Cabo Verde: Ba Vista

We said goodbye to Sal's turtle (1 meter diameter and at least 100 years old) and sailed 35 miles southward to Ba Vista. Ba Vista is not as stony as Sal, as it has beautiful dunes and pearly white beaches around emerald green bays. This text could easily be an advertisement in a travel agent's brochure and indeed: Cabo Verde is a future destination for mass tourism. It won't take long before hundreds of resorts will be built here and charter airplane companies start with cheap flights - and then the fun will be over. It is quite logical because the climate is great in winter: 25-30C with a continuous breeze; people are friendly, the atmosphere is great PHOTO 1 , we haven't seen any criminality and the maritime environment is rather unspoilt: lots of coral, lots of fish. Because the water temperature is also very enjoyable: 22C, snorkeling is one of our daily activities. But you don't have to go snorkeling to see many fish. Every boat at anchor has its own fish and on Ba Vista we have thousands of them seeking shelter under Witte Raaf's bottom. It is fun to look under water and see how such a huge school moves as if it were one giant fish of 3 cubic metres large. PHOTO 2 Cabo Verde has plenty of fish for consumption PHOTO 3 , but other food is not widely available and expensive: you pay 2 euro's for 4 tomatoes. In the mini-mercados they sell mostly canned food, a.o. butter and margarine. These of course originate from the Netherlands and the packagings seem to have been designed in the 50s. Remia margarine advertises in Africa with a classical blond Dutch farmer's daughter and we feel it as an insult to the African people and for us to feel deeply ashamed that every investment in Africa apparently is too much. PHOTO 4  

The Cape Verdian islands are worth a visit. Most tourists hire a cab but we travel together with the locals by mini-bus and pick-up. In the meantime, if they speak any other language than Crioulo and Portuguese, they tell you all about their country (and about Senegal, as many Senegalese people live here). They always want to know where we come from and they are familiar with Holland, as many Cape-Verdians have visited our country as sailors. 

Surfing the internet is difficult if not impossible, and even electricity is not very reliable. If the power goes flat, nobody is surprised as this is part of daily life. And should it happen in a restaurant just when they were frying your potatoes, you are unlucky and your chips will be served only half cooked. But the service always goes with a smile, because that is something that never fails here. 

Sal Rei is the main city on Boa Vista. It is a nice village with a big square and many small shops. On the outside you can't see what they are selling because due to the heat everything happens inside. So you have to stick your head around a door and just see for yourself.  Like in Palmeira, in the old quarters there is no water running from taps. So the place where action is focused is the communal laundry place; a good opportunity to wash our bed linen in one of the cement bassins.
PHOTO 5 +6  

The engine presented us with its annual end-of-year surprise: seawater in carter and cylinders. How we managed to get a mechanic is a story in itself. But after 7 hours of work and some despair, our green monster was running again.

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