Cidade Velha, Cabo Verde

Cidade Velha is a village in Cabo Verde, in 10 kilometers from Praia.

Fifteen years ago, it didn’t differ much from typical African village, but in 1999, it was added to World Heritage list of UNESCO and now it is a small touristic center and a must-do for those travelers who found themselves in Praia.

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Cidade Velha was a capital of colonial Cabo Verde. That time it was called Ribeira Grande de Santiago. The main square has a monument called Pelourinho, where the exchange and the punishment of slaves took place.

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Cidade Velha used to be a port city.

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Some historical places are still in ruins.

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But something is restored already. The restoration works take place gradually.

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Farm animals walking on the street is already a common thing.

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Most houses doesn’t have glazed windows. Some of them doesn’t have doors either.

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Children try to play music by beating the bowl with a stone. Right when they see white men, they start ask for money.

Three children divide two coins.

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Some time ago there was a fertile valley.

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The main sight is the fort.

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Now there is also a restored church in the jungle.

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Local art.

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Calm street.

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Tarrafal, Cabo Verde. Local transport

Tarrafal is a town in Cabo Verde, located 70 km away from Praia.

There are generally two ways to get everywhere on the island from Praia.

The first way is just to go by taxi. But it is very expensive, because even for a 5 km ride from the airport they ask 10 euros. So, we will choose the second way. The second way is going by public transport.

In fact, there is no public transport in Cabo Verde that goes between towns of the island at all. If you go to the municipal market, some guys will approach you and ask whether you want to go to some towns.

These guys are drivers of the transport that the locals call “collective”. There are two kinds of collectives.

A collective is either a truck with two benches inside.

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Or a minibus, which is more typical to East Europe. Minibuses are also popular in ex-USSR countries, where they are known as “marshrutka”.

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The price of going to Cidade Velha is 200 edcudos, to Assomada – 250 escudos, to Tarrafal – 500 escudos. If you are going to Assomada, you need to look for a collective, going to Tarrafal, because Assomada is the intermediary station on the way from Praia to Tarrafal.

Those who just want to deliver goods pay forward. The rest passengers pay by the time they leave the collective.

After you’ve found your collective and taken a place there, be prepared to wait for 30-50 minutes before it finally leaves. The collectives are being loaded as much as possible before they go. They are usually loaded with goods from the market and people. Where there is normally a corridor between seats, the additional planks are put to establish new seats. Sometimes two thin guys sit at one seat.

Before the collective leaves, different traders enter it, offering the passengers some fruits.

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Lollipops.

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Water.

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Anything you can imagine.

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As the collective leaves, there is also a guy, shouting the destination from the window of a wan in hope that some people will also want to join.

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There is no “bus stops” for collectives. The collective stops when somebody tells the driver that he wants to quit or somebody at the street shows that he wants to enter.

Cabo Verde has amazing nature. During the trip you can enjoy the landscape.

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In Assomada the collective stops (again, near the municipal market), the half of people and goods gets unloaded, and everything starts again. You might be asked to change the vehicle.

On the way from Assomada to Tarrafal, the vehicle stopped at some minor villages. The local children were looking at us like they didn’t know that the skin could be white. There are pigs, goats, chickens, cows walking freely on the roads.

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Oink-oink.

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And finally, we are in Tarrafal. The road of 70 kilometers took us “only” 3 hours.

The reason why someone is ready to bear these conditions is probably the best beach on the Santiago island.

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You can swim and enjoy the view of the mountains.

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Literary, lie under the palms. Like on the travel agencies’ of your city’s ads.

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The trader on the beach.

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Early in the morning there’s a fish market.

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Local art.

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Basketball court.

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The local market.

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A monkey is tied to the tree to entertain people.

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The street-food.

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The slums.

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The whole town in one photo.

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Tarrafal is rather small, so the collective was travelling the streets of the town, searching for people going to Praia or Assomada. The special guy was loudly shouting: “Praia, Somada!”, from the window of the minibus.

I understand him. After 15 minutes of shaking on the cobbled road, I myself was ready to shout loudly from the window if it could help us to go faster…

Monte Verde, Cabo Verde

Monte Verde is the highest point of San Vincente island. It is about 750 meters high.

After 2 hours walking in Mindelo, we’ve realized that there’s nothing more to watch, so we’ve decided to go to explore another part of the island. We’ve hired a taxi which driven us to this mountain. Such taxi-tour was rather cheap and costed for about 20 euros, but the landscape was really stunning, so it was totally worth it. As a bonus, you’ll get a safari in the poor districts and slums.

Making the first stop at the altitude about 500 meters above sea level.

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Moving to the next viewpoint. 670 meters above sea level.

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There is a few abandoned houses on the mountain. Perhaps they remained from the colonial times. Some people live in them.

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There is no toilet in such houses. When one needs it, he just walks away from the house and does his stuff. There won’t be a photo-proof.

Moving forward. About 720 meters above sea level. The driver doesn’t want to go upper, perhaps, because of the bad road. But you can always climb by yourself.

The views from the top are totally stunning. The photos can’t reflect all the beauty of the place.

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On the top, there is something like radio station, surrounded with a fence. The strangers are banned from entering it.

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Some time ago, Monte Verde was “verde”.

There were cabbages.

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There were peas.

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There were tomatoes.

IMG_5897.JPGThere was dill.

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There were cucumbers.

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There was fertility. But now everything is abandoned.

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When a taxi goes back, the driver beeps almost any time. There is a lot of hairpin bends, and the road is often too thin to accomodate two cars at the same time.

 

 

Praia, Cabo Verde

Praia is the capital of Cabo Verde. The quality of living here is better than anywhere in the country.

In Praia only the front side of the buildings is painted.

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Women carry anything on the head.

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The currency in Cabo Verde is escudo (CVE). There are two versions of each bank note.

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Local people usually fold the bank notes as many times as possible. Normally, it is two consecutive horizontal folds (on the dimension which is initially greater), and one vertical fold then. That is why the most part of bank notes are wrinkled.

The local market.

Everything is being sold on the market.

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Small buses to the other towns of the island are departing from this market. When you approach the market, the drivers start to ask you whether you want to go somewhere. The prices are rather cheap – it will cost for about 5 euros to go to the most distant town.

Local art on the walls.

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And on the paper.

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The public school.

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Pupils are going back to school after the long break during the lunch time.

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From the first glance it may seem that there’s a school uniform, but it is actually more like a dress code. Indeed, look at the photos. The colors of the shirts and the pants differ, but not significantly.

Boys wear dark pants and a blue shirt.

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The kindergarteners. They also have something like dress code.

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Old Soviet wheel tank.

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The central district is guarded by armed soldiers, so in the evening it is relatively safe (though scary). The host told that it is better not to go, or at least, to be very attentive in the other districts in the evening-night time.

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Local beach. Though “praia” means “beach” in Portugal, the beaches aren’t as nice as on San Vincente or as in Tarrafal. Some local children were swimming though.

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The old lighthouse.

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The Atlantic Ocean.

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The road signs are drilled so that locals don’t steal them and use in the household.

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Of course there is no any brand closes’ shops in the country. When one needs some clothes, they go to “boutiques” or to the market. Those who are richer most probably bring goods from Lisbon and the rest Europe. Perhaps, that is why there is no “strict” school uniform – there is no shops where it can be bought.

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Usually there’s no fitting rooms in the boutique.

IMG_6960.JPGProbably because of the lack of the clothes’ shops, the most prestiguous restaurant in the capital doesn’t have a strict dress code.

National quisine mainly consists of seafood. For example, fish baked with potatoes and bananas.

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The barber shop.

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I’ve met the following episode a few times in Praia: a guy is walking his way, just like anyone else. When he sees a white guy (me), he instantly makes a sad face and asks whether I’ve got some change for him.

Carnival repetition in Mindelo, Cabo Verde

Mindelo is famous for its’ carnivals, which are considered one of the most bright carnivals in Africa. I didn’t attent the main carnival, but its’ (?repetition) also impresses.

So… Let’s see faces of Mindelo!

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There will be videos, too. But first I need to get to the faster internet connection.

 

Social Ads in Mindelo, Cabo Verde

I do like social ads painted by hand, because they can reflect the athmosphere of the place very much (at least for me). And of course, you won’t find them in more or less developed countries, so it is also not very easy to find them.

So today we have painted social ads in Mindelo!

Protect turtles.

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Clean the beaches.

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Health, order and wellbeing.

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Combat against desertification.

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Protect the nature.

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Healthy present and future.

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Use waste containers.

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Do not pollute.

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Stop water pollution.

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Something strange.

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But athmospheric.

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Mindelo, Cabo Verde

Mindelo is the first city I have visited in Cabo Verde, and in Africa at all.

Though it is the main city of the island, it looked rather forlorn place.

And old car.

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Calm streets in the centre.

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The town is a seaport. There’s a lot of ships in the ocean.

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Street-art.

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All social ads are painted by hand. There will be a separate post about social ads in Mindelo.

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There’s a rather good beach though.

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Mindelo is “the” Africa. The hostel didn’t have hot even water, not to say about internet. There were ants in the room and cockroaches in the kitchen. This is more like how the locals live everyday. Also, a few dogs and cats lived on the territory of the hostel.

A veterinary hospital. It has just a few rooms.

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The hospital owners are a few italians. Previously, there was no veterinary hospital on the island at all.

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The same people also have an animal shelter for the homeless dogs and cats. Perhaps, it would be better for the animals. People in Mindelo, especially children seem to be very cruel to dogs and cats. When we walked outside in the evening, we’ve seen a group of children killing a dog by bare hands.

No hot water in the hostel is not so bad, because at some cafes there’s no water at all.

IMG_5553.JPG In the dinner time, people burn fires for cooking.

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Leaving the city centre.

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People on Cape Verde use donkeys in the household.

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Closed fish market.

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People take bath in a bay.

 

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Closer to the evening, there was a small carnival in the town. There will be a separate post about it.

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So there are also events and things to see. Stay tuned.