In August we planned a trip to Boavista Island, located in Cabo Verde archipelago. The island is in the middle of Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Western Africa. Capo Verde, (in Portuguese Cabo Verde, in Creole Cabu Verde, Cábu Vêrdi o Kabu Verde) is composed by ten volcanic islands, and it’s located at 500 km from Senegalese oceanfront.
The archipelago has a great environmental heritage , only recently discovered by tourism operators.”Capo Verde” is so called because of the place of Cap-Vert, Senegal, which is the westernmost point of continental Africa. These islands, previously uninhabited, were discovered by Portugal during 15th century. After the discovery, they became center of the commerce of human slaves and later, the place where cargos and whaling ships stopped to supply with coal.
In 1975, Capo Verde gain finally indipendence from Portugal. In this period, Guinea-Bissau and Capo Verde was together under a common government. Both of the countries considered the opportunity of unify theirselves till the 1980, when in Guinea- Bissau took place a coup d’état, after which the inhabitants of Capoverde founded their own faction, called PAICV, (Partido Africano da Independência de Cabo Verde).
Before visiting Boa Vista, I occasionally watched documentary about this place, and i always thought that it was just a heavenly place. Boa Vista is the nearest island to the African coast, and it’s called the sand island, because of the Viana Desert, created from the Sahara sands brought here from the winds. It is located in the northwestern part of the island, east of the towns Rabil and Sal Rei. Boa Vista is a wild island, with few but welcoming inhabitants, neverending beaches, and dirt patches to explore.
These are some shots taken at our arrive: we were in a tiny bungalow just in front of the ocean, on Praia de Chavez, a beautiful white sand neverending beach: early in the morning we took promenades on the beach, seing the fishermen coming back from work with their boats, and founding some locals (also senegalese) who sell souvenirs (not too much typical, however). They often stopped us ’cause they were curious about where we came from. I heard too some impressive stories about people who came from abroad and now living and working in Capo Verde.
Another thing you could notice right away is that the people has music into thier veins: music is all ever, every time of the day: the music of Capo Verde is suggestive, it absorbs african influences, portoguese, caribbean and brasilian ones. The musical genre par excellence is the “morna”, a sort of lyrical and melancholic song, singed in creole. Other popular musics spreaded in the islands are coladeira, la kizomba, la funaná e il batuque. Among the artists most appreciated abroad there is Cesária Évora, traditional singer of morna e Ildo Lobo.
Cabo Verde is just fascinating. Most of the people has both portoguese and africain progeny; they speak Portoguese as official language, but everybody uses Creole ( a strange mix of Portuguese and Africain). Sal and Boavista are the most touristic island: here we always found people who spoke currently Italian: my first suggestion is to put yourselves completely in the hands of the locals, they will help you find everything you need and it’s the fastest way to know more about the place you’re visiting. For us this has been a beautiful experience. In the next travel post we’ll explore better the island!Cris