Last Day in Mindelo
On our last day in Mindelo we decided to visit Monte Verde, the highest point on the island. We took a cab and were lucky to have a knowledgeable driver who told us more about the place and named the other islands we could see on the horizon.
The views from Monte Verde
After our little tour, we asked the driver to drop us at Calhau, one of Sao Vicente popular beaches. We were hoping to go for a swim but it was really windy and the waves were too high to stay safe and snorkel and the driver had already left.
We had arranged to be picked up again at 4.30pm. and with all that time to kill we began to walk, open to exploring and see what we could find.
We walked alongside the deserted road when, appearing out of nowhere, a little red electric car seemingly lost drove up to us. Inside a German couple began to ask for direction. Funnily enough, we must have appeared lost ourselves but seeing us on foot probably gave them the impression that the nearest town was at walking distance.
Tom guided them the best he could, pointing directions on a frozen map on his mobile phone (we had no signal at that time) which was better than the half printed, out of date paper map the German man had. The whole scene was pretty comical to me.
After a relatively short walk, we ended up in a really weird spot. Something that felt like a scene was taken out of a post-apocalypse movie. Colourful building abandoned half way during construction seemed to have popped out of nowhere. It was really strange. Few patches of green balanced out the red, sand and dust colour palette of the area.
Little packs of mongrel dogs ran wild all adding up to the desolated feel of the place.
After an hour of beach combing and looking for a lagoon (supposedly nearby on Tom’s frozen map) we gave up on the idea and decided to walk back and check out the few houses we could see ahead of us, in hope we will find a café and call the taxi driver to arrange an earlier pickup time.
Before we knew it we had come across a little restaurant which was oddly busy. Apart from the German couple on the road and a group of men who disappeared as quickly as they had appeared when we were beach combing, the entire place had looked deserted to us. Suddenly it was packed with the group of travellers and few locals. It was really surreal.
We had to wait over an hour to get our food, but it was totally worth it and let’s face it there was nowhere else to go!
While we waited, Tom had a little wonder inside the packed restaurant. I stayed outside and only went in to use the restroom. I tend to get a bit shy in busy places so I look a lot at my feet when having to get from A to B, so I totally missed it but inside the restaurant were the oddest but cool looking paintings.
Tom has a great eye for the peculiar and bizarre.
By the time, we had finished it was already 4 pm and while most people hopped on an “Aluguer” (a collective taxi) we took back the road on foot.
We got to have fun on the deserted road 🙂
Our taxi arrived just in time. We saw the rest of the island as a drive through before getting dropped off at the street market. We hoped for some fruits and veg to take with us as we were told that those would be quite hard to find in Tarafal de Monte Trigo, in Santo Antão (our next stop)
While doing our shopping we got chatting with one of the merchants, a lady called Betty. She began to explain that ever since she spotted us walking down in the market the previous days, she was intrigued and eager to speak to us. She began to explain that I looked very familiar to her. In fact, I reminded her of her sister and funnily enough after exchanging few words about our families, we realised that we might indeed be related.
Betty and I shared the same last name and our families originate from the same region, on the island of Praia. And as a Cape Verdean kid, you are often told that all Cape Verdeans are cousins and often it is the case. It was really fun to meet her and to have this feeling that perhaps I had just met the family on my first trip to Cape Verde.
Betty & I
On our last night, we stayed in the apartment and ate our leftovers. The owner of the flat paid us a short visit. We strongly wanted to play dead, but thought against it and did the right thing. Plus she was sweet 🙂
It was nice to actually have a quiet lazy night in. We were ready for our next adventure and could no longer wait for the morning to rise up and sail away to the island of Santo Antão!