We spend a few days getting to know Palmeira and Espargo which is a bit bigger than Palmeira and maybe already could be handled as a small town. In Espargo we are happy to be able to draw local money and to buy a local SIM, to be able to download and write emails at least and we learn that there is free WIFI on the Plaza. In Palmeira we watch the locals getting water at the fontaneiro and the fishermen selling their fish at the dock where we always park our dinghy.
For new year’s eve we are invited by our french neighbors Claude and Arlette and enjoy the varieties of french boat cuisine. The intention was to share what we both had planned to make, but of course Arlette had prepared in a french way several courses while I had only prepared one. So we spent the whole evening eating and chatting and both Reto and I we were most surprised about the french that Reto spoke! In the 3 years living in the french part of Switzerland I never heard him speak like that!
Then after almost one week on Sal we move on to some other islands. Our target would have been Sao Nicolao but with 20 knots of wind we moved on to Santa Lucia which was more save and we could put out 80 meter of chain since we were the only ones in the bay. Enjoying the clean water we let our water maker run and Reto started to clean the hulls.
Then the next day we continue on to Mindelo on Sao Vincente and we find a nice spot directly next to the Marina and close to our american friends Carole and Jim who we met in Palmeira the first time. Thanks to both of them we feel immediately at ease in the anchorage.
Sunday morning we join Carole and Jim going to the local church and for us it is a marvelous experience, there is a band with E-Guitar and drums and the words are projected on a screen so everyone knew what to sing. We were explicitly greeted as guests and invited for the coming week and people came up to us and were extremely warm and friendly.
When going around with our bikes we got another feeling. In Sao Vincente and also in Santo Antao we had the feeling that our bikes were most wanted, and although they are already more than 10 years old we had many envious looks. Therefore we would not advise exploring Cabo Verde as individual tourists especially by bike.
On the other hand the landscape of Santo Antao is really spectacular, we drive up and down the old road from Porto Novo to Ribera Grand and on to Ponta do Sol where we stay for the night.
In Ponta do Sol we enjoy having our bikes stored away safely and not being the only tourists we feel not any attention on us.
Unfortunately Reto gets sick, so we skip some of our plans, get a transport to the valley of Paul, but also there we cannot freely enjoy the biking.
Back in Mindelo we start with the final preparations for the journey across the atlantic and start to stock up with fresh fruit and vegetables. We learn that from now on, you buy what you get, not what you want – you do get many things here, but sometimes either quality or the prices asked are horrendous. The onions were sold out last week, then they were at 4 Eur/kg, in the meantime they come back to 2 Eur/kg… So I take my time and have a lookout for the best quality at the most reasonable price.
According to the wind we should be able to leave on the weekend as the wind will pick up again.