The last few months have been difficult for the Praia da Barra. Late last year the Salinas Bar was destroyed in an arson attack, and this was followed soon after by heavy storms that swept away most of the beach, including most of the bar/restaurant Casa Demar. We lost a third bar, the Offshore Bar, but this was demolished by the owner and is presently being rebuilt.
The sea was extremely rough, and washed away much of the dunes. All through the winter months a little more of the beach was lost with each incoming tide. The walkway along the dunes, which had only been renovated the previous summer, was partially destroyed, leaving wreckage along the beach and huge gaps in the wooden structure.
A depth of almost 10m (30 feet) of dune was washed away by the sea, leaving a sandy cliff that revealed old wooden walkways that hadn’t been seen since the 1980s:
It was sad to see, and such weather was unknown in the area. In the spring the waves died down, and life on the beach started to return to normal. But the destruction was plain to see.
Late in May the local council started to do something about it. Fences went up and huge lorries were seen transporting sand onto the beach. The volume of sand being moved was incredible and the surfers struggled to get to the waves:
Eventually the whole of the beach was fenced off, frustrating for surfers and sunbathers alike as there was only a small section of beach available. The work is continuing and hopefully in a couple of months the beach will be open for everyone again. But it’s certainly sad to see the beach in such a condition, and the fear is that if the sea is the same this coming winter then there may be no resolution in sight.
You can see more images of the Praia da Barra on the following galleries: