São Tomé, São Tomé and Principe

Through the Tropical Top of São Tomé

Boats on Gravel
Traditional wooden boats safe from waves, in the north of the island of São Tomé.
north inlet
Cove within sight of Roça Monte Forte.
The Carmo Church
The church above the Roça Agostinho Neto.
Blue Lagoon
Visitors delighted in the warm turquoise waters of Lagoa Azul.
Boat moves Away from the Blue Lagoon
Fishing vessel is far from the north coast of the island of São Tomé.
porcupine fish
Pescador shows a porcupine freshly caught in the Agostinhp Neto farm.
Students play soccer at the Roça Agostinho Neto school.
Cocoa Basket
A worker loads cocoa in a warehouse on the Agostinho Neto farm.
A funny scene of life on a wall of the Roça Agostinho Neto.
The Hospital lane
A boulevard that leads to the old hospital in Roça Agostinho Neto.
Roça Monte Forte
Nook of the main building on the Monte Forte farm.
Dark Water Baths
Children have fun in the dark waters of Ribeira Funda.
Roça da Água Funda
Riverside house on the Roça Ribeira Funda.
Santa Catarina Tunnel
The providential tunnel of Santa Catarina.
A herd from Roça Diogo Vaz occupies the road that surrounds the north of São Tomé.
Cowboy from Roça Diogo Vaz
Young herder poses with one of the many cows he takes care of.
Monument to the São Tomé Discovery
The monument that marks the place where the Portuguese discoverers disembarked on the island of São Tomé..
Corner of Roça Monte Forte
Another, more colorful corner of the Monte Forte farm.
With the homonymous capital behind us, we set out to discover the reality of the Agostinho Neto farm. From there, we take the island's coastal road. When the asphalt finally yields to the jungle, São Tomé had confirmed itself at the top of the most dazzling African islands.

In just a few kilometers, the route towards the northern interior of the island confirms a new journey through time.

The urgency that moved us was that of knowledge. Unexpectedly, the road to the province of Lobata leaves us at the base of a long cobbled ramp that grass was trying to invade.

It led to the old hospital building in Roça Rio do Ouro, despite the nearly half-century of degradation, still distinguished from the surrounding jungle by the salmon tone of the one-hundred-meter façade.

The hospital was built during the 20s in response to the growing population of settlers and workers of the Valle Flôr Agricultural Society, one of the largest and most influential in the archipelago.

Anyone, like us, is faced with the number of passersby who go up, down and live in the walled boulevard, are tempted to think that nothing has changed since the colonial era.

The Post-Colonial Life of Roça Rio do Ouro, now Roça Agostinho Neto

And yet, in the post-independence period of São Tomé and Príncipe, the farm was renamed in honor of the father of Angola's independence, Agostinho Neto.

Both the hospital and the farm in general lost their function and operational capacity. The hospital never recovered from the logistical abandonment that victimized it.

The garden, this one, only a few years ago showed productive signs of life, detectable, above all, by the resumption of cocoa production.

We reach the staircase of the central building. At the top, a rug spread over the front banister precedes the entrance. A patched wooden door, gaping open, serves as an invitation.

We entered. Instead of a reception of nurses, doctors and patients, we find two women who are ill-seated peeling and cutting the cassava for lunch.

They are preparing it next to a corner of the atrium adapted as a home, like so many others that we would come across, although most of the houses remain in the old shantytowns for workers and families.

We let ourselves get lost, for a while longer, in that hospital abandonment, under the gaze of the girls surprised by the intrusion.

The Santomense Bustle in the Old Sanzalas of Roça Agostinho Neto

Dismayed by the lack of other residents or interlocutors, we moved to one of the alleys of sanzalas.

Here, yes, the day-to-day life of the farm was concentrated: on clotheslines with colors that gleamed in the sun. In parents and children who shared tiny rooms and halls and each other's lives.

A young woman from São Tomé bursts out of a walled alley.

Hold us up with an unconditional smile that not even the next two generations she was carrying, one in her arms, the other in her very pregnant belly, seemed to bother.

A passerby from your neighbor, returning from the sea, shows us a freshly caught porcupine fish.

We arrived at an unobstructed courtyard, spread out in a flat area between sanzalas. From there, we observe, in panoramic format, its various levels.

The closest, added afterwards, covered by large plates. The older ones are bigger, still covered with Portuguese tile aged by the tropical sun.

And, overhanging, as was supposed in a former colony blessed by Catholicism, the church of Nossa Senhora do Carmo, almost as white as the white clothes on the flowing clotheslines.

The Timely Return of the Ever Valuable Cocoa

Below this kind of playground, finally, in plastic greenhouses and dismal warehouses, we witness how, in recent times, the garden had been inspired by history, how it sought to revive the times when São Tomé and Príncipe was the world's largest producer of cocoa.

A worker spread the beans that were drying in the stifling heat. Four or five others carried large, full baskets between greenhouses and warehouses.

In a nearby store, a team of women sitting or squatting, some with children, picked cocoa from large piles, with inexhaustible patience.

In recent decades, associated with chocolate popularization and derivatives, the demand for cocoa has greatly increased.

It justified its production in São Tomé and Príncipe, even if semi-craft and in tiny quantities, if compared, for example, with the great African rival, Ghana. São Tomé and Príncipe, Ghana and Africa in general are now working on their own.

They still celebrate their independence.

A panel with a black bust dominates, highlighted on the post-colonial plaque identifying the property: “Estatal Agro-Pecuária Dr. António A. (Agostinho) Neto.”

Not far away, we come across the worn green building that houses the local school.

There takes place a fierce football match, disputed by the kids in an open land.

On the other side of the wall that delimits it, a race of tires takes place, guided downhill by four or five young men with sticks.

Lagoa Azul, a Dazzling Piece of the North Atlantic

Turn after turn, we had been circling the farm for over an hour. The itinerary to the north of the island that we were supposed to follow by the end of the day comes to mind. We return to the jeep.

We point to the north coast of São Tomé.

We pass through Guadeloupe. Then, we cut to Lagoa Azul, a cove embedded in a peculiar earth appendage, enclosed by a grassy promontory from which a miniature lighthouse of the same name emerges.

At the same time, the beach we unveiled there is stunning and cozy, with its sample of sand revealed by the low tide, below an environment of pebbles and rocks of volcanic origin.

Translucent Atlantic waters bathe the beach, with an intense turquoise tone, more resplendent than the greens of grass and tamarinds and other surrounding trees. A portentous baobab also faces the beach and, until the fall came, leafy.

Some expats were enjoying themselves in the tepid lagoon, taking time off from the missions that took them to São Tomé. Meanwhile, they were joined by a family from São Tomé, who arrived from the stall that serves grilled fish and bananas there.

Let's catch up with a short break for bathing delight. Under the almost equatorial sun - the Equator line passes over Ilhéu das Rolas, we dry ourselves in three times. We return to the road.

We point to Neves, the capital of the district of Lembá. There we stopped for a few moments to buy snacks. We proceeded southwest.

The Roça Monte Forte Hotel Project

In the next village, we visited Roça Monte Forte, at the time, an accommodation project in which a Mr. Jerónimo Mota was engaged, who welcomes us with open arms, dressed in a jersey of the national team, commemorating his defeat by Greece in the final of Euro 2004.

Jerónimo shows us the main building, all of it made of wood, except for the roof, once again made of classic Portuguese tile.

The host makes us sit in the lobby on Super Bock terrace chairs. Serves us natural juices.

When the refreshments are over, he leads us to the porch and balconies, each with privileged views over the green slope and the edge of the North Atlantic.

Jerónimo hands us an agenda sheet, with the address and contacts scribbled in a contortionist handwriting that, no matter how hard we tried, we would always fail to imitate.

After saying goodbye, he accompanied us back to the asphalt.

The road from Monteforte to Anambó

Next comes Esprainha. And Monteforte, the village, now with the name all together.

As we passed the bridge over the Água Monte Forte river, we saw a herd of cows stretched out over the shallow stream, torn between drinking the water and devouring the tender leaves of newly fallen trees.

The cowboy who guards them, with an easy smile, approaches.

He informs us that the herd is from Roça Diogo Vaz and he laughs aloud when we jokingly alert him that, spending so much time in the river, the animals would turn into hippos.

The road becomes even more winding.

It is surrounded by a dense blanket of dry leaves with an autumnal look, even if autumn is yet to visit São Tomé. It slips into a dense tropical forest that insinuates itself into the sea.

From the Monument to the Discoveries of Anambó to the End of the Road

On the verdant, humid and volcanic seaside of Anambó we find the pattern of the discoveries that marks the place where, in 1470, João de Santarém and Pêro Escobar, the Portuguese discoverers of São Tomé, disembarked.

We went down the entire coast of Santa Clotilde and, in the meantime, that of Santa Catarina.

There, the road advances at the base of a steep slope, just over two meters above sea level.

We go through a picturesque tunnel that an advance on the cliff imposed on the itinerary.

A few more kilometers to the south, crossing the river Bindá, the road faces the wild vastness of the Obo Natural Park and give up.

Force us to reverse path.

With the sun already gone to the opposite side of the island, we only interrupted our return to Ribeira Funda.

We did it dazzled by the joy with which some kids, in a ball, repeated acrobatic dives into the deep river, covered by ducks. More than that, of suspicious color.

All the action and fun taking place in front of the colonial mansion of an old farm. Somewhere in the north, exuberant northwest of São Tomé. opposite end of the island.

Chã das Caldeiras a Mosteiros, Fogo Island, Cape Verde

Chã das Caldeiras to Mosteiros: descent through the Ends of Fogo

With the Cape Verde summit conquered, we sleep and recover in Chã das Caldeiras, in communion with some of the lives at the mercy of the volcano. The next morning, we started the return to the capital São Filipe, 11 km down the road to Mosteiros.
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.
Rolas Islet, São Tomé and Principe

Rolas Islet: São Tomé and Principe at Latitude Zero

The southernmost point of São Tomé and Príncipe, Ilhéu das Rolas is lush and volcanic. The big news and point of interest of this island extension of the second smallest African nation is the coincidence of crossing the Equator.
São Tomé, São Tomé and Príncipe

Journey to where São Tomé points the Equator

We go along the road that connects the homonymous capital to the sharp end of the island. When we arrived in Roça Porto Alegre, with the islet of Rolas and Ecuador in front of us, we had lost ourselves time and time again in the historical and tropical drama of São Tomé.
Príncipe, São Tomé and Principe

Journey to the Noble Retreat of Príncipe Island

150 km of solitude north of the matriarch São Tomé, the island of Príncipe rises from the deep Atlantic against an abrupt and volcanic mountain-covered jungle setting. Long enclosed in its sweeping tropical nature and a contained but moving Luso-colonial past, this small African island still houses more stories to tell than visitors to listen to.
Fogo Island, Cape Verde

Around the Fogo Island

Time and the laws of geomorphology dictated that the volcano-island of Fogo rounded off like no other in Cape Verde. Discovering this exuberant Macaronesian archipelago, we circled around it against the clock. We are dazzled in the same direction.
São Nicolau, Cape Verde

São Nicolau: Pilgrimage to Terra di Sodade

Forced matches like those that inspired the famous morna “soda” made the pain of having to leave the islands of Cape Verde very strong. Discovering saninclau, between enchantment and wonder, we pursue the genesis of song and melancholy.
Brava, Cape Verde

Cape Verde Brave Island

During colonization, the Portuguese came across a moist and lush island, something rare in Cape Verde. Brava, the smallest of the inhabited islands and one of the least visited of the archipelago, preserves the authenticity of its somewhat elusive Atlantic and volcanic nature.
Santo Antão, Cape Verde

Up and Down the 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.
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.
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.
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.
Sao Tome (city), São Tomé and Principe

The Capital of the Santomean Tropics

Founded by the Portuguese, in 1485, São Tomé prospered for centuries, like the city because of the goods in and out of the homonymous island. The archipelago's independence confirmed it as the busy capital that we trod, always sweating.
Saudade, São Tomé, São Tomé and Principe

Almada Negreiros: From Saudade to Eternity

Almada Negreiros was born in April 1893, on a farm in the interior of São Tomé. Upon discovering his origins, we believe that the luxuriant exuberance in which he began to grow oxygenated his fruitful creativity.
Center São Tomé, São Tomé and Principe

From Roça to Roça, Towards the Tropical Heart of São Tomé

On the way between Trindade and Santa Clara, we come across the terrifying colonial past of Batepá. Passing through the Bombaim and Monte Café roças, the island's history seems to have been diluted in time and in the chlorophyll atmosphere of the Santomean jungle.
Roca Sundy, Príncipe Island, São Tomé and Principe

The Certainty of Relativity

In 1919, Arthur Eddington, a British astrophysicist, chose the Roça Sundy to prove Albert Einstein's famous theory. More than a century later, the island of Príncipe that welcomed him is still among the most stunning places in the Universe.
Jabula Beach, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa
Saint Lucia, South Africa

An Africa as Wild as Zulu

On the eminence of the coast of Mozambique, the province of KwaZulu-Natal is home to an unexpected South Africa. Deserted beaches full of dunes, vast estuarine swamps and hills covered with fog fill this wild land also bathed by the Indian Ocean. It is shared by the subjects of the always proud Zulu nation and one of the most prolific and diverse fauna on the African continent.
Mount Lamjung Kailas Himal, Nepal, altitude sickness, mountain prevent treat, travel
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 2th - Chame a Upper BananaNepal

(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 Banana.
Engravings, Karnak Temple, Luxor, Egypt
Architecture & Design
luxor, Egypt

From Luxor to Thebes: Journey to Ancient Egypt

Thebes was raised as the new supreme capital of the Egyptian Empire, the seat of Amon, the God of Gods. Modern Luxor inherited the Temple of Karnak and its sumptuousness. Between one and the other flow the sacred Nile and millennia of dazzling history.
Passengers, scenic flights-Southern Alps, New Zealand
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.
Bertie in jalopy, Napier, New Zealand
Ceremonies and Festivities
Napier, New Zealand

Back to the 30s

Devastated by an earthquake, Napier was rebuilt in an almost ground-floor Art Deco and lives pretending to stop in the Thirties. Its visitors surrender to the Great Gatsby atmosphere that the city enacts.
white pass yukon train, Skagway, Gold Route, Alaska, USA
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.
Margilan, Uzbekistan

An Uzbekistan's Breadwinner

In one of the many bakeries in Margilan, worn out by the intense heat of the tandyr oven, the baker Maruf'Jon works half-baked like the distinctive traditional breads sold throughout Uzbekistan
Apia, Western Samoa

Fia Fia – High Rotation Polynesian Folklore

From New Zealand to Easter Island and from here to Hawaii, there are many variations of Polynesian dances. Fia Fia's Samoan nights, in particular, are enlivened by one of the more fast-paced styles.
combat arbiter, cockfighting, philippines

When Only Cock Fights Wake Up the Philippines

Banned in much of the First World, cockfighting thrives in the Philippines where they move millions of people and pesos. Despite its eternal problems, it is the sabong that most stimulates the nation.
Boat and helmsman, Cayo Los Pájaros, Los Haitises, Dominican Republic
Samaná PeninsulaLos Haitises National Park Dominican Republic

From the Samaná Peninsula to the Dominican Haitises

In the northeast corner of the Dominican Republic, where Caribbean nature still triumphs, we face an Atlantic much more vigorous than expected in these parts. There we ride on a communal basis to the famous Limón waterfall, cross the bay of Samaná and penetrate the remote and exuberant “land of the mountains” that encloses it.
Maksim, Sami people, Inari, Finland-2
Inari, Finland

The Guardians of Boreal Europe

Long discriminated against by Scandinavian, Finnish and Russian settlers, the Sami people regain their autonomy and pride themselves on their nationality.
Sunset, Avenue of Baobabs, Madagascar
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio

days like so many others

Entrance to Dunhuang Sand City, China
Dunhuang, China

An Oasis in the China of the Sands

Thousands of kilometers west of Beijing, the Great Wall has its western end and the China and other. An unexpected splash of vegetable green breaks up the arid expanse all around. Announces Dunhuang, formerly crucial outpost on the Silk Road, today an intriguing city at the base of Asia's largest sand dunes.
La Digue, Seychelles, Anse d'Argent
La Digue, Seychelles

Monumental Tropical Granite

Beaches hidden by lush jungle, made of coral sand washed by a turquoise-emerald sea are anything but rare in the Indian Ocean. La Digue recreated itself. Around its coastline, massive boulders sprout that erosion has carved as an eccentric and solid tribute of time to the Nature.
Boats on ice, Hailuoto Island, Finland.
Winter White
Hailuoto, Finland

A Refuge in the Gulf of Bothnia

During winter, the island of Hailuoto is connected to the rest of Finland by the country's longest ice road. Most of its 986 inhabitants esteem, above all, the distance that the island grants them.
Baie d'Oro, Île des Pins, New Caledonia
Île-des-Pins, New Caledonia

The Island that Leaned against Paradise

In 1964, Katsura Morimura delighted the Japan with a turquoise novel set in Ouvéa. But the neighboring Île-des-Pins has taken over the title "The Nearest Island to Paradise" and thrills its visitors.
Refreshing bath at the Blue-hole in Matevulu.
Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu

The Mysterious Blue Holes of Espiritu Santo

Humanity recently rejoiced with the first photograph of a black hole. In response, we decided to celebrate the best we have here on Earth. This article is dedicated to blue holes from one of Vanuatu's blessed islands.
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.
Merida to Los Nevados borders of the Andes, Venezuela
Natural Parks
Mérida, Venezuela

Merida to Los Nevados: in the Andean Ends of Venezuela

In the 40s and 50s, Venezuela attracted 400 Portuguese but only half stayed in Caracas. In Mérida, we find places more similar to the origins and the eccentric ice cream parlor of an immigrant portista.
Crocodiles, Queensland Tropical Australia Wild
UNESCO World Heritage
Cairns to Cape Tribulation, Australia

Tropical Queensland: An Australia Too Wild

Cyclones and floods are just the meteorological expression of Queensland's tropical harshness. When it's not the weather, it's the deadly fauna of the region that keeps its inhabitants on their toes.
View from the top of Mount Vaea and the tomb, Vailima village, Robert Louis Stevenson, Upolu, Samoa
Upolu, Samoa

Stevenson's Treasure Island

At age 30, the Scottish writer began looking for a place to save him from his cursed body. In Upolu and the Samoans, he found a welcoming refuge to which he gave his heart and soul.
Mahé Ilhas das Seychelles, friends of the beach
Mahé, Seychelles

The Big Island of the Small Seychelles

Mahé is the largest of the islands of the smallest country in Africa. It's home to the nation's capital and most of the Seychellois. But not only. In its relative smallness, it hides a stunning tropical world, made of mountainous jungle that merges with the Indian Ocean in coves of all sea tones.
Annapurna Circuit: 5th - Ngawal a BragaNepal

Towards the Nepalese Braga

We spent another morning of glorious weather discovering Ngawal. There is a short journey towards Manang, the main town on the way to the zenith of the Annapurna circuit. We stayed for Braga (Braka). The hamlet would soon prove to be one of its most unforgettable places.
Train Fianarantsoa to Manakara, Malagasy TGV, locomotive
On Rails
Fianarantsoa-Manakara, Madagascar

On board the Malagasy TGV

We depart Fianarantsoa at 7a.m. It wasn't until 3am the following morning that we completed the 170km to Manakara. The natives call this almost secular train Train Great Vibrations. During the long journey, we felt, very strongly, those of the heart of Madagascar.
Nissan, Fashion, Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo's fashion

In ultra-populous and hyper-coded Japan, there is always room for more sophistication and creativity. Whether national or imported, it is in the capital that they begin to parade the new Japanese looks.
the projectionist
Daily life
Sainte-Luce, Martinique

The Nostalgic Projectionist

From 1954 to 1983, Gérard Pierre screened many of the famous films arriving in Martinique. 30 years after the closing of the room in which he worked, it was still difficult for this nostalgic native to change his reel.
Cliffs above the Valley of Desolation, near Graaf Reinet, South Africa
Graaf-Reinet, South Africa

A Boer Spear in South Africa

In early colonial times, Dutch explorers and settlers were terrified of the Karoo, a region of great heat, great cold, great floods and severe droughts. Until the Dutch East India Company founded Graaf-Reinet there. Since then, the fourth oldest city in the rainbow nation it thrived at a fascinating crossroads in its history.
Bungee jumping, Queenstown, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
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.