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A small fire gets out of control near Monchique.

I saw smoke from a fire rising in the distance somewhere between Marmelete and Lagos as I came down the hill from Foia. I was heading for the Tasca Petrol restaurant for lunch, and then on to Vale do Lama  near to Lagos, to pick up a friend. We were then heading to Porto do Mos for a spot of Paragliding and chilling out on the beach.
However, I was distracted by the smoke. At first I thought it was a bonfire, so I watched for a little while.  The smoke was becoming more and more  dense and blacker. I got my camera from the car and started taking photos.


The red pin on the map below shows the location of the fire

Map picture


Approaching the main road at Vale de Corga I saw a number of people gathering by the roadside watching the fire. I parked the car and walked over to the edge of the road to take some more photos. As I took pictures of the fire and took in the view of the Algarve's South coast and countryside, several emergency vehicles went past with a great urgency.

I decided to move on to Petrol for lunch because it is a very popular place and gets very busy. When I got to Petrol it was packed so I thought it better to drive down to Vale do Lama, via Corte Cibrao and find another place to eat on the way.

A helicopter

I stopped again to take some more photos because now I can see flames spreading all along a ridge and a helicopter with a large bag of water slung underneath. It was dumping large quantities of water onto the fire and then flying off to somewhere to fill up with water again. Does anyone know where? I suspect they were using the Barragem da Bravura near Odiáxere. But I don't know for sure.


A bulk tanker of water from the Bombeiros Voluntarios de Monchique arriving on scene.

I have parked the car well off the road and out of the way so that I can walk down the road a little to see if I can continue on to Vale do Lama on this route or did I need to make a detour.


A fire engine from the Bombeiros do Silves arrives

I came to a place where a turning to the right was showing directions to Tojeiro and other villages and hamlets. The road seemed to take me directly into the area of the fire so I decided not to go any further. A few other people along with the emergency services also were stopping at this point.

As you can see in the photo below, the fire was the other side of a hill but the wind was blowing from the south and in our direction. I was fairly sure that the flames would soon be visible on the tree line.


The hillside on the right of the picture above the fire engine is so far, untouched by the fire

What occurs next seems to happen over a very short period of time. Eucalyptus trees become engulfed in flames as the fire advances to the ridge and over the top.


Sparks, ashes, burning leaves and cinders are blown across the valley, and the hill on the right hand side bursts into flames.


Watch the video to see this whole area turn into an out of control wildfire while I make a retreat to somewhere safer and out of the way.

To continue reading, see another video and look at more pictures go to the next post

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Thank you

Drew Nelson played at No8 Cafe Launceston

first gig of his UK Tour 2010

Drew Nelson singer songwriter at No8 Cafe
Drew Nelson performing at it No8 Cafe Launceston

Colin Hill sent me an email to tell me about the next musician he had lined up at No8 Cafe  and he seemed really excited. Now I know why. Drew played on Independence Day last year at no8 and he was very well received and still remembered by many.

Drew mentioned at one point that he felt that playing again at No8, was like coming back to a place where he knew he was amongst friends. That's nice.

Drew Nelson grew up in MIchigan and later joined the Navy and travelled the world. Returning from his travels around the globe he saw the old familiar small town communities through a different pair of eyes.

Drew's songs are inspired by ordinary everyday events, hometown, travelling the road, friends and family. politics, economics and eavesdropping. Whilst talking with Drew he said that some songs come to him in a flash, whilst other songs may sit around for years before going out to the public. Sometimes he felt inspired by catching snippets of conversation. I can almost imagine Drew sitting in a cafe listening to the chatter around him and thinking to himself "can you talk a little louder please, I am trying to write a song"!

Drew proved he could come up with a spontaneous song when he opened the window and the sound of workmen sawing timber and  local girls laughing and talking as they walked  by on the pavement below, entered the room .  Drew closed the window and started to sing. If he ever produces a song called "Jigsaws and Cornish Girls"  you know where it came from!

Drew Nelson on tour in UK 2010
Drew Nelson live at No8 Launceston Cornwall

  Drew places his songs in two categories. Happy and sad. We were privaleged to to find out that some songs he  sang for us tonight were sung for the first time ever and in fact one song was only two days old! Drew introduced  each song by telling us about the source of inspiration,  which always make the song understandable and gives meaning to the lyrics.

Drew Nelson on UK tour at No8 Cafe
Drew Nelson singer/songwriter in Launceston Cornwall

Some times when listening to a person sing you can say oh he sounds like......and come up with name, sometimes when listening to a song you may think of a style and draw comparisons, well all I can say is that Drew Nelson sounds like......Drew Nelson, and his style of music is very much like that of... Drew Nelson. He is funny, pleasant, friendly, approachable and very entertaining. He is a brilliant musician, singer and songwriter.

Graham Sleeman who provided all the equipment and monitored the sound,said people like Drew were easy to do the sound for because the instrument and the voice were so good, that once the sound desk was set up there was very little to do except enjoy the music. 

Drew makes his own instruments and he said as he tuned the guitar that it thought it was still a tree, meaning it still had life in it. It was certainly alive in Drews hands. His guitar sounded lovely and I thought a couple of times is the man playing the guitar or the guitar playing the man?  Perfect partners.

Drew Nelson Poster for No8
Drew Nelson signed poster.

 After Drew had played his encore, he was busy signing the CD's which he had for sale, along with sweatshirts, the proceeds of which go directly to a very worthy cause.... the Mortgage! I took a poster off the wall which Drew kindly autographed for me. Thank you very much Drew.

No8 Cafe and coffee shop is found in Westgate Street Launceston opposite the post office.

Telephone number -01566 777369

Special Thanks to

Colin Hill for another wonderful night of great entertainment

Adrian Harvey for the lovely venue

All the very friendly staff  for being very friendly staff

Graham Sleeman for the fantastic sound

Drew Nelson for sharing your passion

Drew Nelson has a deep spiritual conection with the planet Earth and the people who live on it and call it home. When I think of home I think of it as "Here On Mother Earth" I am sure Drew would agree. Native American Indian influences come across very strongly in the song "Grand Mother Moon" and "Raindance." Drew has seen first hand the damage and destruction caused by large companies seeking only profit, caring little about the environment or the displacement of  local people who watch their lands disappear.

Please visit Drew Nelsons website where you can download free music and learn more about his desire to help the people who are defending sacred territory called Eagle Rock from a mining company.


To find a gig near you visit Drew Nelsons Show Schedule

Albums by Drew Nelson

Dusty Road to Beulah Land          Immigrant Son