short walk from the school to the boat taxi dock, where last year we were met by these two men and their lovely dog. Culatra is a large sand bar, located south of Olaho, part of the Ria Formosa National Park.
Initially, it was quite cool, misty and overcast…however, by the time we reached Culatra…the sun was shining, and it was absolutely beautiful.
Both men were extremely knowledgeable,…and came from long lines of local fishing families. There is so much to learn about Portugal and this particular area,
The island community of Culatra is made up of fishermen and others. I could see that it would be an ideal place to paint and write – especially during the off season.
This was the scene that met us when we arrived.
There are no cars on Culatra, definitely my kind of place. With a year round population of approximately 800, there are a couple of shops, cafe/restaurants, a church and even a little football stadium.
There are narrow walkways between the houses. Culatra reminded me of some of the Bahamian Islands where I have spent time. Very relaxed and laid back.
Although only a one day visit, I could see that there was much to explore…and for those looking for beaches and solitude the Island has long stretches of unspoiled sands. Apparently even during the height of the tourist season, empty, pristine beaches can be found, and of course the wildlife is beautiful.
Another place where it’s best for the group to split up to find places where they can take photographs and make quick notes in their sketch books, followed by another excellent lunch of fresh fish in one of the Island cafes.
Some of the sketches made last year by participants. The idea is to accumulate as much information as possible to be used for reference at the school and after returning home.
After lunch, more sketching and exploring and then back to Olhao where we had another delicious evening meal at the school.