Praia - Cape Verde
Praia City is the capital of Santiago and the capital city in Cape Verde. I was a bit apprehensive about going to Praia because I was told about how different it was to the other islands and to be careful. It was much busier. What a contrast to Santo Antao.
We didn’t get as much hassle in Praia as in Mindelo (Sao Vicente) strangely enough. I was told that it may be because it has more Europeans and Business people living and working there, so perhaps that’s why we weren’t targeted as tourists (yet).
We did did a bit of shopping, mainly in the market area and the Loja Chinese, but we kept our wits about us and we were ok, we did stand out to be easy targets for higher prices for clothes though.
I would pass on a word of caution to anyone visiting Santiago as there were a few instances where we realised things may have turned out differently. One of which was when a friend went back to the hotel with some of our shopping, a young lad came over and offered assistance. She realised there was something wrong and held onto her purse and the bags. She paid the taxi driver and walked away from the boy and into the foyer of the hotel. She had noticed a car nearby with two youths in it who were looking over. One of three businessmen who had been watching the incident came over and warned her to be very careful, he explained that there are opportunists who will grab things out of open windows,doors and boots of cars etc. then pass them on to third parties who are near by.
I have visited Praia and Santiago three times. As a single woman out on her own in Praia I felt uneasy. There were a few incidents where I felt more than un-easy. However when in male company I didn't feel that way.