In March 2017 I returned to the island of Fogo. After living on Fogo for a number of years, I wanted to go back and spend some time there and visit the friends I'd made.
Fogo Island Crater
I'd also promised some of the kids to do the walk from the Crater down through the forest at Monte Velha and ending up at Mosteiros and now I'd finally got round to organising it.
Delayed return visit
Of course, it had been somewhat postponed during to the volcanic eruption a couple of years back it was pretty scary living there while the volcano was spewing out the lava for over three months and I had no intention of visiting the crater until everything had died down.
This is why it is such a good time to visit Cha das Caldeiras now a couple of years on you can see the results of the lava flowing over the villages but also see how some of the villagers of Portela have built again amidst the destruction.The power of nature as we seldom experience it. And the winery at Sr Neves place is a great place to sample the excellent Cha wine.
It takes about an hour by aluger to get up to the National Park and then about half an hour to drive round the edge of the lava flow to get to the villages.Truly amazing views.
We stayed at a great little pensao, now a year old, run by Alcindo, a Cape Verdean and Laeitia from France.A friendly couple who have worked very hard to create a special sanctuary from which to hike forth either up the Pico itself, or as we did, to the small volcano.And then great food and massage when you get back.We paid about 3000 cve (under 30 euros) for bed and breakfast for a twin room with ensuite.
The small volcano is a wonder to behold and so easy to find the path to that there is no need of a guide.It took us about 3 hours there and back with lots of time to trawl through the sulphur and burnt rocks at the crater rim.
The next day we were joined by a bus load of friends for the walk to Monte Velha and down to Mosteiros.I would personally say that it is one of those walks to experience on Fogo (if you are moderately fit) but perhaps only once.The eucalypt forest and the orange groves you walk through are stunning but oh my legs after several kilometres downhill. Also, take a guide, as the path is steep and you need the moral and physical support to keep going sometimes.And then, book lunch at Pensao Christina in Mosteiros afterwards as a well-earned treat.It is also a nice place to stay and then you can get an aluger back to Sao Filipe the historic capital of Fogo the next day.
Blog by Sarah Litchfield