Africa Princess Cruise, 1º Bijagos, Guinea Bissau

Towards Canhambaque, through the History of Guinea Bissau

Twilight of the Weavers
The Ilhéu dos Porcos
The Ancient Capital
Amilcar Cabral Forever
ladies on the knee
The Old Hospital of Bolama
Tropical Barracks
Africa Princess in Canhambaque
Mr. Cape Verdean Cico
On the rice trail
Waiting for the Sunset
On my way
Ulysses Grant (the replica statue)
Mussolini's Crown
Arrival of the canoe “Mandon”
Bar Canema
The Africa Princess departs from the port of Bissau, downstream the Geba estuary. We make a first stopover on the island of Bolama. From the old capital, we proceed to the heart of the Bijagós archipelago.

From the upper deck, we appreciate the busy day-to-day between the colorful and colonial houses of Bissau and the pier.

Owners and workers cram a few cargo canoes. Lorries unload the one with which they entered the port. Boats arrive from Bubaque and from different stops in Bijagós. Others go there.

With all passengers on board, the Africa Princess inaugurates its itinerary through the vast Guinean archipelago, aimed at Ilha de Galinhas and Canhambaque.

We carry out a quick transfer to one of your support boats and a providential diversion.

We move away from the islet of the King and the city. Heading southwest, we bid farewell to the Turkish generator ship “metin bey” that keeps her energized.

We cross the line of schism between the waters of the Geba and those of the Atlantic that the difference in density and salinity separates.

On the Bolama Route

We are approaching the south bank of the Geba. We skirt the peninsula of Ilhéu do Mancebo and follow the floodplain east of Bolama.

We sailed along a treacherous route, full of shallows that the centuries-old silting continues to aggravate and where, a month later, aboard an overcrowded traditional canoe, we would run aground.

Protected by the lightness of the speedboat and the sea beach, we avoid the worst of the sandy coast. We zigzag down the channel, towards the Rio Grande de Buba, despite the name, a Benjamin brother of Geba.

As happened with the Portuguese and with Bolama, we are left between the two.

When we disembarked onto the high jetty along Av. Amílcar Cabral, the sun has barely come down from its zenith. Residents shelter in their homes.

Or in the shade of the hyperbolic trees that refresh the city's riverfront. As we approach the real terra firme, Bolama shows signs of life.

Dª Ermelinda, a vegetable seller, greets us from whom, conversation leads to conversation, without quite knowing how, we buy a few cucumbers.

Almost as innocently, next door, Bolama preserves what many consider one of the few surviving fascist monuments.

Mussolini's Memorial to the Fallen Aviators in Bolama

Almost a decade had passed since the success of the duo Gago Coutinho and Sacadura Cabral in the pioneering air crossing of the South Atlantic.

Infected by Mussolini's delusions of grandeur, Air Minister and pilot-general Ítalo Balbo planned the crossing of ten planes, divided into four squadrons and in formation, between Italy and Rio de Janeiro.

Having overcome several tribulations, the planes regrouped in Bolama, on Christmas Day. There they were celebrated by a ship of the Italian navy.

At dawn on January 6, 1930, Ítalo Balbo dictated the match. Two of the planes suffered accidents on take-off. Five airmen perished. Nevertheless, Ítalo Balbo forced the follow-up of the expedition.

In December 1931, Mussolini ordered the erection, in Bolama, of the memorial that surprises anyone who visits the city. It is shaped like two wings, one broken, the other raised to the heavens.

It is complemented by a laurel wreath and the inscription “Al Cadutti di Bolama".

Bolama Island and the Legacy of the Former Colonial Capital

We left Dª Ermelinda at the foot of the old memorial. We continue to discover the city. A few meters into the island, we are facing the Governor's Palace, today occupied by the Guinean military.

Some of them, talking, sitting on low chairs.

We greet them and two young men, presumably civilian military personnel, who face each other on a large yellow-checkered board, with the caption, in Creole, “Bópapiamas Stadium”.

We appreciate the welcome from the military. After that, we go up to Av. Amilcar Cabral.

At that hot hour, the main artery of the city remains almost deserted. As we examine the architecture Art Deco of the old cinema, three or four pigs cross it.

On the opposite side of the street, a mural depicts the leader of the PAIGC, Amílcar Cabral, the martyred protagonist of Guinea Bissau's independence course.

Ali, owner of a Pepsodent-like smile.

We continued to climb. After the “Som das Ilhas” discotheque, in the heart of an open square covered by dry bushes, we are surprised by a shining silver statue.

Ulisses Grant and the Complicated “Question of Bolama”

It honors US President Ulisses Grant, whom Portugal thanked for the verdict that resolved the complex “Questão de Bolama”.

At a certain point, the legitimate possession of the island of Bolama, settled between Portugal and the United Kingdom, almost led the old allies to go to war. Grant favored Portugal.

Even so, in 2007, its original homage disappeared.

The severed bronze statue was later found on the land of Commander Alpoim Galvão, mentor of the famous “Operation Mar Verde” which sought to control Guinea Conakry in order to eradicate the political-military opposition of the PAIGC to Portuguese colonial rule.

At the time the statue disappeared, Alpoim Galvão was a businessman based in Guinea Bissau.

The statue we admired there was nothing more than a replica.

The domain of Ulisses Grant is succeeded by Praça do Império, which the former American President validated as Portuguese, instead of British.

Slender goats and sheep roam the central garden, in search of plant snacks, on the face closest to the Military Police, the Catholic Church and even in a few bushes that emerge from the columned front of the imposing and ruined city hospital.

From there, we can still see the old military training center barracks, abandoned to time, to termites and the tentacular roots of prickly pear trees and the like.

Africa Princess heads to Canhambaque, via Ilhéu dos Porcos

An hour and a half had passed since the first steps in Bolama. Pinto, the bijagó guide in charge of the group, dictates the return to the boat. We fulfilled it, aware that Bolama deserved more time and attention.

And that we would go back there.

When we arrive at the starting point, the jetty is given over to a colorful and frenetic crowd. A canoe from Bissau had just docked. Dozens of passengers greeted those who came to receive them.

They disputed the unloading of their belongings among the many loads accumulated inside the vessel.

Without anyone expecting it, to reach the launch, we have to face the confusion and go around the canoe.

It takes what it takes.

As soon as he sees us on board, Charlesmagne, the Senegalese sailor and diola responsible for navigation, sets sail at full speed, heading southwest and towards the islands of Porcos and Canhambaque. Somewhere over there, the Africa Princess was waiting for us for the night.

Canhambaque is in full view, with the sun dropping to the opposite side of the island.

We disembarked on a neighboring strip of sand that the falling tide was increasing.

We bathe and relax along this striated extension of the Ilhéu dos Porcos.

Rice fields in the north of Canhambaque Island

When the sun begins to turn yellow on the horizon, we cross to the eastern tip of Canhambaque, the island where Pinto was a native, where he knew every nook, cranny and, we can say, all the inhabitants.

We overcame a first muddy coastline. Soon, we climbed from the wet sand to a wide section of the island full of dry rice paddies, not wetlands.

Pinto leads us along a trail parallel to the bottom of the island, destined for Inorei, the main village in the far north of Canhambaque.

Along the trail, we stop at some of the huts that the natives used to live in, tasked with protecting and processing the rice that fed them.

When we say “protect”, we are far from exaggerating.

Canhambaque was the fifth big Bijagó island that dazzled us, after the first-time landing on small Kéré and the raid on Orango, in search of archipelago hippos.

In the image of Caravela and Carache, palm trees with bare tops abounded there, with the fruits that yield palm oil and wine exposed. Palm trees that also hosted hundreds of nests of opportunistic weavers.

If the rice-growing people of the Bijagós stole a good part of the islands' trees from the birds, the weavers, in particular, proliferated with an inevitable revenge.

They inhabited the palm trees that dotted the rice paddies. Whenever the cultivators raised their guard, they raided the rice in large, hungry bands.

Unsurprisingly, in Canhambaque, as in all Bijagós, the natives abhor birds that they stone and chase away in every possible way.

We chat with elderly natives when, finally, the sun sets in the west of the island. Its glowing circle falls between the trunks of the surviving palm trees.

Capture us with their silhouettes, dotted with the straw nests with which the weavers decorate them.

From an exuberant fire, the west of Canhambaque turns to the dark blue of the afterglow.

Even though he feels he is one of his own, Pinto fulfills his duty to collect us.

That night, as on the following ones, we would call the Bijagós adventurer boat home.


fly with the euroatlantic , Lisbon-Bissau and Bissau-Lisbon, on Fridays.


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Africa Princess Cruise, 2º Orangozinho, Bijagos, Guinea Bissau

Orangozinho and the Ends of the Orango NP

After a first foray to Roxa Island, we set sail from Canhambaque for an end of the day discovering the coastline in the vast and uninhabited bottom of Orangozinho. The next morning, we sailed up the Canecapane River, in search of the island's large tabanca, Uite.
Bubaque, Bijagos, Guinea Bissau

The Portal of the Bijagós

On the political level, Bolama remains capital. In the heart of the archipelago and in everyday life, Bubaque occupies this place. This town on the namesake island welcomes most visitors. In Bubaque they are enchanted. From Bubaque, many venture towards other Bijagós.
Tabato, Guinea Bissau

The Tabanca of Mandinga Poets Musicians

In 1870, a community of traveling Mandingo musicians settled next to the current city of Bafatá. From the Tabatô they founded, their culture and, in particular, their prodigious balaphonists, dazzle the world.
Tabato, Guinea Bissau

Tabatô: to the Rhythm of Balafom

During our visit to the tabanca, at a glance, the djidius (poet musicians)  mandingas are organized. Two of the village's prodigious balaphonists take the lead, flanked by children who imitate them. Megaphone singers at the ready, sing, dance and play guitar. There is a chora player and several djambes and drums. Its exhibition generates successive shivers.
Kéré Island, Bijagos, Guinea Bissau

The Little Bijagó that hosted a Big Dream

Raised in Ivory Coast, Frenchman Laurent found, in the Bijagós archipelago, the place that enraptured him. The island he shares with his Portuguese wife Sónia accepted them and the affection they felt for Guinea Bissau. Kéré and the Bijagós have long enchanted visitors.
Kéré Island to Orango, Bijagos, Guinea Bissau

In Search of the Lacustrine-Marine and Sacred Bijagós Hippos

They are the most lethal mammals in Africa and, in the Bijagós archipelago, preserved and venerated. Due to our particular admiration, we joined an expedition in their quest. Departing from the island of Kéré and ending up inland from Orango.
Esteros del Iberá, Pantanal Argentina, Alligator
Iberá Wetlands, Argentina

The Pantanal of the Pampas

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Mount Lamjung Kailas Himal, Nepal, altitude sickness, mountain prevent treat, travel
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 2th - Chame a Upper BananaNepal

(I) Eminent Annapurnas

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The Little-Big Senglea II
Architecture & Design
Senglea, Malta

An Overcrowded Malta

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Bungee jumping, Queenstown, New Zealand
Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, the Queen of Extreme Sports

In the century. XVIII, the Kiwi government proclaimed a mining village on the South Island "fit for a queen".Today's extreme scenery and activities reinforce the majestic status of ever-challenging Queenstown.
Tiredness in shades of green
Ceremonies and Festivities
Suzdal, Russia

The Suzdal Cucumber Celebrations

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Elephant statues by the Li River, Elephant Trunk Hill, Guilin, China
Guilin, China

The Gateway to the Chinese Stone Kingdom

The immensity of jagged limestone hills around it is so majestic that the authorities of Beijing they print it on the back of the 20-yuan notes. Those who explore it almost always pass through Guilin. And even if this city in the province of Guangxi clashes with the exuberant nature around it, we also found its charms.
Cocoa, Chocolate, Sao Tome Principe, Agua Izé farm
São Tomé and Principe

Cocoa Roças, Corallo and the Chocolate Factory

At the beginning of the century. In the XNUMXth century, São Tomé and Príncipe generated more cocoa than any other territory. Thanks to the dedication of some entrepreneurs, production survives and the two islands taste like the best chocolate.

The World on Stage

All over the world, each nation, region or town and even neighborhood has its own culture. When traveling, nothing is more rewarding than admiring, live and in loco, which makes them unique.
Swimming, Western Australia, Aussie Style, Sun rising in the eyes
Busselton, Australia

2000 meters in Aussie Style

In 1853, Busselton was equipped with one of the longest pontoons in the world. World. When the structure collapsed, the residents decided to turn the problem around. Since 1996 they have been doing it every year. Swimming.
Tokyo's sophisticated houses, where Couchsurfing and your hosts abound.
Couchsurfing (Part 1)

Mi Casa, Su Casa

In 2003, a new online community globalized an old landscape of hospitality, conviviality and interests. Today, Couchsurfing welcomes millions of travelers, but it shouldn't be taken lightly.
Unusual bathing

south of Belize

The Strange Life in the Black Caribbean Sun

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sunlight photography, sun, lights
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Natural Light (Part 2)

One Sun, So Many Lights

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Museum of Petroleum, Stavanger, Norway
Stavanger, Norway

The Motor City of Norway

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Bolshoi Zayatski Orthodox Church, Solovetsky Islands, Russia.
Bolshoi Zayatsky, Russia

Mysterious Russian Babylons

A set of prehistoric spiral labyrinths made of stones decorate Bolshoi Zayatsky Island, part of the Solovetsky archipelago. Devoid of explanations as to when they were erected or what it meant, the inhabitants of these northern reaches of Europe call them vavilons.
St. Trinity Church, Kazbegi, Georgia, Caucasus
Winter White
Kazbegi, Georgia

God in the Caucasus Heights

In the 4000th century, Orthodox religious took their inspiration from a hermitage that a monk had erected at an altitude of 5047 m and perched a church between the summit of Mount Kazbek (XNUMXm) and the village at the foot. More and more visitors flock to these mystical stops on the edge of Russia. Like them, to get there, we submit to the whims of the reckless Georgia Military Road.
shadow vs light
Kyoto, Japan

The Kyoto Temple Reborn from the Ashes

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Maria Jacarés, Pantanal Brazil
Miranda, Brazil

Maria dos Jacarés: the Pantanal shelters such Creatures

Eurides Fátima de Barros was born in the interior of the Miranda region. 38 years ago, he settled in a small business on the side of BR262 that crosses the Pantanal and gained an affinity with the alligators that lived on his doorstep. Disgusted that once upon a time the creatures were being slaughtered there, she began to take care of them. Now known as Maria dos Jacarés, she named each of the animals after a soccer player or coach. It also makes sure they recognize your calls.
Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia
Yerevan, Armenia

A Capital between East and West

Heiress of the Soviet civilization, aligned with the great Russia, Armenia allows itself to be seduced by the most democratic and sophisticated ways of Western Europe. In recent times, the two worlds have collided in the streets of your capital. From popular and political dispute, Yerevan will dictate the new course of the nation.
Grand Canyon, Arizona, Travel North America, Abysmal, Hot Shadows
Natural Parks
Grand Canyon, USA

Journey through the Abysmal North America

The Colorado River and tributaries began flowing into the plateau of the same name 17 million years ago and exposed half of Earth's geological past. They also carved one of its most stunning entrails.
Acre, Templar Stronghold, Israel, Crispy Sweets
UNESCO World Heritage
Saint John of Acre, Israel

The Fortress That Withstood Everything

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Visitors to Ernest Hemingway's Home, Key West, Florida, United States
Key West, United States

Hemingway's Caribbean Playground

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Baie d'Oro, Île des Pins, New Caledonia
Île-des-Pins, New Caledonia

The Island that Leaned against Paradise

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Mtshketa, Holy City of Georgia, Caucasus, Svetitskhoveli Cathedral
Mtskheta, Georgia

The Holy City of Georgia

If Tbilisi is the contemporary capital, Mtskheta was the city that made Christianity official in the kingdom of Iberia, predecessor of Georgia, and one that spread the religion throughout the Caucasus. Those who visit see how, after almost two millennia, it is Christianity that governs life there.
Chepe Express, Chihuahua Al Pacifico Railway
On Rails
Creel to Los Mochis, Mexico

The Barrancas del Cobre & the CHEPE Iron Horse

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Walter Peak, Queenstown, New Zealand
New Zealand  

When Counting Sheep causes Sleep Loss

20 years ago, New Zealand had 18 sheep per inhabitant. For political and economic reasons, the average was halved. In the antipodes, many breeders are worried about their future.
Ditching, Alaska Fashion Life, Talkeetna
Daily life
Talkeetna, Alaska

Talkeetna's Alaska-Style Life

Once a mere mining outpost, Talkeetna rejuvenated in 1950 to serve Mt. McKinley climbers. The town is by far the most alternative and most captivating town between Anchorage and Fairbanks.
Asian buffalo herd, Maguri Beel, Assam, India
Maguri Bill, India

A Wetland in the Far East of India

The Maguri Bill occupies an amphibious area in the Assamese vicinity of the river Brahmaputra. It is praised as an incredible habitat especially for birds. When we navigate it in gondola mode, we are faced with much (but much) more life than just the asada.
Passengers, scenic flights-Southern Alps, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Aoraki / Mount Cook, New Zealand

The Aeronautical Conquest of the Southern Alps

In 1955, pilot Harry Wigley created a system for taking off and landing on asphalt or snow. Since then, his company has unveiled, from the air, some of the greatest scenery in Oceania.