We have a WINNER for my 100th country competition. For those of you who didn’t hear, a MASSIVE congratulations to Brittany Fuller for guessing CAPE VERDE and winning a copy of “Backpacks and Bra Straps” book two in the series Sihpromatum which will be released in October 2014. It took over 100 people, and 60 countries before it was guessed. My goodness, I never thought I’d pick such a doozy. Thank you everyone who participated.
In order to travel to Cape Verde, a collection of small islands off the coast of West Africa, a visa is required. I went down to Rotterdam to get ours and was surprised by how easy the process was. Not a soul in the very informal consulate aside from the two workers, possibly the most laid back I’ve seen. While the one was busy with me, for all of fifteen minutes, the other gal was cleaning under her nails with a pair of big office scissors. Definitely a good sign for a place to go for a relaxing holiday.
On June 8th, Kees and I arrived in Cape Verde or Cabo Verde as they say here.
Cape Verde is the 38th African country I have visited, and by coincidence the 38th country Kees and I have visited together! Feeling so blessed.
We are staying in the gorgeous all-inclusive RIU KARAMBOA RESORT on Boa Vista where they have agreed to sponsor part of our stay. Yes, I know, it’s on the complete opposite spectrum of ‘I Grew My Boobs in China’ travel style but what an absolute delight.
RIU Hotels & Resorts is a Spanish hotel chain founded by the Riu family and considering how family oriented I am, it seemed more than appropriate.
Flying in after a 7+hour flight from Amsterdam we could see Riu’s giant sandcastle sanctuary amidst the lifeless desert island. The entire island of Boa Vista is an untouched beauty of white sands and blue waters. According to our travel agent, all of the beaches have been bought and in 5-10 years it won’t be the same so I’m grateful I’m getting the chance to see it now.
Upon our arrival we were greeted personally with warm handshakes by the manager, Antonio, and instantly treated like royalty. We received a bottle of champagne in an ice bucket in our room, beach bags, a beauty pack from the spa, massage coupons, kite surfing equipment and instructions, internet 3G card to use in our room (internet has only been available in the lobby area since May 2014!), a quading adventure, seat reservations at the restaurants and an upgraded room. They have truly made us feel like special guests!
Our main draw to Cape Verde was the kite surfing, since Kees has been addicted ever since last year’s trip to Mauritius. The wind has been very strong and gusty but he has been out every day, sometimes twice, for hours. Yesterday he needed to be rescued in the ocean by the safety boat and even they recognized him. They said that normally it costs 15 euro for a rescue, but since he is a special guest, they will not charge him. Kees told me he paid them anyway and when I asked him “Why?” he said, “’Cause I want them to rescue me again.”
We have been here for all of 4 days and I already feel stressed that time is running out. Don’t we all wish our holidays would last forever?