Cape Verdes, January 2024 −  Travels −  Captain Tom

Cape Verdes, January 2024

After three winters off, finally back in the sun and warmth while it's freezing cold in Germany. That feels good.

I decided to go to Cape Verde. It was already on the agenda last year, but was thwarted by a mistake on the part of the tour operator.

But now it is.

The island of Santiago with the capital of Cape Verde, Praia, turns out to be a beautiful tropical island to the west of Senegal in Africa. The constant sea breeze makes the temperatures between 77 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit very bearable and the strong sun is muted by lots of clouds. Very pleasant.

I spend a week relaxing, read 5 books and explore the surrounding area on three excursions.

1The journey to Cap Verde

The journey is surprisingly strenuous. Cape Verde was a Portuguese colony and is completely Portuguese. That's why you can only get there from Europe with Air Portugal (TAP). So the first flight is from Berlin to Lisbon. That's just under four hours and a one-hour time difference (GMT).
Then a 5-hour wait. The electronic passport control when leaving the EU in Lisbon doesn't work - so I have to queue twice.
Then it's on to a flight of just over four hours to Praia, the capital of Cape Verde on the island of Santiago. There is another hour's time difference (GMT-1).
I arrive there at midnight. In Berlin it is already two in the morning. The electronic immigration control doesn't work in Praia either. So I have to queue again, but the check-in is pretty quick.

The airplane is about to arrive
The airplane arrives
It is freezing cold in Berlin
We take off together with a Ryan Air plane
We reach the Atlantic at La Rochelle in France and fly out to the Bay of Biscay
We reach Spain at San Roque east of Gijón
Nice snow covered mountains in Spain
Approach to Lissabon - the statue of Christo Rei
Old town of Lisbon - in a distance the Panteão Nacional
Basilika Estrela
In the evening I proceed to the Cape Verdes
Farewell Lisbon
We pass Teneriffe
Arrival in Praia
2The Hotel

The Pestana Trópico is a small but fine hotel in Praia. It has only 90 rooms, a pool, restaurant and bar. The hotel is located directly by the sea, but has no direct access to the beach due to the rocky coast.

From the outside, it looks quite uninviting.
Quite the opposite on the inside
View from the balcony of my room
In a distance one can see the lighthouse Farol de D. Maria Pia
Pool and bar in the evening
The food is quite good and a mix of local and European kitchen

I go onto a walk into the old town.

The presidential palace from a distance. You are not allowed to take photos directly on site.
The fishing harbor
Handrails are overrated
View from presidential palace to the bay
The Quartel Jaime Mota barracks built in 1826
Blooming road trees
A park
Winter decoration
The soccer stadium
Estátua de Diogo Gomes - Diogo Gomes is a Portuguese explorer of the 15th century and is considered the discoverer of Cape Verde

Beautiful morning light tempted me to the coast to see the sunrise.

Morning mood in the hotel
I arrive just in time to see the Le Ponant, a cruise sailing ship, enter the harbor
A police boat
5Lighthouse Farol de D. Maria Pia

I take another walk. This time to the lighthouse Farol de D. Maria Pia

Approaching the lighthouse
Old cannons
The lighthouse
Rocks in front of the lighthouse
The lighthouse keeper shows me around
The spiral staircase
View back to Praia
Le Ponant in the harbor
6Round trip of the island

I rent a small car and drive through the mountains to the north of the island to Tarrafal and then halfway back along the east coast before continuing the return journey south through the mountains.

Mountains ahead
It gets more mountainous
Pass Serra Malagueta ahead
Serra Malagueta is about 3000 feet high and very picturesque
Serra Malagueta
The view to the other side
Donkeys are common means of transportation
Donkey ahead
Another Donkey
Tarrafal ahead - I don't particularly like the place and I move straight on
Quite a bumpy road
Eastern coast
Porto Formoso - Bay with fishermen
Ocean bay
Common mean of transportation
Calheta de São Miguel
School bus
I go back into the mountains
Common mean of transportation
Praia ahead
Mein Schiff 1 has arrived
Refueling as an adventure - but it wasn't difficult. A fuel attendant fills up and collects the money. You don't have to get out of the car.
7The journey back

Again very exhausting and overnight. The flight leaves at one in the morning. At six (one hour time difference) you are in Lisbon. From there the plane leaves for Berlin at about noon. Once again the electronic passport control doesn't work and I have to queue twice in a huge rush. Then another baggage check with long queues.
Then I continue to Berlin. I arrive there again at around 4pm.

The journey is over and I'm back in cold Berlin.

It was a nice trip.

Departure in Praia
Departure in Lisbon
Ponte Vasco da Gama
The river has burst its banks
Embalse de Almendra - the third biggest spanish reservoir
River Elbe surrounded with snow
Tropical Island (a former blimp hangar)
Approach to Berlin via lake Müggelsee
Berlin in a distance
Back to Berlin