Feb 052014

Got to the hotel, no problem with check-in, but the only oddity was that the only rooms with queen or king beds were the suites…and “they are all taken by the Royal Air Maroc crew.” Uh, ok. So two twin beds pushed together would have to do. Kind of strange for a resort hotel, no?  Since the TAAG crew had ate all the nomz, I was starving…and yes, dinner was still available…for 5 more minutes.  Ran to the hotel bar, ordered a sandwich and some wine to my room, then went to crash.

Got up in time the next morning to check out the breakfast, which was included in the room.  It was slightly below average, but there were some meats and cheeses, plenty of breads and pastries, along with a selection of juices.  I think there might have been eggs made to order too, but there were some hard boiled ones and that did the trick for me.

Jordan’s hotel was supposedly about a 15 minute walk away, so I set out to meet him and explore the city a bit.  View on the walk to his hotel:


Mural on a building next to his hotel:


Some buildings in the centre of town:



…including the headquarters of TACV, the National Airline:


The central market:




Another view out onto the Atlantic:


After walking around for an hour or so, we were pretty hungry, so stopped in a bakery that had a huge crowd outside to get something to eat.  Everything looked delicious:


Properly fueled, we headed back to the main Cathedral to have another look inside:


Another view from the Presidential Palace area:


The old garisson of the presidential guard:


After we’d seen most of the central town, we stopped at a small cafe in the main square to find something to eat.  I was determined to find the national dish of Cape Verde, called cachupa.  This was the “breakfast version” where they take the leftovers from the night before, fry them up with an egg and sausages, and serve.  It was super tasty, and like $3 for a very filling meal!


View from the cafe, note the cathedral:


After eating we grabbed a taxi to Cidade Velha, the historical capital, about a 20-30 minute ride away.  It’s the oldest european city in the tropics, and has been named a Unesco World Heritage Site.  Unfortunately, some parts are in pretty poor repair.


View of the city from above:




We walked down the windy road into town, and started walking around some of the older buildings.  Things were in pretty rough shape in general:


The main cathedral:


Typical street:


Local resident keeping an eye on things:


After walking around the main part of town, we got back in our taxi (we’d negotiated with him a rate to take us there and back, along with waiting) and drove up the hill to the fort which sits above the city.  The fort from outside:


View of the town from the hill by the fort:


Inside the fort:




It was late afternoon by this point, and we were getting pretty exhausted.  Headed back to the main part of the city, did a little bit of grocery shopping, and then split up to rest a bit.  We agreed to meet later that evening at my hotel for dinner.  I sat by the pool for a bit and read.  Unlike the rest of the trip, it was cool in Cape Verde.  Maybe 21-22C max during the day, dropping down to 10-15C at night.


Jordan came by later that evening, and since it was our last full night on the trip, decided to treat ourselves to dinner at the hotel’s restaurant.  Went for the full three course experience, including a bottle of “green wine” or “vinho verde.”  I’d never heard of it before, and it was a very young whitish wine in a green bottle.  It was pretty tasty.

My delicious starter, octopus carpaccio:


The waiter highly recommended the bacalao, prepared one of three ways.  He didn’t do a very good job explaining the different preparations, so we just guessed.  Jordan’s was kind of shredded into a stew, and mine was a giant fish steak, with potatoes, onions, and olive oil.  Very yum!


They wheeled around a dessert cart, which was also pretty tasty, but not special enough to bother trying to get a pic of.

Jordan had seen online that the Travelers Century Club had organized a trip here at the same time, and he was on the lookout for them, thinking maybe we could hook up with them for their full day tour of the island the next day.  He asked a couple different english people if they were with the group, and no luck.  Finally we spotted another group at dinner and tried…yes, it was them, and yes, we were more than welcome to tag along with them in the morning.  It was a good chance to get out of the city and drive around the whole island, so we jumped on it.

Early to bed after dinner, because we had to be up early to meet them for the tour!

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