Last Friday I was in Alcoutim, a nice little town in south eastern Portugal, to give a talk about the Portuguese Travel Cookbook – a book project I worked on along with my friend Nelson Carvalheiro. That evening someone mentioned to me that the day after there was going to be a cattle fair in a town close by, and that I should go with my camera. It didn’t take long to convince my family, who was travelling with me, that it was a good idea to check out the fair.
The Feira de São Marcos is a cattle fair held annually on the 25th of April in a tiny rural town called Pereiro, in the Algarve region of Portugal, close to Alentejo, not far from the Spain border and the Guadiana river. With about 300 years of history, it is the oldest and most important cattle fair in the Algarve. It attracts visitors and traders from the surrounding areas including Spain. Nowadays they only trade horses, and most business is conducted by members of the local gypsy communities.
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