Andrea and Ken meet a little bit of Africa
Trip Start Nov 07, 2013
28Trip End Dec 11, 2013
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Many people emigrated from Cape Verde during tough economic times and now there are more Cape Verdeans living outside of Cape Verde than in the country
Our ship, the Seven Seas Mariner, is traveling in tandem with Oceania's Marina. So this tiny country had two large cruise ships in port. The town was filled with tourists. We went on a tour of Mindelo. They did put us in a bus, which appeared to be a bus used for local transportation. One of the problems was that our guide had a very soft voice and there was no microphone on the bus, as we have become accustomed to.
The harbor that Mindelo sits on is a beautiful natural harbor that has been named by UNESCO as one of the 5 most beautiful bays in the world. We walked along the harbor front and saw many fishermen sitting around makeshift tables and enjoying the day. Our guide told us that when they come back from fishing the feel full of confidence and they drink. There were also many dogs just hanging around, some just sleeping in the middle of the sidewalk.
Many of the buildings in Mindelo are colonial buildings. We walked through the fish market which was very loud and full of impressive fish. We coiuld identify large tunas and moray eels, many small fish we couldn’t identify including fish that looked like red snappers
We visited a square that was constructed by the British that the local people were not allowed to enter, well, actually the requirement was that you had to wear shoes to enter it, so that pretty much eliminated the local residents. We visited a handicraft market, where Andrea engaged on of her favorite past times – haggling with the merchants. Not one of them let her walk away, although she started walking several times. She wonders if she could have gone lower- but really the point was to drop a few dollars into the local economy.
We walked through a very large vegetable market which contained vegetables we could identify and some we couldn’t. They have a lot of dried herbs that they used for medicinal purposes. You could smell cilantro throughout the market. We saw there Catholic church, which was small. We learned that 80% of the population are Catholic and 20% are protestants.
The highlight of our tour was a visit to one of the few hotels in town. We were treated to a taste of the local alcoholic beverage, which was either glogg or pontche
After a visit to a museum containing art from local artists and a walk through more of the city, including a peek into the local library we got back on the bus and returned to our ship. Our Thanksgiving dinner did include turkey and dressing but it certainly wasn’t like being home. However, Cape Verde was absolutely a delightful, vibrant and interesting stop.
This was our last stop on this side of the ocean and tomorrow we start the first of three sea days crossing the Atlantic., heading for our first port of call in Brazil, Recife.