Santo Antão, Cape Verde

Up and Down the Estrada da Corda

Agaves detached from the top of Delgadinho, the tightest passage on the Corda road.
in dry dock
Bright fishing boats in the vicinity of Porto Novo.
Donkey duo
Donkey parked on the side of Estrada da Corda.
field work
Peasants work at the bottom of Cova do Paul.
Under repair
Motorized breakdown in full Delgadinho.
late almost night
Sunset as seen from the top of Delgadinho to the north.
On the way to Ribeira Grande
Van goes down the narrow sidewalk of Delgadinho.
donkey loaded
Resident guides a donkey on the edge of the mountain above Porto Novo.
Paul's grave
The always cultivated boiler of Cova do Paul.
The Ribeira Grande and deep
Meander of the deep gorge of Ribeira Grande, as seen from Delgadinho.
Rope (from Clothesline)
Pick up goes down towards Rope, and below a clothesline rope.
stone beans
Hands peeling stone beans, a traditional food in Santo Antão.
stone beans for two
Mother and daughter are shelling stone beans in their house on the edge of Estrada da Corda.
On my way
Car sells another slope on Estrada da Corda, still between Porto Novo and Corda.
José Cabral, from the rope
José Cabral, a Corda resident who worked in Portugal.
"Mar d'Canal"
Ferry "Mar d'Canal" during another busy crossing between Mindelo and Porto Novo.
Sea of ​​Mist
Mist advances and retreats on the Lombo da Figueira slope.
monitored fog
Mist rises to Lombo de Figueira and almost covers the local radar.
scarlet sunset
Another view of the sunset, from another point on Estrada da Corda.
Santo Antão is the westernmost of the Cape Verde Islands. There lies an Atlantic and rugged threshold of Africa, a majestic insular domain that we begin by unraveling from one end to the other of its dazzling Estrada da Corda.

The volcanic genesis and capricious geomorphography shaped the arid-green exuberance of Santo Antão. But not only. They also dictated an inaccessibility by air and respective isolation that only the brotherhood of São Vicente, right there on the opposite side of the homonymous channel, seems to alleviate.

If it weren't for São Vicente, Santo Antão would experience another level of Atlantic solitude.

São Vicente was confirmed as our inaugural landing point in Cape Verde. Unsurprisingly, it was from Mindelo, its capital, which we set sail for the canal, heading to Porto Novo de Santo Antão.

Almost residents of the archipelago, for months the trade winds hit both one island and the other. In such a way that, when we visited the facilities of the shipping companies in the port of São Vicente, the next crossings were to be confirmed.

Finally, with mid-afternoon, the wind gives itself. Enough to allow navigation, affected by turbulence that captains and passengers were already used to. When we embarked on the “Canal Sea”, one of the crew's first measures is to provide passengers with seasickness bags. Even if it was standard procedure, the Atlantic soon made sense of it.

The "Canal Sea” leaves Porto Grande bay behind. Glide, gently, towards the islet of Birds. As we saw the contours of the top of Monte Cara being defined, the waves of the channel formed more and more hollow ups and downs. They agitated the ferry and made it adorn without mercy. Spacedly, in such a way that, on the upper deck we were following, any sketch of displacement turned out to be an adventure.

Ferry Mar d'Canal, Santo Antão, Cape Verde

Ferry “Mar d'Canal” during another busy crossing between Mindelo and Porto Novo.

We continued in this violent frenzy for a good forty minutes, at the mercy of the blue but crisp Atlantic, dotted with large crests of foam.

Gradually, Santo Antão usurped the leading role of São Vicente. The imposing slopes, full of grooves on the island's southeast coast, gained volume, shape and color. How did the multicolored houses stretched between the Ribeira do Tortolho and the port of Porto Novo where the crossing ended.

By the time of disembarkation, the sun had already disappeared towards the west of the island. We checked into the hotel. A little later, we went out again, hoping to still solve the eternal problem of the SIM card and one or two more annoyances essential to the tour through Cape Verde to which we were going to dedicate ourselves.

We walked through the alleys of the city closest to the sea, between houses and businesses tucked away in pastel colored buildings that, detached from the asphalt soil or sand and volcanic dust, disguised themselves as gaudy.

Meanwhile it gets dark. If even the Alisios surrendered to a truce and rest at night, who were we to clash.

The Vertiginous Ascent from Porto Novo to Lombo da Figueira

We wake up before the wind. We return to the Porto Novo seafront, hoping to find a car at the height of the natural roller coaster of Santo Antão. The first car we rent runs out of battery shortly thereafter. On the second attempt, we put our foot down on a pick up, more expensive but that we knew was another level of strength and reliability.

With transportation resolved, we confirmed that the most urbanized and passable section of the island was located in its upper third. Only two roads allowed travel from the largest city, Porto Novo, to the urban centers of the northeast coast of Paul, Janela, Ribeira Grande and Ponta do Sol.

One of these roads ran counterclockwise through the foothills of the northern mountains. The other ascended, without major detours, but by countless meanders, to a ridge that coincided with the limit of the municipality of Porto Novo.

Even before we leave, we stroll along the volcanic beach where the Ribeira do Tortolho flows, entertained by the contrast between the large black and polished basalt pebbles and the bright colors of the fishing boats. We appreciate them, lined up on top of the stony, in harmony with the sky and with three or four verdant acacias, like a well-considered fishing facility.

Fishing boats, Santo Antão, Cape Verde

Bright fishing boats in the vicinity of Porto Novo.

From there, we went back into the houses of Porto Novo, until we found the perpendicular of the city from which Estrada da Corda departed.

In a first section, the undulating cobbles of the track take us up the slope, in a gradual and not sinuous way, in a smooth ascent that the powerful pick up conquers without effort.

At a certain point, the road reaches much steeper sections of the slope. The Rope winds itself in successive walled zigzags, between thorny bushes and more acacia trees.

Estrada da Corda, Santo Antao, Cape Verde

Car sells another slope on Estrada da Corda, still between Porto Novo and Corda.

Plus this one, minus this one, we reach Lombo da Figueira. And a junction already on the border of the municipalities of Porto Novo and Paul.

The Stunning Agricultural Boiler of Cova do Paul

Forward along the way was the intriguing Paul's Cave. To the east, the road led to the Paul viewpoint and Pico da Cruz, these points, like the road itself, with some of the best views over the south of Santo Antão and the Atlantic below.

We give priority to the diversion. We stop at Paul's viewpoint. From there, we are fascinated with the subtle advances and retreats of the mist, stroking and irrigating the wooded slope below, one of the most leafy on the entire island, we would later conclude. We pass the chapel of Nossa Senhora da Graça.

Donkey loaded, Santo Antão, Cape Verde

Resident guides a donkey on the edge of the mountain above Porto Novo.

In the village below, we fraternized with some Santo Antonians dressed in the cool and humid of the heights, who used to get supplies from the local drinking water tank.

We return to Estrada da Corda. After a few kilometers, we find the opening in the vegetation that provided the Miradouro da Cova.

Cova do Paul ,Santo Antão, Cape Verde

The always cultivated boiler of Cova do Paul.

Cova is one of several caldera that deepen the volcanic profile of Santo Antão. When we look at it from the side of the road, instead of the sulfuric air, an innocuous mist hangs over it, a kind of interior extension of the clouds that we had seen from the viewpoint of the Paul.

This mist is vital for the small and picturesque agricultural activity with which the people of Santo Antônio fill almost the entire kilometer of diameter of the caldera. With corn, sugar cane, cassava and, of course, stone beans. We went down. We walk around there, among the sugar cane hedges with which the peasants sprinkle the fertile land.

Peasants, Cova do Paul, Santo Antão, Cape Verde

Peasants work at the bottom of Cova do Paul.

When the clouds cover it in full, a drizzle wets fools drenches us. We return to the Rope.

Arlinda, Kelly and the Castigo do Feijão-Pedra

Once in full control of Paul, we crossed Fajã de Cima. As we pass, we are attracted to the vision of a mother and daughter, sitting side by side in the sun, peeling stone beans from wicker baskets into small cans.

Stone-beans, Santo Antão, Cape Verde

Hands peeling stone beans, a traditional food in Santo Antão.

Their name is Arlinda Neves, the mother.

And Kelly Neves, the daughter. “I have my brother and my daughter-in-law living there near Lisbon…where is it…ah, it's in Baixa da Bath” informs us Kelly. “We only see them once a year. This year, it's still not right.” adds and shows us a framed photograph of the couple.

Stone-beans, Santo Antao, Cape Verde

Mother and daughter are shelling stone beans in their house on the edge of Estrada da Corda.

The conversation and the soft sun warmed the conviviality, so the conversation stayed with us. This, until the interlocutors finished the task and we realized that they wanted to dedicate themselves to someone else.

Estrada da Corda Below, with Pass by Corda

We return once more to Estrada da Corda. We snake through a forest of massive pine and cypress. We go around a secondary caldera, much smaller than Paul's and enter the Ribeira Grande domain.

From then on, still at an elevation of 1000 meters, up to the Corda that gave it its name, the road descends little by little.

Rope, Santo Antao, Cape Verde

Pick up goes down towards Rope, and below a clothesline rope.

13km inland from the starting point of Porto Novo, more than a village, Corda maintains several hamlets and villages, among which Chã de Corda and Esponjeiro stand out. It establishes a high-altitude agricultural community above another of Santo Antão's deep craters.

In the meantime, the road detaches from Corda. It gains momentum at the top of the Ribeira Grande gorge, at intervals, between terraces now planted and now parched and colonies of sharp and exuberant agaves.

Agaves, Santo Antao, Cape Verde

Agaves detached from the top of Delgadinho, the tightest passage on the Corda road.

Delgadinho's Highway Prodigy

Around this time, in communion with such intrepid flora, we arrived at the entrance to Delgadinho, a panoramic high point of Estrada da Corda.

A few peeks to one side and the other later, we confirmed that it was one of the places that best revealed the geological splendor of Santo Antão.

In practice, it is the unlikely Delgadinho that grants Estrada da Corda its continuity. Had it not been for that morphological crest modeled on the lava millions of years ago, high above the deep valleys of Ribeira da Torre and Ribeira Grande, the mountain shortcut between Porto Novo and the city of Ribeira Grande would have been impossible.

We stop at your entrance. We traversed it on foot, unsure whether we should be dazzled first by the geological sculpture on one side or the other, incredulous at both.

Ribeira Grande, Santo Antao, Cape Verde

Meander of the deep gorge of Ribeira Grande, as seen from Delgadinho.

Until, out of nowhere, two people from Santo António appear. From above, a local resident appears, with a large bunch of pasture under his arm. Upwards, a motorcyclist pushed his stuck motorcycle.

Tucked into an overalls and under the shade of a cap from Super bock, José Cabral, a Corda native, realized that enough mechanics were enough. It only took a few minutes of cooperation for the duo to get around the bike. The motorcyclist thanks the help, says goodbye, disappears in the punishment of the slope.

Breakdown in Delgadinho, Santo Antão, Cape Verde

Motorized breakdown in full Delgadinho.

While wiping the oil from his hands with an improvised herb shroud, José Cabral explains to us that he worked for many years in Portugal, maintaining dams.

Corda Resident, Santo Antão, Cape Verde

José Cabral, a Corda resident who worked in Portugal.

We boast about his birthplace: Corda, Delgado. St. Anthony in his blessed whole. José Cabral returns the kindness. He advises us to continue the journey always with low changes.

The Vertiginous Descent Towards Ribeira Grande

In the 7km that separated us from the final destination, from meander to meander, the slope got worse. Only the knots and counter knots of Estrada da Corda collaborated with the pick up to curb the momentum of gravity.

Van in Delgadinho, Santo Antão, Cape Verde

Van goes down the narrow sidewalk of Delgadinho.

Little by little, the then dry gravel bed of Ribeira Grande becomes wider. We glimpse the first housing nuclei at its base, already close enough to the coast to soften the spartan harshness of its retreat.

Without warning, we saw the Atlantic again and at the bottom of the V that seemed to support it, poorly finished buildings, too tall to belong to a village. We were on the verge of the second city of Santo Antão.

Almost 40km later, we had reached the other end of Estrada da Corda and north of Santo Antão.

Ocaso, Santo Antão, Cape Verde

Sunset as seen from the top of Delgadinho to the north.

São Vicente, Cape Verde

The Volcanic Arid Wonder of Soncente

A return to São Vicente reveals an aridity as dazzling as it is inhospitable. Those who visit it are surprised by the grandeur and geological eccentricity of the fourth smallest island in Cape Verde.
Chã das Caldeiras, Fogo Island Cape Verde

A "French" Clan at the Mercy of Fire

In 1870, a Count born in Grenoble on his way to Brazilian exile, made a stopover in Cape Verde where native beauties tied him to the island of Fogo. Two of his children settled in the middle of the volcano's crater and continued to raise offspring there. Not even the destruction caused by the recent eruptions deters the prolific Montrond from the “county” they founded in Chã das Caldeiras.    
Cidade Velha, Cape Verde

Cidade Velha: the Ancient of the Tropico-Colonial Cities

It was the first settlement founded by Europeans below the Tropic of Cancer. In crucial times for Portuguese expansion to Africa and South America and for the slave trade that accompanied it, Cidade Velha became a poignant but unavoidable legacy of Cape Verdean origins.

island of salt, Cape Verde

The Salt of the Island of Sal

At the approach of the XNUMXth century, Sal remained lacking in drinking water and practically uninhabited. Until the extraction and export of the abundant salt there encouraged a progressive population. Today, salt and salt pans add another flavor to the most visited island in Cape Verde.
Boa Vista Island, Cape Verde

Boa Vista Island: Atlantic waves, Dunas do Sara

Boa Vista is not only the Cape Verdean island closest to the African coast and its vast desert. After a few hours of discovery, it convinces us that it is a piece of the Sahara adrift in the North Atlantic.
Santa Maria, Sal Island, Cape Verde

Santa Maria and the Atlantic Blessing of Sal

Santa Maria was founded in the first half of the XNUMXth century, as a salt export warehouse. Today, thanks to the providence of Santa Maria, Sal Ilha is worth much more than the raw material.
hippopotami, chobe national park, botswana
Chobe NP, Botswana

Chobe: A River on the Border of Life with Death

Chobe marks the divide between Botswana and three of its neighboring countries, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Namibia. But its capricious bed has a far more crucial function than this political delimitation.
Mount Lamjung Kailas Himal, Nepal, altitude sickness, mountain prevent treat, travel
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 2nd - Chame to Upper PisangNepal,

(I) Eminent Annapurnas

We woke up in Chame, still below 3000m. There we saw, for the first time, the snowy and highest peaks of the Himalayas. From there, we set off for another walk along the Annapurna Circuit through the foothills and slopes of the great mountain range. towards Upper Pisang.
by the shadow
Architecture & Design
Miami, USA

A Masterpiece of Urban Rehabilitation

At the turn of the 25st century, the Wynwood neighbourhood remained filled with abandoned factories and warehouses and graffiti. Tony Goldman, a shrewd real estate investor, bought more than XNUMX properties and founded a mural park. Much more than honoring graffiti there, Goldman founded the Wynwood Arts District, the great bastion of creativity in Miami.
Totems, Botko Village, Malekula, Vanuatu
Malekula, Vanuatu

Meat and Bone Cannibalism

Until the early XNUMXth century, man-eaters still feasted on the Vanuatu archipelago. In the village of Botko we find out why European settlers were so afraid of the island of Malekula.
Camel Racing, Desert Festival, Sam Sam Dunes, Rajasthan, India
Ceremonies and Festivities
Jaisalmer, India

There's a Feast in the Thar Desert

As soon as the short winter breaks, Jaisalmer indulges in parades, camel races, and turban and mustache competitions. Its walls, alleys and surrounding dunes take on more color than ever. During the three days of the event, natives and outsiders watch, dazzled, as the vast and inhospitable Thar finally shines through.
Frederiksted, Saint Croix, US Virgin Islands

The Emancipation City of the Danish West Indies

If Christiansted established itself as the capital and main commercial center of the island of Saint Croix, the “sister” of the leeward side, Frederiksted had its civilizational apogee when there was the revolt and subsequent liberation of the slaves that ensured the colony's prosperity.
World Food

Gastronomy Without Borders or Prejudice

Each people, their recipes and delicacies. In certain cases, the same ones that delight entire nations repel many others. For those who travel the world, the most important ingredient is a very open mind.

the last address

From the grandiose tombs of Novodevichy, in Moscow, to the boxed Mayan bones of Pomuch, in the Mexican province of Campeche, each people flaunts its own way of life. Even in death.
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.
Young people walk the main street in Chame, Nepal
Annapurna Circuit: 1th - Pokhara a Chame, Nepal,

Finally, on the way

After several days of preparation in Pokhara, we left towards the Himalayas. The walking route only starts in Chame, at 2670 meters of altitude, with the snowy peaks of the Annapurna mountain range already in sight. Until then, we complete a painful but necessary road preamble to its subtropical base.
Jingkieng Wahsurah, Nongblai Village Roots Bridge, Meghalaya, India
Meghalaya, India

The Bridges of the Peoples that Create Roots

The unpredictability of rivers in the wettest region on Earth never deterred the Khasi and the Jaintia. Faced with the abundance of trees elastic fig tree in their valleys, these ethnic groups got used to molding their branches and strains. From their time-lost tradition, they have bequeathed hundreds of dazzling root bridges to future generations.
View of Fa Island, Tonga, Last Polynesian Monarchy
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

Exotic Signs of Life

tarsio, bohol, philippines, out of this world
Bohol, Philippines

Other-wordly Philippines

The Philippine archipelago spans 300.000 km² of the Pacific Ocean. Part of the Visayas sub-archipelago, Bohol is home to small alien-looking primates and the extraterrestrial hills of the Chocolate Hills.
Figure at Praia do Curral, Ilhabela, Brazil
Ilhabela, Brazil

Ilhabela: After Horror, the Atlantic Beauty

Ninety percent of the preserved Atlantic Forest, idyllic waterfalls and gentle, wild beaches live up to the name. But, if we go back in time, we also reveal the horrific historical facet of Ilhabela.
Horses under a snow, Iceland Never Ending Snow Island Fire
Winter White
Husavik a Myvatn, Iceland

Endless Snow on the Island of Fire

When, in mid-May, Iceland already enjoys some sun warmth but the cold and snow persist, the inhabitants give in to an intriguing summer anxiety.
Visitors to Ernest Hemingway's Home, Key West, Florida, United States
Key West, United States

Hemingway's Caribbean Playground

Effusive as ever, Ernest Hemingway called Key West "the best place I've ever been...". In the tropical depths of the contiguous US, he found evasion and crazy, drunken fun. And the inspiration to write with intensity to match.
Jeep crosses Damaraland, Namibia
damaraland, Namíbia

Namibia On the Rocks

Hundreds of kilometers north of Swakopmund, many more of Sossuvlei's iconic dunes, Damaraland is home to deserts interspersed with red rocky hills, the young nation's highest mountain and ancient rock art. the settlers South Africans they named this region after the Damara, one of the Namibian ethnic groups. Only these and other inhabitants prove that it remains on Earth.
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.
Dominican Republic, Bahia de Las Águilas Beach, Pedernales. Jaragua National Park, Beach
Natural Parks
Lagoa Oviedo a Bahia de las Águilas, Dominican Republic

In Search of the Immaculate Dominican Beach

Against all odds, one of the most unspoiled Dominican coastlines is also one of the most remote. Discovering the province of Pedernales, we are dazzled by the semi-desert Jaragua National Park and the Caribbean purity of Bahia de las Águilas.
Composition on Nine Arches Bridge, Ella, Sri Lanka
UNESCO World Heritage
Yala NPElla-Kandy, Sri Lanka

Journey Through Sri Lanka's Tea Core

We leave the seafront of PN Yala towards Ella. On the way to Nanu Oya, we wind on rails through the jungle, among plantations in the famous Ceylon. Three hours later, again by car, we enter Kandy, the Buddhist capital that the Portuguese never managed to dominate.
Ooty, Tamil Nadu, Bollywood Scenery, Heartthrob's Eye
Ooty, India

In Bollywood's Nearly Ideal Setting

The conflict with Pakistan and the threat of terrorism made filming in Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh a drama. In Ooty, we see how this former British colonial station took the lead.
Viti Levu, Fiji Islands, South Pacific, coral reef
Viti levu, Fiji

Islands on the edge of Islands

A substantial part of Fiji preserves the agricultural expansions of the British colonial era. In the north and off the large island of Viti Levu, we also came across plantations that have only been named for a long time.
Helsinki, Finland

The Pagan Passover of Seurasaari

In Helsinki, Holy Saturday is also celebrated in a Gentile way. Hundreds of families gather on an offshore island, around lit fires to chase away evil spirits, witches and trolls
white pass yukon train, Skagway, Gold Route, Alaska, USA
On Rails
Skagway, Alaska

A Klondike's Gold Fever Variant

The last great American gold rush is long over. These days, hundreds of cruise ships each summer pour thousands of well-heeled visitors into the shop-lined streets of Skagway.
Busy intersection of Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo, Japan

The Endless Night of the Rising Sun Capital

Say that Tokyo do not sleep is an understatement. In one of the largest and most sophisticated cities on the face of the Earth, twilight marks only the renewal of the frenetic daily life. And there are millions of souls that either find no place in the sun, or make more sense in the “dark” and obscure turns that follow.
Casario, uptown, Fianarantsoa, ​​Madagascar
Daily life
Fianarantsoa, Madagascar

The Malagasy City of Good Education

Fianarantsoa was founded in 1831 by Ranavalona Iª, a queen of the then predominant Merina ethnic group. Ranavalona Iª was seen by European contemporaries as isolationist, tyrant and cruel. The monarch's reputation aside, when we enter it, its old southern capital remains as the academic, intellectual and religious center of Madagascar.
Howler Monkey, PN Tortuguero, Costa Rica
PN Tortuguero, Costa Rica

Tortuguero: From the Flooded Jungle to the Caribbean Sea

After two days of impasse due to torrential rain, we set out to discover the Tortuguero National Park. Channel after channel, we marvel at the natural richness and exuberance of this Costa Rican fluvial marine ecosystem.
Napali Coast and Waimea Canyon, Kauai, Hawaii Wrinkles
Scenic Flights
napali coast, Hawaii

Hawaii's Dazzling Wrinkles

Kauai is the greenest and rainiest island in the Hawaiian archipelago. It is also the oldest. As we explore its Napalo Coast by land, sea and air, we are amazed to see how the passage of millennia has only favored it.