Originally a tiny village, Ribeira Grande followed the course of its history. It became the village, later the city. It has become an eccentric and unavoidable junction on the island of Santo Antão.
The village of Tarrafal delimits a privileged corner of the island of Santiago, with its few white sand beaches. Those who are enchanted there find it even more difficult to understand the colonial atrocity of the neighboring prison camp.
When Portuguese settlers discovered the island of Brava, they noticed its climate, much wetter than most of Cape Verde. Determined to maintain connections with the distant metropolis, they called the main town Nova Sintra.
São Vicente has always been arid and inhospitable to match. The challenging colonization of the island subjected the settlers to successive hardships. Until, finally, its providential deep-water bay enabled Mindelo, the most cosmopolitan city and the cultural capital of Cape Verde.
We reach the northern tip of Santo Antão and Cape Verde. On a new afternoon of radiant light, we follow the Atlantic bustle of the fishermen and the less coastal day-to-day life of Ponta do Sol. With sunset imminent, we inaugurate a gloomy and intimidating quest of the village of Fontainhas.
Once settled in Porto Novo, Santo Antão, we soon notice two routes to the second largest village on the island. Once surrendered to the monumental up-and-down of Estrada da Corda, the volcanic and Atlantic drama of the coastal alternative dazzles us.
Landed in the Cape Verdean capital of Praia, we explore its pioneer predecessor city. From Cidade Velha, we follow the stunning mountainous ridge of Santiago to the unobstructed top of Tarrafal.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.