Friday, 26 September 2014

Beautiful Cape Verde - a cheeky week away

Never heard of Cape Verde? Well it's only been around as a tourist destination for around 15 years so you may not have done. It had vaguely entered my conscious but it was only when I was searching for a late September break for the 4 of us (me, husband and 2 grown up girls) that I came across it. My search was for a) affordable b) good weather c) all inclusive d) no jet lag e) lovely beaches. Cape Verde ticked all the boxes so if this blog looks woefully neglected then it's because I have been soaking up rays on a sun-drenched beach with a cocktail and a good book.

So the low-down on Cape Verde. Without realising we actually booked during the rainy season which runs from August until October. However this isn't like the Caribbean and the rainfall, although really heavy when it did come down, only occurred on one day out of seven unlike the full 3 days we had at the same time in Antigua. Apparently it only rains on the island of Sol 7 days of the year - trust us to get one of those days. So heavy was the rain that the corridors to the hotel were flooded as were the walkways, bar at the swimming pool and several of the rooms. One along from us was under 2 inches and the heavy rainfall brought down both the ceiling and the curtain rail - which I do believe was highly unusual!

Anyway apart from this which happened 3 days into the holiday we had brilliant sunshine, a breeze that cooled us down for a lot of the time and plenty of sunshine for lounging around the pool. If you are expecting a holiday experience which includes sightseeing then forget it. You can take a half day tour, and I would recommend booking with one of the guys who park their vans outside the gates of the hotel at the beach, they will take you everywhere, to do so. The salt pans with the Cape Verde version of the Dead Sea is well worth a visit - the mud at the bottom of the lake is hot and brilliant for exfoliating, as are some of the small developments. You shouldn't ever just stick to your hotel in my opinion, and if you do venture out take fruit and bread from your all inclusive for the local children - they need and really appreciate this small gesture. Nothing grows here really either so some of the landscapes are more like moonscapes and are quite beautiful in themselves.

The people are amongst the most genuine and friendly I have met as they are, as yet, un-jaded by tourism and again you feel that they are pleased you have come to visit - and by adding to the economy you really are giving a lifeline and jobs where there was so very little before.

At certain months of the year Sol becomes a surfers paradise - it's windy all year round but in certain months the wind and the huge waves provide surfing and kite-surfing challenges for even the most professional.

If you want somewhere to crash out and catch some sun while reading a book (or Kindle) with a little sightseeing, good food that is only 5 hours or so away then Cape Verde is well-worth looking at. Not for clubbers or those wanting uber sophistication - although this won't be far away I'm sure.

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