Cabo Verde, Cap Vert, Cape Verde… lovely name in any language. It was my first ever trip to Africa. The island, or group of islands (ten in all) is located at the westernmost point of Africa. Most of the islands are quite arid. There are only a couple of them that are green.
We stayed at The Hilton in the island of Sal in Santa Maria, right along the strip of long, white sand beach. It was a very quiet, cozy corner. And we had the best view of the ocean, as we were upgraded to the best room in the resort, the Presidential Suite! We were lucky.
Our itinerary was Sal – Sao Vicente – Sal. From the island of Sal, we took a small plane for about an hour, to go to Sao Vicente.
We stayed in a charming hotel in Sao Vicente, in a town called, Sao Pedro. It was right along a secluded beach, where you can see giant turtles swimming close to the shore every morning. Too bad the waves were too big and scary for me to do some snorkeling. We were quite happy to watch the turtles from the shore, though.
The owner of Aquiles Eco Hotel was a very nice, friendly and helpful Italian Lolo. He was always giving some tips and advice, and even gave us a welcome drink of Ponsch, some local aperitif.
It was a coincidence the day we were in Sao Vicente was also the day of the Carnaval in Mindelo.
We booked a trip via Tripadvisor for a whole day trip around the whole island of Sao Vicente. Paulo, the tour guide, was very knowledgeable about the island, the whole country, in fact — its geography, history and culture, being a local himself. He took us around the city center of Mindelo, the markets, to lunch at a restaurant to sample local dishes and drinks, and to the highest point in the island to have some organic tea with a 360-degree view of the whole island from the top of the mountain.
Back in Sal, we headed back to The Hilton, to relax a couple more days before going back home. I had plenty of time for massage, soaking up the sun, seeing the Pedra Lume salty crater lake to float on, etc.
Last day, of course, was spent souvenir shopping. Cabo Verde did not really have a lot of local specialty, as they import most of their stuff from Portugal, I noticed. Most of the islands are dry and arid, therefore lacking vegetation and produce. I find it weird because they are surrounded by water. I guess because they don’t have enough mountains to trap the rainclouds? I bought a nice pot of papaya jam and another one with some coconut in it. I would always have it for breakfast with their bread that looks and tastes like our very own Filipino Pan de Sal during the time I was there. I was ecstatic! 🙂
Anyway, it was my first time in Africa, the locals were very nice and friendly. And so many of them speak French, I was surprised. It was not very touristy at all, which I really liked. We had nice summery weather the whole time we were there. Although, it was quite gusty and the water is still a tad too cold for me to swim. Still, it was a lovely break from the wintry weather we were having back in early March here in Toulouse at the time we went there.
Ask me for tips in the comments, if you want to know about the restos, the food, the hotels and the trips we made. I don’t really have much time lately to write because of work… and “life”… 😀 but I always read the comments.
Thanks for dropping by. Cheerios!