Sunday, September 30, 2007

Changing with the tide

Once a month, the local lido transforms into a nightclub. It's a strange event.

Just to explain the Canico de Baixo lido(1): it's not one of the stylish new ones, with wide spaces and generous wooden decking everywhere. This is an older one: someone poured cement between a bunch of razor-sharp rocks to make small sunbathing plateaux. There's a small shallow swimming pool. And the sea is on three sides.

They turn it into a club by draining & lining the pool, setting up small bars, twirly lights, and arranging some cushions and bean-bags around the place. Oh, and they put a rope around the three edges that open on to the sea.

Hmm. Sharp rocks, a drained pool, the ocean, alcohol, dancing. I cannot imagine how many lawsuits would ensue if this happened anywhere else on the planet...

But in Madeira, it somehow works. No-one tripped in a drunken haze and gouged out an eye; no-one fell into the sea; no-one was thrown into the sea. You dance, stargaze (Orion's belt was right overhead), curl up on a cushion and people-watch. After 5am, I noticed the tide was coming in, and waves were starting to crash over the club. Time to retreat...

1) Maggie - this is where we didn't swim because it was too rough; Tara & Mike - this is where we walked to with the kidlets and had lunch; Sean & Shona - this is where we went on New Year's Eve, the 'swimming while the red flag was flying' incident; Mom - this is the place we discovered after a very looooooong walk, many moons ago.

No comments: