Monday, 22 December 2014

Road Trippin - in Boa Vista, Sal

The posts on our blog are organized by labels - and "maintenance" is still the most frequent one, followed by "sailing". With gigabytes of unprocessed photos and videos from some amazing islands, we are hoping that eventually a new label - "places" - will win the upper hand. After all, yachting has been described as "fixing the boat in some exotic locations".

As a small foretaste, I have managed to upload some photos from Boa Vista - one of the islands we visited while exploring the Cape Verde islands.  To the restless, a rented scooter offers a Wild West feel. Upon leaving behind the capital, Sal Rei (a typical mix of the beach-side surf schools, souvenir shops and poor WiFi, and beyond - Brakka, a slum with its own mix of cultures, religions and music, a place to have a beer and play table football and to witness a unique Sufi service - combining Islam with traditional African music and tribal rites - in the same evening), the road shows the islands contrasting nature - changing from Autobahn quality to Portugese cobble stone road to dirt track and back repeatedly.

 The island is big, flat and largely empty - and so our the mile-long beaches that might as well be the Sahara meeting the ocean. With some fine balancing, careful attention to the road and a total neglect for the wear to the rental scooter, one can reach places that most visitors will easily miss. The few hotel resorts are isolated, contained and hardly spoil the impression. One can only hope that it will be a long time before they spread along most of the waterfront. The sand dunes offer all shapes, colours and textures - like the ocean waves, they are never the same.

If one were to swim ashore early and avoid stepping on a sea urchin in the surf, one could see most of the island in a day. But even a few hours of cobblestones  take their toll on the tender parts. Every side road, marked or not, leads to a worthwhile view - only when the wheels start spinning in the sand, it is time to turn around (with difficulty). The villages a few and far between, and largely unaffected by the tourists heading from the airport straight to their beach resort.

The island is flat, and the steady tradewinds make it necessary to adjust driving times when returning upwind to Sal Rei and the anchorage. A beer on the beach as the sun goes down behind Auriga - and it's time to swim back, home.

Bonus for the dedicated: spot Auriga!

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