São Vicente, Cape Verde

The Volcanic Arid Wonder of Soncente


Atlantic vs East Coast
Praia Grande coves, between Baía das Gatas and the volcanoes above the village of Calhau.
Clube Beira-Mar by the sea
Headquarters of FC Beira-Mar do Calhau, the club in the village of Calhau served by a rough and peeled field.
Dry skies, inhospitable land
Glimpse of São Vicente under a mist that only very rarely produces rain.
Incursion into Praia Grande
Hikers walk at the end of Praia Grande closest to the village of Calhau.
an unexpected relationship
Bush invades the modern road that passes by the village of Calhau.
miraculous city
The houses of Mindelo arranged around the Bay of Porto Grande, with Monte Cara in the background.
color fishing
Fishing boats bring more life to Baía das Gatas.
Dunes and some Asphalt
Atlantic Dunes in the east of São Vicente
rough coastline
Plateaus and craggy peaks rip the east coast of São Vicente right down to the edge of the Atlantic.
geological cutouts
The peninsula on which Baía das Gatas is located, seen from the top of Monte Verde
End of another day
Sun sets behind Monte Cara and orange the Porto Grande Bay and its marina.
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.

The "Canal Sea” approaches the anchorage.

The waves soften as the islet of Farol gains volume.

It stands out from the imposing cliffs between ocher and brown, which flank the bay of Porto Grande, almost on the northwest threshold of Cape Verde.

In such a way that it reveals the white staircase that climbs to the top. The acrobatic houses of Mindelo are unveiled along the extensive base of Monte Verde, as if trying to conquer its summit.

At the time the boat docks, the sun falls behind Monte Cara. It illuminates and yellows the city with an astral morabeza that is both soft and ephemeral.

Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde, Porto Grande Marina

Sun sets behind Monte Cara and orange the Porto Grande Bay and its marina.

Once on land, with night beginning, we found ourselves eager to discover what was beyond the huge iron walls that seemed to contain the capital.

We decided to discover it before dedicating ourselves to the Mindelo.

The new day dawned sunny and somewhat windy as is supposed in the cooler and dry season of Cape Verde.

We took the rental car on Avenida Marginal and, soon, the Mindelo-Calhau road, a long irregular sidewalk, made of basalt stones, as volcanic as its final destination.

We continue upstream of the dry Julião stream, through a savannah with dry, shallow hay, dotted with thorny bushes.

A Breathtaking Return to São Vicente

Gradually, we enter the heart of the island and point to the capricious east coast.

Calhau won't be long. Admire its multicolored houses at the foot of the two black volcanoes that reinforce the smallness of the homes.

The open surroundings appear to us in style Western, like nowhere ghosts swept by sand and dust, full of ground-floor buildings abandoned to the waterhole and the Alisios.

Clube Beira-Mar, São Vicente Island, Cape Verde

Headquarters of FC Beira-Mar do Calhau, the club in the village of Calhau served by a rough and peeled field.

One of these structures is joined by an overturned goal and a whole rough soccer field in front of it. A sign identifies them: FC Beira Mar do Calhau.

The seat is black and yellow, the exact colors of Sport Clube Beira-Mar de Aveiro. In the distance, towards the rest of Cape Verde's west coast and the African continent, we can still see the island of Santa Luzia, clearly offside.

We take the road that is named Baía das Gatas-Calhau there.

The Calhau is already behind when we notice that a bush like a tree hugs the steel rail.

It invades the edge and sways in the wind on the asphalt, as if to claim the supremacy of the adventurous plant world.

São Vicente, Cape Verde, bush on the road

Bush invades the modern road that passes by the village of Calhau.

From Praia Grande to Baía das Gatas

Still without seeing a soul, we entered the open area of ​​Praia Grande.

A succession of lofty plateaus of long-cooled lava give way to the coast.

Successive sands extend from the tidal limit of the Atlantic, up the slopes.

Praia Grande, east of São Vicente, Cape Verde

Hikers walk at the end of Praia Grande closest to the village of Calhau.

The road that undulates between these same slopes and the ocean crosses the sands and the dunes.

It leads us to a last cove closed by new linear houses.

We consulted the map. We confirmed that it was the Baía das Gatas that we had already heard so much about. It was the excuse that we didn't need to visit and refresh ourselves with icy Strelas.

Far from the date of the famous local festival and without the crowds from Mindelo and other parts of Cape Verde, those places lacked life. Color abounded. Especially on assorted fishermen's boats.

Sao Vicente, Baía das Gatas, Cape Verde boats

Fishing boats bring more life to Baía das Gatas.

So we ended up sitting down to lunch on an airy terrace, seduced by the genuine reception of the owner: “If you want food from here, you'll have to wait at least half an hour.

Here we make everything fresh and on time.” let us know, for sure already tired of the rush of the small tours that passed by. "No, there is no cachus! But there is fried chicken."

We have nothing to complain about.

We sat between French, Dutch and English. Since landing in Mindelo, we have not seen any sign of compatriots.

We savored the beers and the strangeness of that corner of the island that the company made more foreign.

The Picturesque and Bathing Corner of Salamansa

After the small feast, we proceed to Salamansa, the fishing village that followed, located in the bay before the capital because of the fresh water, rare in most parts of São Vicente, as in the rest of the archipelago. We entered what appeared to be the main street.

A group of women and children share the fountain of the village, armed with jerricans plastics. As the containers fill, they exchange jokes and spontaneous jokes to which they respond with easy laughs.

Across the road, another, older woman, had just laid out the blue outfit of the local football club under the gaze of a small clan of men, some players, other former players and supporters who, motivated by our interest , rushed to praise the value of their team.

We passed the beach in front of the village. There, king sports are different. Several native teenagers and a young Dutchman who ended up staying run an informal water sports center.

At the same time, they perfect their surfing and kitesurf.

Upon returning from the sea, some of them volunteer for a short photographic production. Cristiano, Kenny Marlon and Vladimir display, in stylish poses, their boards and physiques.

Confident, Jaírson doesn't need props to reach the same plan.

Ascension to the Ceiling of São Vicente

We were about to close the way back to the road we had been driving since early in the morning. At the same time, we had approached the access to the island's zenith (750 m), the Monte Verde overlooking that we admired when the ferry arrived from Santo Antão.

View from Pico Verde to Praia Grande, São Vicente, Cape Verde

Plateaus and craggy peaks rip the east coast of São Vicente right to the edge of the Atlantic

We ascend to its panoramic summit. Slowly, slowly, the altitude trapped us with majestic views of Praia Grande.

And forward, far away, from Santo Antão, from the Bay of Porto Grande, from the Mindelo that filled it and the barren but stunning hills and valleys between the plateau that supported us and the São Vicente Channel.

The Alisios punished those heights and Cape Verde in general, from the Brava island a Santo Antão. In such a way that, when we reached the edge of the precipice, we could barely balance ourselves.

Despite the distance, we realized that the “Canal Sea” returned to dock at the port. The day ended in a flash and the lights took over the houses.

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.
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.
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.
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.    
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.
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.
Lion, Elephants, PN Hwange, Zimbabwe
Safari
PN Hwange, Zimbabwe

The Legacy of the Late Cecil Lion

On July 1, 2015, Walter Palmer, a dentist and trophy hunter from Minnesota killed Cecil, Zimbabwe's most famous lion. The slaughter generated a viral wave of outrage. As we saw in PN Hwange, nearly two years later, Cecil's descendants thrive.
Faithful light candles, Milarepa Grotto temple, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 9th Manang to Milarepa Cave, Nepal,

A Walk between Acclimatization and Pilgrimage

In full Annapurna Circuit, we finally arrived in Manang (3519m). we still need acclimatize to the higher stretches that followed, we inaugurated an equally spiritual journey to a Nepalese cave of Milarepa (4000m), the refuge of a siddha (sage) and Buddhist saint.
Sheets of Bahia, Eternal Diamonds, Brazil
Architecture & Design
Sheets of Bahia, Brazil

Lençóis da Bahia: not Even Diamonds Are Forever

In the XNUMXth century, Lençóis became the world's largest supplier of diamonds. But the gem trade did not last as expected. Today, the colonial architecture that he inherited is his most precious possession.
Adventure
Boat Trips

For Those Becoming Internet Sick

Hop on and let yourself go on unmissable boat trips like the Philippine archipelago of Bacuit and the frozen sea of ​​the Finnish Gulf of Bothnia.
Burning prayers, Ohitaki Festival, fushimi temple, kyoto, japan
Ceremonies and Festivities
Kyoto, Japan

A Combustible Faith

During the Shinto celebration of Ohitaki, prayers inscribed on tablets by the Japanese faithful are gathered at the Fushimi temple. There, while being consumed by huge bonfires, her belief is renewed.
Selfie, Hida from Ancient and Medieval Japan
Cities
Takayama, Japan

From the Ancient Japan to the Medieval Hida

In three of its streets, Takayama retains traditional wooden architecture and concentrates old shops and sake producers. Around it, it approaches 100.000 inhabitants and surrenders to modernity.
Beverage Machines, Japan
Meal
Japan

The Beverage Machines Empire

There are more than 5 million ultra-tech light boxes spread across the country and many more exuberant cans and bottles of appealing drinks. The Japanese have long since stopped resisting them.
Kigurumi Satoko, Hachiman Temple, Ogimashi, Japan
Culture
Ogimashi, Japan

An Historical-Virtual Japan

"Higurashi no Naku Koro never” was a highly successful Japanese animation and computer game series. In Ogimashi, Shirakawa-Go village, we live with a group of kigurumi of their characters.
combat arbiter, cockfighting, philippines
Sport
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.
travel western australia, surfspotting
Traveling
Perth to Albany, Australia

Across the Far West of Australia

Few people worship evasion like the aussies. With southern summer in full swing and the weekend just around the corner, Perthians are taking refuge from the urban routine in the nation's southwest corner. For our part, without compromise, we explore endless Western Australia to its southern limit.
Ethnic
Shows

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.
ice tunnel, black gold route, Valdez, Alaska, USA
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

Sensations vs Impressions

View from John Ford Point, Monument Valley, Nacao Navajo, United States
History
Monument Valley, USA

Indians or Cowboys?

Iconic Western filmmakers like John Ford immortalized what is the largest Indian territory in the United States. Today, in the Navajo Nation, the Navajo also live in the shoes of their old enemies.
Porto Santo, view to the south of Pico Branco
Islands
Terra Chã and Pico Branco footpaths, Porto Santo

Pico Branco, Terra Chã and Other Whims of the Golden Island

In its northeast corner, Porto Santo is another thing. With its back facing south and its large beach, we unveil a mountainous, rugged and even wooded coastline, dotted with islets that dot an even bluer Atlantic.
Northern Lights, Laponia, Rovaniemi, Finland, Fire Fox
Winter White
Lapland, Finland

In Search of the Fire Fox

Unique to the heights of the Earth are the northern or southern auroras, light phenomena generated by solar explosions. You Sami natives from Lapland they believed it to be a fiery fox that spread sparkles in the sky. Whatever they are, not even the nearly 30 degrees below zero that were felt in the far north of Finland could deter us from admiring them.
Couple visiting Mikhaylovskoe, village where writer Alexander Pushkin had a home
Literature
Saint Petersburg e Mikhaylovkoe, Russia

The Writer Who Succumbed to His Own Plot

Alexander Pushkin is hailed by many as the greatest Russian poet and the founder of modern Russian literature. But Pushkin also dictated an almost tragicomic epilogue to his prolific life.
Canoe fishermen, Volta River, Ghana
Nature
Volta, Ghana

A Tour around Volta

In colonial times, the great African region of the Volta was German, British and French. Today, the area east of this majestic West African river and the lake on which it spreads forms a province of the same name. It is a mountainous, lush and breathtaking corner of Ghana.
Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Autumn
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

Lost among the snowy mountains that separate Europe from Asia, Sheki is one of Azerbaijan's most iconic towns. Its largely silky history includes periods of great harshness. When we visited it, autumn pastels added color to a peculiar post-Soviet and Muslim life.
hitchhiking at the sea
Natural Parks
Maui, Hawaii

divine hawaii

Maui is a former chief and hero of Hawaiian religious and traditional imagery. In the mythology of this archipelago, the demigod lassos the sun, raises the sky and performs a series of other feats on behalf of humans. Its namesake island, which the natives believe they created in the North Pacific, is itself prodigious.
One against all, Sera Monastery, Sacred Debate, Tibet
UNESCO World Heritage
Lhasa, Tibet

Sera, the Monastery of the Sacred Debate

In few places in the world a dialect is used as vehemently as in the monastery of Sera. There, hundreds of monks, in Tibetan, engage in intense and raucous debates about the teachings of the Buddha.
aggie gray, Samoa, South Pacific, Marlon Brando Fale
Characters
Apia, Western Samoa

The Host of the South Pacific

She sold burguês to GI's in World War II and opened a hotel that hosted Marlon Brando and Gary Cooper. Aggie Gray passed away in 2. Her legacy lives on in the South Pacific.
Cahuita, Costa Rica, Caribbean, beach
Beaches
Cahuita, Costa Rica

An Adult Return to Cahuita

During a backpacking tour of Costa Rica in 2003, the Caribbean warmth of Cahuita delights us. In 2021, after 18 years, we return. In addition to an expected, but contained modernization and hispanization of the town, little else had changed.
Promise?
Religion
Goa, India

To Goa, Quickly and in Strength

A sudden longing for Indo-Portuguese tropical heritage makes us travel in various transports but almost non-stop, from Lisbon to the famous Anjuna beach. Only there, at great cost, were we able to rest.
Flam Railway composition below a waterfall, Norway.
On Rails
Nesbyen to Flam, Norway

Flam Railway: Sublime Norway from the First to the Last Station

By road and aboard the Flam Railway, on one of the steepest railway routes in the world, we reach Flam and the entrance to the Sognefjord, the largest, deepest and most revered of the Scandinavian fjords. From the starting point to the last station, this monumental Norway that we have unveiled is confirmed.
Merida cable car, Renovation, Venezuela, altitude sickness, mountain prevent to treat, travel
Society
Mérida, Venezuela

The Vertiginous Renovation of the World's Highest Cable Car

Underway from 2010, the rebuilding of the Mérida cable car was carried out in the Sierra Nevada by intrepid workers who suffered firsthand the magnitude of the work.
Women with long hair from Huang Luo, Guangxi, China
Daily life
Longsheng, China

Huang Luo: the Chinese Village of the Longest Hairs

In a multi-ethnic region covered with terraced rice paddies, the women of Huang Luo have surrendered to the same hairy obsession. They let the longest hair in the world grow, years on end, to an average length of 170 to 200 cm. Oddly enough, to keep them beautiful and shiny, they only use water and rice.
hippopotami, chobe national park, botswana
Wildlife
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.
The Sounds, Fiordland National Park, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Fiordland, New Zealand

The Fjords of the Antipodes

A geological quirk made the Fiordland region the rawest and most imposing in New Zealand. Year after year, many thousands of visitors worship the sub-domain slashed between Te Anau and Milford Sound.
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