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Shopping in Santiago

Its the main capital island of Cape Verde and has the highest population. They don't seem to have many good clothes shops that sell general clothing at reasonable costs, things like beds, cooking utensils and everything else all need importing. The prices in some local shops and supermarkets were a lot cheaper in Santiago than on Sal. We still believe there are two prices here, one for locals and one for tourists in some places where the goods aren’t priced.

One thing that most of the islands have are small Loja Chinese shops which sell odds and sods, really cheap and cheerful stuff that probably won’t last that long but compared to the prices that are asked in the few other shops that exist, they are the cheapest. Some also sell beds and other furniture as well as fixtures, fittings, creams etc again there is no sign that they are the real thing, not seconds or have any form of fire safety tags on mattresses etc for peace of mind. They do import and sell some clothes, but being as the Chinese are generally a nation of small petite people; the clothes sizes are generally small. A size XXL on one pair of trousers I tried on wouldn’t even get up to my hips, in UK size it was more like a size12, others went up to a size 16 by our reckoning. The quality of the material with lycra is not always suitable in this heat. I and some others have managed to find a few things to fit, but you really have to search through everything. As well as generous size ladies clothes, a 100% cotton top is like finding gold dust.

I understand that the Chinese do well here because they don’t have to pay any import taxes. I have realised that if it wasn’t for these small Chinese Shops, some of the locals wouldn’t be able to afford to buy anything, as everything is a lot more expensive than in UK. A lot of other local people couldn’t even afford the cheap stuff.

Those that leave the islands for a vacation in Europe or the States usually do their shopping whilst away (mainly during the summer season abroad for clothes though). So that’s why I say, bring what you can with you, then more.

There is information on home accessories and furniture the above menu bar.

For more information on Cape Verde refer to Bradt Travel book and under the General Information-Informative Websites on this website.

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