Mindelo ( cape verde)

Written by Andrin


While we were in Cape Verde, we did two tours on different islands. 

The first tour was around the island of Sao Vicente. 

A bus picked us up right in front of the marina. We had a driver and a tour guide called Lito. 

First we drove around Mindelo and the tour guide told us lots of interesting facts: Cape Verde is independent since 1975, before they were part of Portugal, the minimum salary is 125 Euro/month, etc.

Then we drove to the other side of the island where there was a beautiful beach where they hold surfing competitions. We could get out and the adults could taste some traditional rum.

Nearby was a fishing village where they have a big music festival every year. 

Then we drove up some really steep roads. They were all made out of cobblestones and there was a lot of dirt and rocks on the roads. It didn’t feel very safe. On the top of the mountain we were hoping for some nice views, but unfortunately it was very foggy and cold. 

When we were back in Mindelo we went to a restaurant and tasted garlic bread made out of sweet potatoes, and Cachupa, the Cabo Verde traditional food. Then we walked around Mindelo and went back to the boat.


The second tour was on the island of San Antao. We had to take a ferry at 6:15 in the morning. This time we had a minibus together with the family from Serenity (Christina, Kevin and the 3years old twins Robin and Timo www.serenity-sailing.de). The driver was called Banana and the tour guide was called Edir. We started on the very dry side of the island. We passed the statue of Mamaya. Her husband was one of the first emigrants and afterwards she was called to wave everyone good bye who left the island. 

We drove up a road with lots of aloe vera trees which were planted there to protect the street and collect water. Our guide told us that at one point they planted grapes to make wine but they forgot the other fruits, so they didn’t have a lot of fruits and they had to stop with the wine production. 

The further we drove there were loads of plants and it was suddenly very green. 

At one point we got out and we could visit a rum factory. They showed us that every step was done by hand. They had to plant and cut the sugar cane, carry it to the factory, squeeze the juice, this was done by an ox by putting a chain on him and making him run around, pulling the stick. In the old times, it was done by slaves. To entertain themselves they usually sang songs. 

The slaves had to carry the heavy wodden buckets with the juice to the fire. There they boiled the juice to make rum. 


After the factory we walked up a mountain until we came to a place where they were building a restaurant. 

There was a path and in the middle was a monkey with a chain around his waste that he couldn’t escape. We were also allowed to go in the restaurant. There was a dog and loads of parrots and even a pool in there. 

Afterwards we continued walking up the mountain until we met some people who cut sugar cane. They gave us a stick to try and it tasted very nice and sweet. 

We continued walking up until we saw the minibuses. There was a man from the ARC that told us that we made it. Then it turned out that we had not made it yet. When we came around the corner the mini bus came and told us to get in because we were late for lunch. 

High up on the mountain there was a restaurant. Everything was home made and organic and grown in their garden. The owner was a german man, but he had just died and now it belongs to his daughter. We had nice food in there. We got to try a lot of fruits and vegetables that we had seen on the way up, such as bread fruit, manioc, passion fruit, mango, banana, sugar cane, topinambur, sweet potatoes, etc. There was also cachupa, the traditional meal from Cabo Verde. 

We went back to the ferry and drove back to Sao Vicente. 


There were two ARC parties:


First there was an arrival party. There were dancers and live music. While the grown-ups spoke to each other, the kids were playing. There was free food and drinks, traditional from Cape Verde. 

The kids got bored, so Annina, Kayla, Melina and I went back to the boat and watched a movie. 


The next party was in the old fish market, now museum, and it was the price giving ceremony for the fastest boats. We came 4thin our category and 44thoverall. 

Again there was typical foods and drinks. 


Other things I saw and did in Cape Verde:


On Monday we spend the whole day with other boating kids. We saw a dinghy with kids and then we saw that it was the kids from Ile du Nord. We met them (Luca and Alicia) in La Graciosa and really liked them and played a lot together. They were not doing the ARC, so we were surprised to meet them again in Cape Verde. We went to the beach with them. We went for a swim and then the girls started to look for shells and the boys built a sand castle. Afterwards we had to go back. Then the girls baked some cake and we all played games. Kayla, Melina, Nora and Cushley were also there. 

The next day Luca and Alicia came early, we just came our of bed. They told us that they wanted to go to the parc to play football. We went together, first Annina and Alicia played with the skipping rope and we played football. After ten minutes Annina and Alicia also joined us playing football. And then a kid from Cape Verde came and he also joined us playing football. 



Museum: Close to the marina, there was a museum. We went there with our family, Walter, Kayla, Melina and their mother. We learned about whale hunting and there was a little dead shark and a big dead squid in a glas box. There was some boat that you would stand into and wear it. We assumed they use it for carnival. At the price giving ceremony there was a person who had it on and was playing music. There was also something written about the history of Cabo Verde. This museum was the old fish market. The new one was right next to it. 



Mindelo marina:  In Mindelo marina the pontoons were extremely wobbly, the boats moved almost more than at sea. It was dangerous to walk on the pontoon and several people even fell into the water. In the marina there was a floating bar and the whole marina was full with ARC+ boats, so it was very busy and it was cool that we knew everyone. Outside the marina and everywhere on the island there were loads of stray dogs, but they were friendly and didn’t bite people. 


On Thursday 28 November we started our crossing to St Lucia. We said good bye to all people that were going to St. Vincent, as we are not going to see them anymore, except for Fredrika. 

It was very hot in Cape Verde, so we weren’t happy that it would be even hotter in St. Lucia. 



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