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Some useful tips and stories from Expats and regular visitors to Sal, Cape Verde. Including travel, visa's, flights and more

Visa - Our 'visa-run' and holiday to Gran Canaria from Sal - by SD

Cheryl Thomas - Sunday, March 12, 2017
Visa - Our 'visa-run' and holiday to Gran Canaria from Sal - by SD

In February 2017 we travelled from Sal Island to Gran Canaria for a weeks holiday and to get our visa's.

We'd booked transfers through 'Hoppa' to take us from the airport on Gran Canaria to Playa del Ingles in the south of the island. On arrival on Gran Canaria, our transfer was there to take us to 'Las Rosas' apartments where we were staying. The next day we hired a car to drive north to Las Palmas where the Cape Verde Consulate was situated, to get a 6 month visa for Cape Verde.

Not having been to Gran Canaria before or knowing exactly where the Consulate was, we decided it was best to hire a car and travel north towards Las Palmas. We followed the road directions pointing toward San Jose and then saw the road sign for the main GC-1 motorway.

Satnav - It would help if we knew the post code

When we hired the car, we'd decided to rent a satnav, which was a waste of money as we didn't have the post code of the Consulate to enter into the satnav for it to find the directions for us. The satnav got flung in the back seat.

Directions

We continued on the GC-1 until we saw the sign for San Jose and came off the motorway and headed into the town. Just as we came of the road we found an undercover car park and parked the car in there. We still hadn't a clue as to which direction we were supposed to be going!

My daughter-in-law had her phone and used it search for the 'Cape Verde Consulate', it came up with a street name and address: Calle Arco 16 35004 Las Palmas, so we used her phone to give us directions. Ooh that's easy to remember said our daughter-n-law, a friends dog's name was name Cally so she would remember that (little did we know that Calle was the name for 'street'). We followed the directions on phone saying 'walk straight ahead for 5 mins, so we did, then we stopped, checked again and it said we were now 7 mins away from our destination.

When we thought we had arrived at the Consulate I pressed the buzzer on the door, I kept pressing until I heard someone answer. I heard a lady's voice answer so I spoke into the speaker at the side of the door and asked (in English) if this was the Cape Verde Consulate, she said no it was around he corner, I asked which way and she said "around the corner". I spoke into the speaker again and asked which way? It was then my husband said, Shirley she is talking you from the window upstairs and pointing in the direction for us to go. After rolling my eyes at my husband, I stepped back and looked up,the lady was moving from one window to another, indicating us towards the direction of the Consulate until we could actually see it. I thanked the woman for her help, I'm sure we'd have been searching for even longer without it, talk about the blind leading the blind!

We entered the Consulate with our passports and asked for Visa for Cape Verde. The woman asked whether we wanted a 1 month or 6 month visa, we wanted 6 months. She then asked when we were flying to Cape Verde (I told her the next day as I knew she was going to tell me to come back later or the next day). She asked us to wait 5 minutes. She went away with our passports and 5 Minutes later she returned with our 6 Month visa in our passports. All in all we were in the Consulate 10 Minutes. The cost of a 6 month visa was €86 per person. Excellent, so easy once you know where you are going and how to get there :)

McDonalds

When we came out the Consulate we saw a sign for McDonalds, well we walked for ages to find this McDonalds (something we don't have on Sal Island or in Cape Verde) as this was somewhere we wanted to visit. After we'd had something to eat and drink in there, we left McDonalds and headed back to the car park, well we thought we were, how could a car park have moved!

We walked up and down various streets, turned left, right, this way, that way for an hour or so, we couldn't find it! After over an hour 'eureka' there it was!

Shopping on Gran Canaria

On our way back we managed to come across one of the larger shopping malls and parked to do a bit of shopping, this time we knew where the car was!

A few days later we went to the tourist info office in Playa del Ingles and asked which number bus we would get to the shopping Malls in Las Palmas, they told us No.1 bus and where to get it, we never made it to anymore shopping Malls as the bus never turned up, we'd been waiting there for it for two hours.

In Playa del Ingles things were expensive. We did go to the Yumbo Centre, but we had to haggle for everything, we returned there one evening and enjoyed some great entertainment. We found a Lidl too, it was good but we found the local supermarkets were just as cheap for meat and fruit.

Next time we go for our Visa's we will stay in Las Palmas, as all the main stores and malls are within easy reach, so is the Consulate, we just have to find it again!

We can look back and laugh at our experiences now, am sure you are too :)


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