Sunday, 1 September 2019

Cape Verde

 It takes a long time to become young:  Pablo Picasso

We visited Cape Verde for a week in February 2019 to celebrate my 60th birthday. Travelling from the UK it is a short. direct flight, guaranteed sunshine and complete relaxation, a treat from hubby to feel totally pampered on my birthday we stayed a week, which is enough, if you have itchy feet like me!

Cape Verde is in the Atlantic Ocean, off the Western Coast of Africa close to Senegal and Gambia and approximately a 6 hour flight from the UK.   It's  amongst an archipelego of islands forming the crossroads to Europe and belonging to the Macaronesia Region.

When we visited, it was the beginning of the International wind surfing championships, but you would never have known (no promotional leaflets/info from the hotel) many professional surfers were there for the  GKA Championships.  The sea was, literally, ferocious, some parts of the beach were out of bounds to tourists with waves as high as houses.  We were disappointed that we were not able to swim in the sea at all (although at the public beach down town the locals were fearlessly doing so).  Nonetheless, the championships took place further into town and many coloured surfboards could be seen daily from our location as the championships went ahead.  Infact, on a visit into town, it became apparent that the locals from age 6 are more than capable of handling the waves and the public beaches were full of youngsters practicing their moves on surf boards - they could definitely promote Cape Verde as a destination for extreme sports!!! 

the beach at Sal. not safe for swimming Feb 2019

We stayed in Sal, where there is very little vegetation and considerable poverty outside the hotels.  Food is imported, mainly for the tourist palate.  Our hotel would get a container shipped in fortnightly and the contents would be mostly unknown, so the chefs had to devise a menu around what came in.  Outside the hotel they grow little more than a few vegetables over 11% of the land for their own domestic comsumption (corn/casava).  The island is volcanic and barren.  We had plenty to eat being rich tourists, but it weighed heavily on my conscience, as there is a stark contrast between the reality outside and the luxury of tourism within our hotel, it's very tangible. 

the road into Sal

That said we had a wonderful holiday on sandy beaches in an all inclusive environment, cared for by staff who were attentive, all of which we signed up for on this trip.  This was not much of an adventure, just total relaxation.



  1. I'd heard of Cape Verde but never actually knew where it was so thanks for the geography lesson, Betty. I so envy your ability and enthusiasm to travel. Can't wait for the India Travelogue!

  2. Those waves look a bit scary - I love the sea but I'm not the world's strongest swimmer so it would be a paddle only for me!
    How sad that there's so much poverty and that food has to be shipped in, I can totally understand your misgivings. Nothing I love more than eating in non-tourist places alongside the locals but a lovely treat for a week away! xxx

  3. Hello Betty, I've just come over from the last post on your other blog …
    Pleased that you will still post from time to time, enjoyed seeing these photographs.

    All the best Jan