When you arrive at your holiday destination and realise that the country’s motto is ‘No Stress’, it definitely puts you in the right mind set for a very relaxing week…
Nick and I decided to go to Cape Verde in October as it is guaranteed sunshine for that time of year, and since we hadn’t been away since the ski holiday, fancied somewhere a bit more secluded but with an element of adventure. Cape Verde was exactly that.
We visited Sal island and chose to stay in an Air BnB apartment in Santa Maria. This has to be the best way to do it, rather than staying in a large hotel, as I felt we saw a lot more of the island and the local culture than if we had of been hidden away inside a complex.
Our first few days there were predominantly spent lying on sun beds with the occasional snorkelling in between the reading and the naps. It was great to see how the locals and tourists shared the same beaches, there was no segregation like a lot of places are now. We were able to witness them going to the gym, catching fish, surfing, walking their dogs and just carrying on with their everyday lives, whilst the tourists took advantage of the sunshine and their chance to escape everyday living. After a few days of rest we were ready for some exploration. We got a taxi to a place called Buracona, located in the North West of Sal, which is renowned for having one of the few recognised tourist attractions on Sal, the ‘Blue Eye’. The ‘Blue Eye’ is a natural pool formed by the ocean, into the lava rocks of the lagoon, and when the light hits the pool from a certain angle, the colour of the water turns into a magical turquoise blue. I would definitely recommend this place as watching the waves crashing in and out of the lagoon was just as fascinating as the blue eye!
Once we’d marvelled over the ocean, we then moved on to the other natural wonder found on Sal and where it’s name derived from, the salt mine. The mine is actually situated within the Pedra de Lume crater and consists of salt evaporation ponds that are built over a natural volcanic salt lake. The water in the ponds is 26 times saltier than sea water which means that when you lie in it, you float effortlessly. The unsinkable feeling that it gives you is difficult to explain. You feel weightless and light but also stable and relaxed. The ponds aren’t deep either and if you feel the ground, the sand is hot to touch beneath you. Again, another big recommendation if you ever visit, however don’t make the mistake I did of wiping your face with your hand – it felt as if I’d eaten a bag of salt!
The following day we decided that we’d like to have a go at surfing. Cape Verde is renowned for its water sports and many world champions in kite surfing and the alike have come from, or trained in Cape Verde. The beach they took us to was on the east coast and although the waves looked metres high to my amateur eyes, in reality they were actually only half a metre tall. The morning session went well for Nick but not so great for me. I got up on my board a couple of times however in the excitement of standing up, I’d punch the air in celebration and quickly lose my balance again, toppling back into the water full of disappointment. On one of these occasions I made the mistake of trying to put my foot down to push out of the water. What felt like standing on sharp, broken glass, was in fact a sea urchin. I brought my foot out of the water and there was a circle of black spikes sticking into my skin, just below my toes. I was told to return to the beach where the guys from the surf hub attempted to extract each spike with just a safety pin… Despite this, I got back into the water in the afternoon with booties on, and didn’t give up in my attempt to look like one of the chicks from Surfer magazine. (I’m still pulling spines out now!)
Essentially we had a great holiday and had some amazing experiences. There were a few bumps along the way (dodgy yoghurts and sea sickness to name a few more) but they only make for great stories afterwards! As the holiday was spent around water and sand, I decided to take my GoPro Hero 4 to record on, as I thought this was the easiest camera to use with no stress over it getting damaged or wet. It does add the extra challenge of only being able to film on a wide angle lens, therefore I had to be close to my subjects for them to look good and be clear on camera, however I do enjoy the flexibility and ease of filming on a GoPro. Enjoy this mini film which documents our little adventure and as you can see, we definitely had #nostress whilst we were there!
Music – Django Django – Default