HAPPY BIRTHDAY and big congrats to my wonderful Kees for making it this far. 45. Wow! So happy we get to share our birthdays together. Though not too sure how I feel about him accusing me of “Robbing the old folk’s home” Hhahaha.
We had a great day touring the island of Boa Vista, Cape Verde on his birthday. Took a jeep tour with all the other jeeps schedule at the same time, and going to the same place. Off we went in our convoy of white open-back jeeps. Despite being a very dry, desolate island with relatively little to see, I discovered there was still so much beauty.
With so few palm trees amidst the sand and rock, it made each and every one all the more special. Many of the roads are fashioned like a brick road but entirely made of stones, which is very beautiful. There were lots of wild donkeys as well and with a big imagination you could envision yourself on an African safari.
Some of the landscape made me remember the grand African adventure we did in 2007-2008. Boa Vista is so small and safe, making it a great place for beginners to get a taste of what a real adventure would be like without the struggle of truly being lost in the desert for weeks or having the stress of your own vehicle breaking down and getting stranded. We went all the way to the northern coast of the island to see a 46 year old ship wreck. We were shown a picture of the ship in three stages and what time and erosion in salt water had done. Wow.
We visited several small towns, including the poorest on the island. Because the towns are flooded each day with the parade of metal boxes on wheels filled with tourist, locals don’t even flinch let alone wave as we passed. This was one sure sign that we weren’t really as remote as we felt, it definitely lacked the personal and cultural interaction you get when you roll into a town that has never seen a white person before.
I was impressed by the way many of the houses and shops were painted in bright colors. It was a special touch that added charm. I’m always amazed by the impact a simple splash of color has on your emotional state. It made me think of India and the significant difference the beautiful bright clothes make amidst so much poverty.
We came back from this 4 hour trip slightly dirty and rattled after being bumped around on dirt and stone roads. Dropped at the doorstep of our slice of paradise at the Riu Karamboa Resort, we had showers and enjoyed the rest of the day by the pool. Not quite the same as retiring to a cheap hotel with cold bucket showers and a bare 5watt light bulb dangling from the cracked, leak-stained roof.
Tomorrow is our last day here, but there’s still more to come and I can’t wait to share the short video clip Kees has made of our holiday.
Beautiful Boa Vista! I saw that shipwreck in the late 90s and it was still more or less intact (similar to the 1980) picture. Tourism back then was at the very beginning, I would like to go back and see how the island and its people have changed over the years.
Thanks for your comment Davide. Yeah, it’s always really nice to go back to a place… though I suspect a lot of the time it’s very different and loses its specialness by being overrun with tourists. If you come back, I hope you write about it so I can read about the changes!