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Phespirit goes to Cape Verde
Boa Vista     October 2012


Map of Boa Vista

1 Cabo de Santa Maria

Under different circumstances this stretch of northern coast might have been named after the loggerhead turtles that return yearly to deposit their eggs. In every sense of the word, however, they have been overshadowed by the monstrous rusting hulk of the Spanish cargo ship, Santa Maria, which beached here in 1968.

The turtles have grown accustomed to it so now it will remain here until the waves claim it forever.

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2 Sal Rei

In a different country, Boa Vista's capital city might be considered a sleepy village. Traffic is nigh non-existent, and wandering bodies move slowly in ones and twos under the baking sun.

Phespirit visited the main church, the quayside and small custom house. His personal comfort was reduced by a sense that he was always vulnerable to being pestered by some would-be local guide or entrepreneur or whatever. Mercifully it only happened once.

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3 Praia de Chaves

Praia de Chaves was Phespirit's local beach. And what a beach.

From his hotel he could walk for an uninterrupted hour on powdery pale sands down to its southernmost extremity. Or he could head north on its sands for an hour and a half, all the way into Sal Rei.

A very, very good beach by any standard.

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4 Deserto de Viana

This shifting swathe of wind-blown Saharan sands would be more noteworthy if not wholly outclassed by the island's beaches.

Phespirit removed his sandals and kicked it about a bit.

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5 Rabil

The one-time capital of Boa Vista makes the current capital seem positively vibrant.

Phespirit visited a 'ceramics factory' and watched a solitary bored woman pushing blobs of clay into a mould shaped like a turtle.

He didn't hang around too long.

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6 Fundo das Figueiras

Phespirit reached this eastern village just in time to catch the last five minutes of a frenzied argument between three or four locals in the middle of the street. Although no punches were thrown, it still appeared to be the best entertainment on offer.

They also have a rather nice church here.

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7 Povoação Velha

This run-down little town once had some great significance in the island's history. Now its painted souvenir shops cater for convoys of quad bikers and 4WD vehicle passengers on their way to Praia Santa Monica.

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8 Praia Santa Monica

On an island of magnificent beaches, this is a jewel in the crown. Huge, pristine, utterly deserted, utterly unspoiled.

Extensive development plans will ensure that within a few years it is diminished, defiled, cluttered with tourists, utterly spoiled.

If tourists want to see this place they should do what Phespirit did and take the four-hour hike around from Praia de Chaves.

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  1. Cabo de Santa Maria
  2. Sal Rei
  3. Praia de Chaves
  4. Deserto de Viana
  5. Rabil
  6. Fundo das Figueiras
  7. Povoação Velha
  8. Praia Santa Monica
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Cabo de Santa Maria Sal Rei Praia de Chaves Deserto de Viana Rabil Fundo das Figueiras Povoação Velha Praia Santa Monica