Trip Information

Cape Verde
Trip Date:2007-06-04 - 2007-06-13
# Photos:12 [View]
Countries visited:Cape Verde
Gezien: 6740
Not so far from the Canary islands, and from the marvellous coasts of Senegal, lays the lovely archipelago of Cabo Verde…a land of music, poetry and, as an old local song says, of saudade, which in Portuguese stays for melancholy.

Cabo Verde is an unconventional place:

its landscapes remind of an unspoiled planet more than a tropical archipelago as, except for the island of Sto Antao, it is just a desert archiplelago lost in the middle of the Atlantic, with sand, rocks and volcanoes.
It is an arid land, which offers a very few opportunities of development. Thus it is a poor country, which anyway presents a very rich culture that’s grown as a consequence of the hard life on the islands and the memory of the slaves trade.

Both elements that is fundamental to the understanding of these people’s love-hate relationship with the sea, with their infamous land, and with the European world. Which, among many aberrations, have still left a strong mark on the local culture, as the local artistic production demonstrates. In fact Cabo Verde is not only known because of its beaches and lovely people but also for the morna, a form of musical poetry that fuses the suggestions of Portuguese fado, samba, bossa nova, and, of course, jazz!
Cesaria Evora and Tito Paris are their more illustrious ambassadors, although it must be said that everywhere in Cabo Verde there are stunning musicians, singers, poets, dancers and painters keeping the “morna vibe” alive.

The capital city of this small country is Praia (located on the island of S. Tiago), but the most known tourist destination is Sal, a tiny island that has almost been turned into a whole holiday village.
In Mindelo, at S. Vicente Island one can find the real nut of the Cape Vert culture wich better represents the African spirit of Cabo Verde, with all its contrasts and problems, the real flag of the Afro-Portuguese.

Because of its strategic position between Europe and Brazil, Mindelo was the Portoguese’s main layover on the salves’ deportation trips to the new world, so it gained a special attention from the Portuguese.

It is cosmopolitan by nature, reason why it has developed a rich cultural life that stays strong still today.
As Mindelo is the cultural capital of the Poruguese speaking countries, visitors can breath an inebriating boheme atmosphere that’s kept alive by the scent and the colours of this old, colonial port town. A town that, as a vocation, welcomes travellers, sailors and adventurers of all kind… not many tourists know that it exist yet, thanks God!

It is highly suggestive anyway, as life flows slow between the port and the downtown area, which develops as a shantytown of argil made houses (when not tinplate), thin streets and loads of trash around. It is pure favela, with the consequent sad aspects and intense dramatic charge as well.

The town becomes a triumph of music, colours, dances and celebrations of all kind: the sound systems play everything from samba to morna to hip hop, which is getting always stronger over the young generations here.

I had the privilege to visit many other “similar” places, of whom I can not say that Mindelo is the most beautiful. In fact Sto Antão at 1 hour from Mindelo by boat "only" is superbly green… cause is the highest that can "catch” the air humidity... Some body told me that this Island gave the name to the archipelago...since is the only "green" island. In portuguese Verde is the word for green.