Santo Antao

Yesterday we took a ferry over the narrow channel to the neighbour island Santo Antao, one of the biggest and most fertile islands of the Cape Verdes. After leaving the ferry tourguides try rather aggressively to get hold of tourists, but we avoided them and simply took an Aluguer up into the mountains. We then hiked through a fertile crater with old stonehouses, fields, trees (the first high pine trees we’ve seen on these islands, quite a funny view next to sugarcane and bananas), pastures and a rather alpine atmosphere. The path then led up to the ridge of the crater, it was sunny and hot and we were quite suprised when we finally reached the top and suddenly looked down onto a steep cobbled path that led in serpentines down the almost vertical drop disappearing into swirling, cold clouds. After walking about half an hour the dense clouds suddenly opened and gave view into the fertile Paul valley–still a few hundred meters below–and the northcoast of the island.
We caught another Aluguer (these minibuses or pick-up trucks go even to remote places in the Cape Verdes, you only have to be prepared to wait a while, because there’s no schedule) down to Paul on the north coast, further on to Ribeira Grande and then back along the coastal road. This way we got quite some impressions of this spectacular island with its steep canyons and cragged mountain ranges without spending too much money (we spent about 7 euros per person on the buses…).

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