We have arrived in a sunny Cape Verde Islands and in particular the town of Mindelo on the island of St Vincent.
We were supposed to get in at 8am but what with the unscheduled stop in the Amazon for fuel which caused us at least an 8 hour delay, the head wind of about 25mph and the continual swell hitting us we were 90 minutes late arriving which was very good going which under the circumstances is pretty remarkable.
An early morning sprint on the port side, past the island of Santo Antao with its rugged coastline, barren tall mountainous appearance and the village of Porto Novo stuck by the coast.
Roads or more likely tracks wend their way up to the very sparsely populated mountainside, we are too far away to make anything out though.
A Shuttle bus is provided into town through the working dock area and we opt for a leisurely walk along the coast road past a few fishermen, a few guys playing cards, difficult in the wind, towards the sea museum in the Torre de Belem, and a craft square that didn’t really have anything in it.
The fish market nearby had the catches of the day being poured over by locals (with a well trained cat guarding the catch) then headed inland to the blue tiled market area.
The wooden souvenirs in the market were claimed to be made by the individual sellers but surprisingly, the same products were generally on sale around the square and later in some of the shops.
The women’s clothing on sale was very colourful and dramatic but we didn’t see much evidence of them being worn around town by the locals.
A few women were walking along with baskets balanced on their heads and some of the stall holders were hard at work on their sewing machines or chopping up some of the fruit but there were a few pockets of people standing around not doing anything. Not many though.
Back to the sea front and up some side streets past a few squares until we get to the Hotel Prassa 3, a modern hotel with an inside courtyard which was happy to provide us with tall capachinos and free wifi for €1.50 each.
As we had been without wi-fi for over a week, it took some time for the emails to download and I came away with at least a further 29 not yet downloaded from a week ago.
The town has some buildings that are very modern interspersed with some quite old buildings and some that need a lot of TLC.
From a distance, the houses are generally of the box sort seen in Africa with only a few that have sloping roofs.
Many bright colours have been used as outside wall paint, not everything was white which has given it a different look.
A few beggars were in evidence, all of them elderly as the population is generally quite young but they left you alone if you said “no”.
The island was reputed to be good at producing ukuleles but we saw no music shops and, leaving John & Deirdre to wander further, Sal and I take residence back on board in the shade past a lovely mural.
An interesting port of call which is being developed more as a tourist destination in recent years.
Entertainment tonight is Jimmy James (without his Vagabonds) and from my position standing at the back – in between doing a final wash – the sound quality was much better than at the front. Think he is not at his best now.
A sea day on the way up to Tenerife and Entertainment manager, Elaine Coles gives talk on primates of Cameroon, a passion of hers but we miss talk on ships by Ken Vard, and a talk on Atlantic Volcanoes by Ken MacTaggart. We do however get to the talk by John Lyons, the actor who played a detective, Jack, in A Touch of Frost. No notes, all off the cuff – very good for someone of his age.
There is a tug of war between various departments of the ship at the rear of the ship which usually means some of them getting wet, much to the amusement of the passengers but good news, the sun is out today so there are more bronzed bodies in evidence.
Entertainment tonight is by 3 West End leading ladies, The Patriot Girls who sang items from the Swing era, some modern versions (such as That Man by Caro Emerald) and Jenny Williams, a Stockport female singer with a mixture of classical, musicals and a couple of film songs, a very powerful voice with a bubbly personality.
Tonight is the last time the clocks change – we must be nearly home.
Another sea day and the entertainment is running out of steam, nothing his morning and only a variety show at 3:30 to keep us away from the cooling temperatures of the North Atlantic as we head towards Tenerife.
No decent entertainment this morning so it is book reading time, Sally finishing her 5th and me, well I have finished the book I got for Christmas 2015 – The Blackest Street by Sarah Wise.
This is about the area of Bethnal Green called the Nichol in the late 1800s with references to the Reverend Loveridge whose photo I found a few years back and who I think, was the vicar who married my Grandparents on my father’s side.
Afternoon entertainment was a variety show with some of the Headliners singers and The Patriot Girls and after a stupid film in the evening, “It had to be you”, we were entertained by the International Piano Duo with as well as some opera songs, performed some lively pieces and an exceptionally long solo by Matthieu Esnult.
Northwards to Tenerife.