The Cape-Verdian islands: Sal

After 6 days and 6 hours sailing, we arrived on the island of Sal, the northeaternmost island of the Cape Verdian islands group. Cabo Verde belongs with the Azores, Madeira and the Canaries to the Atlantic islands, of which is determined that they - however miles apart - once belonged to the same piece of earth. But that was millions of years ago, although these islands show similarities concerning flora and micro-climatological circumstances. Like Porto Santo that is located NE of Madeira and is as barren as Madeira is lush and green, and the barren Lanzarote situated to the NE of the other, far greener Canary islands, Sal is a piece of barren soil as well. The island consists of some vulcanic mountains and a lot of sand and stones. We are anchored in the bay of Porto da Palmeira, a village with some 500 inhabitants. Nine streets and that's it. It is quiet simply because there is nothing to do. A school, a mini supermarket, a groceries market (1 outlet), two restaurants and on the quay a small bar “type kiosko” where the local youngsters are hanging around. You can get fresh water in the fontenario. Free for the locals, yachties have to pay a few pennies. PHOTO 1 
Compared to Morocco, Cabo Verde is really black Africa. Morocco was of course overtaken by the Arabs and islam, but over here you see negroes having fun. No suppressed veiled women, although 16 year old girls carry a baby on their hip - so it is still the men who are in charge. 
Clearing customs is a formality, we had to pay 1 euro and received both a stamp in our passport and that was all. An attitude which we had not expected from a country that was only recently a Portuguese colony.
Fiddlesticks is anchored next to us and after one day of rest and diving to the anchor (to check of it is holding okay), we took the bus to the larger village of Santa Maria on the southside of the island.
Santa Maria owns a historic
and seriously decayed pontoon dating from the 19th century. PHOTO 2 
It was here that slaves coming from Senegal were brought ashore to get treatment for the lice they carried, before they had to board again to resume their trip to Brasil. A disgusting idea. These days, the pontoon is only used as a meeting point, where fishermen sell their fish. PHOTO 3 
People here are focused on how they look. They don't seem very interested in buying healthy food, but  they spend a lot of money on clothes. Boys are doing push ups on the beach, girls have their hair dressed with beautiful decorations, wear the latest jeans fashion with colourful tops that look appalling on their deep brown skin. The houses and pubs are very colourful as well, with walls painted in many colours and often carrying funny pictures.
PHOTO 4   
The Cape-Verdian people just love colour and use their creativity to make their town and home into a nice place. The music adds to this, as you hear relaxed, rhythmic music everywhere. People live outdoors and especially by the end of the day the streets are crowded with people.
PHOTO 5  +6  Africa is alive!

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