Thursday, February 12, 2009

Cabo Verde

A few weeks ago we took the 90-minute flight east to the four-island country of Cabo Verde. It was absolutely fabulous. The streets are almost entirely cobblestone -- even when they put a new road in, they put in cobblestone. I love that. And there is essentially no one around -- 400,000 people in the whole country! It is a second-world country, but it's got a lot going for it. Great infrastructure (they actually wheel their garbage cans to the side of the road and a truck actually comes by and picks it up) and the roads are maintained, the people are healthy and the food is pretty good. Oh, and great music!


The highlight, and the thing we were the most excited about, was that there is actually a map with hiking trails all over the main island (Santiago) where we stayed. The trails are so beautiful and pass through little villages en route to the summit, or just meander from village to village.

Here we are all together


and here, taking a lunch break. We walked for about five hours round trip. It was interesting and really beautiful.



The second day we were on our way to another mountain hike when we encountered the black sand beaches of Santiago's northern shore. We pulled over and then just decided to walk along the beach for a few hours. It was pretty amazing.


In this next photo, the water would splash above their heads as it crashed on the rocks behind them. It was pretty dramatic, and I really wanted a photo, but with the stupid delay on my stupid camera, I had to try about 18 times before I got anything!!



This is either a former nunnery or just a memorial. There were some inscribed plaques, but everything's in Portugese, so we were out. It is on a beautiful spot overlooking the sea.


After about 30 minutes of slow walking, we were all alone. The sea was rough and crashing against the black rocks, but there were a few spots where the water had dug deep swimming holes into the black rocks. We disrobed and jumped in! (Or, Eric jumped in. I was a weenie and creeped in, the whole time gasping at how cold it was.)

And then we dried off and Dessi settled herself into a baby-sized hole. She was having such a blast splashing around that we just ate oranges and hung out for a few hours.

We were staying at the capital, Priya, but we could easily access most of the hikes within a 40-minute drive. We also were able to walk to this little jewel from our hotel!


It may not seem like much to you "westerners," but when you're coming from a third-world country, things like this are pure baby bliss. It overlooks the sea on one side and a beautiful mesa on the other.

Here we are in front of an old Portugese fort. (Cabo Verde is a former Portugese colony.) The climate is arid with lots of scrub brush and cacti, but if you could look just immediately down behind where we are standing, you would see a valley green with palm and cultivated gardens and a river that rushes past in the rainy season. (In the dry season, the riverbed forms the road.) It was a really cool spot.


And finally, here is a pretty little church by the sea.


We love Cabo Verde!!!


Jillienne said...

Wow, that looks fabulous!

I wish we were more adventurous, I think it would be great to do more things like that!

Danni and Tommy said...

I'm in love with Cabo Verde! Thank you for sharing.

Clive and Dawn said...

It looks fabulous! I wanna go!
great pictures!!!!!!

Christy said...

Wow! Amazing! You guys live such an adventerous life! I'm so jealous!