December 07 - a very short mornings visit was made to Sao Nicolau. An opportunity to take a quick look at what it was like. The flight from Sal to Sao Nicolau with Cabo Verde Airlines took 30mins. A quick exit through the small terminal to the outside area where it had a sign P for 3 taxis, which we had hoped would be there........ 50mins later we were still waiting for a taxi/aluger to arrive to take our group off to the other side of the island. There weren't many complaints about the wait, it probably would have been more comfortable though if we had realised there was a small refreshment area which we could have purchased drinks at, just to the side of the terminal entrance. Everyone was in good spirits and looking forward to seeing more of the island.
We used the wait outside the terminal to take in the scenery around us, a mix of Santo Antao and Sao Vicente, although the valleys between the high ridge mountains were much wider than those on Sao Antao. There was some greenery but we were informed it was even better up the mountains.
Our journey was made in two Alugers, which took us along cobbled roads, dusty tracks, where roads were being worked on and widened in a number of areas along the road to Tarrafal. We could see new tarmac roads which had already been laid and some of the views from the top of the mountain looking back along the dramatic coastline and into the valley and village that we had just passed through were spectacular.
A lot of the farm crops had recently been cultivated, but it was still lovely and green. Lots of friendly smiling people, some carrying farm produce in baskets on their heads, children herding cattle, little houses on the hillside and small communities along the road. A refreshing site.
On the other side of the mountain we could see Tarrafal with its calmer waters with sailing and fishing boats in the distance. The drive down the mountain wasn't as dramatic as the drive up, the land was less green but still of interest. This side reminded me of the Porto Novo side of Santo Antao, which is much dryer and a lot hotter than the other side of the island.
The village of Tarrafal with its fishing port was very colourful, with small winding streets and the always present Loja Chinese. The calm ocean waters made it a tranquil setting.
The island is attracting many walkers and is an ideal place to 'get away from it all'. A place to take in if you have time to spare and meet the very friendly and warm people of this island.
Note: Be aware that people have been stuck on the island for a few extra days if flights from other islands to Sao Nicolau have been cancelled.
I look forward to spending a few days there next time.
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