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Thursday, 16 January 2014

Day 11 - Wednesday 15th January - Mindelo, Sao Vicente, Cape Verde Islands

A street in Mindelo
This was our fourth visit to the island, and one day, we really should get our act together and maybe go a little further than Mindelo. Peter did take his driving licence with him, thinking that if we came across a car hire company, we could maybe drive out to Mount Verde or one of the beaches, but it wasn't to be.

So we took the port provided shuttle bus to the centre of town, and went for a wander. This is the first time we've visited when Mindelo has been open, but to be honest, I'm not sure it changed that much from our previous visits, except there were more little shops open, each of which sold everything from clothes to earphones. This meant I was able to buy a pair of shoes and Peter was able to get a set of earphones from the same shop. Many of the shops take euros, but not all, and some will take your euros and give you change in escudos.

We did our shopping, and then had a wander around the market and the fish market in the morning.
A stall holder on the market in Mindelo.  Her "stall" is the second hand clothing and shoes laid across the ground.  

"Working the line"  Cleaning and gutting fish factory style in Mindelo Fish Market. 
Fishing boats of the locals
In the afternoon we walked out of the port and turned left to spend a little time on the beach there.
Beach at Mindelo - this has been built up since our visit in 2011
We thought it very different from what we remembered, and checking back on old photographs, we were right. Sao Vicente is being built up and prepared as an exclusive tourist destination, and the beach has been built up and prepared too. To be honest, we preferred it the way it was four years ago, but it still looks good now and all the building work and new hotels bring work for the people of the island. You can see poverty everywhere, contrasting starkly with the buildings and facilities being built for the rich tourists. Hopefully things are getting better for the people of Mindelo.Like every other person at the seaside, I enjoyed a paddle along the beach, and then a paddle back again to join Peter for a sit in the sun. We watched the enviously handsome and beautiful locals walk and play along the sand. They are all tall and slim, but then, there isn't a McDonalds, KFC, Burger King or Subway here yet.
After a wonderful hour or under the hot sun, sadly it was time to get back to the ship. There was a little bit of trauma as we left Mindelo, because a lamp fell, smashed a load of concrete off a pier wall, which in turn smashed a hole in the fuel pipe, which then made an ugly black stain in the water as the ship pulled away. I hope they got it fixed quickly.
Leaving Mindelo
So now we have five sea days before we get to Brazil. Somewhere along the line we'll go into the dead zone, where there will be no internet or phone connection, and we will also cross the equator. Tomorrow we'll be able to go to the front of the ship and see flying fish. Fantastic!

Mindelo 2011
Mindelo 2012
Mindelo 2013

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