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Embracing Spinoza's Ethical Lens: Deconstruction Week 2023 Unraveling Personal Narratives

In the familiar embrace of the venue that hosted the transformative Deconstruction Week in 2022, the 2023 edition took the exploration of the self to new heights.

This time, the focus was not only on the internal workings of the ego and beast but also on addressing profound personal issues like bullying and the quest for personal freedom. Its central theme was embracing Spinoza's Ethics and working with Martin Butler's understanding in evolving into someone of virtue.

Confronting the Facade

Against the backdrop of the venue that witnessed the transformative Deconstruction Week in 2022, the 2023 edition took inspiration from Spinoza's Ethics, expanding the exploration beyond the ego to confront deep-seated personal issues such as bullying and the pursuit of personal freedom.

1. Spinoza's Ethical Framework

Illuminating the Path to Self-Understanding

Deconstruction Week 2023 adopted Spinoza's ethical lens as a guiding force. Speakers and experts contextualized discussions within Spinoza's philosophy, offering participants a unique perspective on understanding the intricacies of their own experiences, particularly in the realms of bullying and personal freedom

2. Confronting Bullying

Insights through Spinozian Ethics

The event dove deeply into the impact of bullying, utilizing Spinoza's Ethics to dissect the complex interplay of emotions and societal influences. Through guided discussions, participants explored the ways in which Spinoza's ideas could be applied to deconstruct the narratives surrounding their experiences with bullying, fostering resilience and self-empowerment.

3. Personal Freedom Through Spinozian Exploration

Deconstruction Week 2023 expanded its scope to contemplate personal freedom within Spinoza's ethical framework. Workshops and exercises prompted participants to examine the constraints on personal liberation, drawing inspiration from Spinoza's emphasis on understanding the causal relationships that shape our actions. This approach provided a philosophical foundation for navigating societal expectations and internal limitations.

4. Interactive Spinozian Workshops

Unraveling Personal Narratives

Interactive workshops took on a Spinozian flavor, providing participants with practical tools rooted in Spinoza's Ethics to navigate their own deep-seated personal issues. Facilitators guided attendees through exercises aligned with Spinoza's philosophical principles, creating an environment that encouraged individuals to deconstruct their personal narratives and discover avenues for growth within the context of Spinoza's ethical philosophy.

Venue as a Continuation of Spinoza's Inquiry

Returning to the same venue as the 2022 event symbolized a continuity of inquiry, aligning with Spinoza's emphasis on continuous self-reflection and understanding. The familiar surroundings served as a canvas for participants to build upon the insights gained in the previous year, now enriched by a Spinozian perspective.

As the echoes of Deconstruction Week 2023 resonated, participants departed with a nuanced understanding of their personal narratives through the lens of Spinoza's Ethics. By integrating Spinoza's philosophy into discussions on bullying and personal freedom, the event underscored the relevance of timeless philosophical principles in navigating the complexities of personal deconstruction and self-discovery.

In the spirit of Spinoza's Ethics, Deconstruction Week 2023 affirmed that the journey towards self-realization is an ongoing process — one that intertwines philosophy, personal reflection, and the collective pursuit of ethical understanding.

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Participants - 2022

Deconstruction Week 2022 marked a significant milestone as we enthusiastically welcomed participants from diverse backgrounds and perspectives to engage in a transformative experience. Throughout the week, our collective journey delved into self-discovery, fostering a deeper understanding of others, and contemplating the intricate tapestry of life.

Morning Discussion

The mornings were enriched by thought-provoking talks led by Martin Butler, where participants immersed themselves in intellectually stimulating discussions. Martin's insightful presentations provided a platform for individuals to explore their own beliefs, challenge preconceptions, and engage in lively Q&A sessions that sparked intellectual curiosity and fostered a sense of community

Afternoon Practice

In the afternoons, the dynamic energy continued under the guidance of Debbie Butler, who orchestrated exercises specifically crafted to push the boundaries of participants' understanding. Through hands-on activities and interactive sessions, Debbie encouraged everyone to step outside their comfort zones, prompting a reevaluation of perspectives and fostering a spirit of collaboration.


Participants not only gained valuable insights into deconstructing their own thought processes but also developed a heightened awareness of the diverse perspectives present within the group. The synergy between Martin and Debbie's sessions created a holistic learning environment, where intellectual exploration and personal growth seamlessly intertwined.


As we reflect on Deconstruction Week 2022, it is evident that the collaborative efforts of both participants and facilitators contributed to an enriching experience. The week transcended traditional boundaries of learning, leaving a lasting impact on each individual involved, fostering a community of open-minded thinkers prepared to approach life with newfound insights and a broader perspective.

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Welcome to the Algarve

Welcome to Portugal, I hope you are already enjoying the weather and smells of the local area.

You will have flown over sea and seen some magnificent beaches, and now you have landed and stand, confused, at the airport. Be confused no longer, because here is the information you need to get to the Vila.

If you have any problems in finding the vila, note down my phone number now. It is +351 911113614

Taxi / Uber / Bolt

If you have Uber, they hang around the airport like flies. There is a designated Taxi rank directly outside the airport. It’s advisable to get a price beforehand as taxis can be expensive here, especially for tourists. The instructions to give them is to go to Corotelo near Sao Bras de Alportel. The vila is on the M1306 from Corotelo to Gorjoes and the track is on the left hand side at the top of the hill. 


If you want to catch the bus from the airport, get the 118 to Loule, then the 90 to Sao Bras de Alportel and get off at Corotelo / Sao Romao. From the bus stop you have a 2km walk to the Vila via Corotelo.
Vamus buses serve this area. The nearest bus stop is by the Corotelo Café, but that only runs at 7am and 7pm. If you want to get a bus to a main town or city, you need to walk 2km to the main N270 road. There is a bus stop by Ze Dias. The 90 bus travels between Loule and Sao Bras. From there you can explore other locations.

Car Hire

There are many car hire companies at the airport, all well advertised. 

One that has been recommended to me is AutoRent:

Auto Rent - Algarve Car Hire

I will include companies as I get further recommendations of car rentals that hire cars direct from Faro airport.



If driving, head out on the main road (N125) and stay on it to the Faro / Sao Bras de Alportel exit (N2). At the roundabout, take the 3rd turning towards S.B. Alportel (N2) and follow that road for 5.3 km. At the roundabout, take the 1st turn (N2) towards S. Bras de Alportel / Estoi. You will see the signpost for Estoi / MARF/ Sta Barbara Nexe / S. B. Alportel there.
From here, follow the N2 to Sao Bras de Alportel. The route is scenic, but winds a lot so be careful. This road is around 7-8 km long. When you reach the roundabout in Sao Bras De Alportel, you will see a petrol station on the left. The roundabout is on a junction between the N2 and the R270. Take the third turn towards Loule. Follow this road for 3.5km. On this road, you will pass two roundabouts, keep heading for Loule. On the last stretch of the road, you will see a turning to the left with a red & beige house on.
Pass this road and slow down as your turning is next left (EM523), signposted Corotelo / Bordeira. Take this road until you get to the Corotelo Café (around 1km). At the junction of Corotelo Café, turn right towards Gorjoes / Fonte de Murta. You will pass by the front of Corotelo Café. Follow this road (EM1306) for around 1km until you get to a right turn with the house name ‘Casa Bavaria’ and number 30 in yellow on the corner. Turn left up the road in front of Casa Bavaria (With a yellow sign 31-33 on the wall and an arrow pointing to Casa Corina. The road narrows to a single carriage. 
If you are bringing, or renting, a car and can walk 1km, it would be useful to us if you would park by Corotelo Café after you have dropped off your things. We believe the Vila only has room for 3-4 cars and we need to keep one of those places free for ingoing and outgoing. I am not sure how many people will have cars, so until we know, this would be easiest for us.
After locating the road, you will find Quinta Das Estrelas on the left after around 200m along a track. Welcome!
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Local Information

Basic Local Amenities

The vila is a 15 minute walk to Café Corotelo. This is a local café in Corotelo where you can get drinks and snacks. 

A walk to the main road will take you to Ze Dias, at 2 km from the vila. This is a local popular restaurant which we use frequently. If you want more of a choice,  a trip into Sao Bras de Alportel or Loule will be very rewarding.  


In Corotelo you will also find a bus stop, although the buses are infrequent. It is a 15 minute walk to Corotelo where you catch the bus, or a 24 minute walk to the bus stop on the main road where buses are more frequent.

The Algarve has plenty of Uber cars and Taxis and a regular bus runs on the main road between Loule and Sao Bras de Alportel.


It is suggested that at least one person hire a small car. I suggest a small car as the roads can be quite narrow. 

The Vila

The house has a total of 5 bedrooms, with air conditioning. It has three private rooms and two shared rooms. The other four rooms are in the Vila, Casa Bandidas, which is a short walk down the road. Rooms will be allocated by lot on arrival in both vilas.

Arrival Time

The official arrival time is 3pm, although in the past we have been able to access the vila earlier.

Official departure time is 10am, again we have been given some margin here, but everyone seemed to have gone by 10 am anyway.

Vila Details (both Vilas)

Internet connection: free WiFi is available on site. Satellite TV, and Cromecast available.

Household linen: towels, beach towels, bath towels, tea towels and bed linen are present. You can also wash them on the spot.

Garbage: In Algarve you must dump full garbage bags in the green containers that are everywhere along the road.

Swimming pool: has NO child protection, yet you are responsible for all accidents in and around the house and the swimming pool.

Eating & Drinking Out


There are several places to eat and drink locally, these two are in easy walking distance
Corotelo Café
Here you can get a drink, basic food, and Tapas. It is around 1 km from the Vila downhill.
Ze Dias
For a local meal, Ze Dias is 2kn away on the main road. They serve a reasonably priced meal but have few options. Popular among the Portuguese so if you want a cheap authentic taste of the area, it’s good place to go. The dish of the day is Black Pork or Mixed Fish with chips and salad and costs 12 euros including starters, drink, coffee, and desert. It’s also a disco club at night if you feel inclined!
They are open 12.30-2.30 and 7.00-10.00. Closed on Sunday.

Further Away

Some places not so far away are Raizes restaurant in Quinta Das Raposeiras and Luis' Steakhouse in Sao Romao. These will most likely require a car, but if you are fit are walkable.
If you have TripAdvisor, you can try some of the places in the local towns, either by bus to Loule or Sao Bras de Alportel, or by car. These are too numerous to mention here, but if you want a recommendation, we might have been there before.
If you want to go further there are many options. Further afield in towns such as Faro and Quarteira, you will find an assortment of restaurants, bars and other delights. If you want to explore, you will not be lacking in things to do and see.


There is no shortage of shops, although they tend to service the local community as well as visitors. There are four main supermarkets in Sao Bras de Alportel. Lidl, Intermarche, Continente and Pingo Doce. There are many more in Loule although we personally tend to stay in Sao Bras as it has a lower density of tourists. If you want anything online, try one of these:





Dentist, Doctor, etc. are available in all towns and cities and there is both a private and state hospital in Faro. Sao Bras de Alportel and Loule also have private clinics.

Finding Your Way Around

Goolge Maps is a good place to start when exploring the local area.

Links Supplied by the Landlord

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