29th of February 2016, Kristian and I went on our honeymoon. We had found a relatively cheap Star Tour All-Inclusive trip to Cape Verde, to the island Boa Vista.
The plane trip was shaky, to be honest, in small planes with very little room for legs. Kristian was inconvenienced in particular, being tall, and while I was mostly annoyed by the turbulence, my legs and back did not appreciate the plane either. This was our only real issue with the travel agent, the planes really aren’t as good as could be expected.
The hotel was Riu Karamboa, a 5 star All-Inclusive hotel. We were generally very satisfied with the hotel. First of all it looks like a sandcastle (what’s not to love?) and the food was good. The African theme restaurant was in my opinion particularly good, while Kristian enjoyed all the fish he could get. The beach was beautiful, but the ocean is dangerous, red and yellow flags all the time. But lots of beach chairs and parasols, and a beautiful view, even if swimming was not a real option.
The pool was gorgeous and large enough to never feel crowded, even though the first row of pool chairs was always full of people frying in the sun. We might have been the only people there without severe sunburns. The pool also offers a bar, which is always fun.
We did not try out any of the organized sports (there were lots), but we did use the tennis courts, which was good (but windy). There are also a lot of bars, all of which serves coffee and tea as well! (We had a lot of tea!) The hotel also has a cat café, meaning that they feed the wild cats (and asks guests not to), so there were lots of cats (we looove cats!). There were also wild dogs, but they tended to follow people who talked to them, rather than us, so it was okay.
In the first week of march, the weather was not hot. It was warm and windy, and I had definitely underpacked (What kind of an airline has 20 kgs max for carry-on and check-in luggage combined? Between my laptop and my dSLR, it was a miracle I actually brought clothes!). In the mornings and evenings it was cool, and long sleeves and a pair of pantyhose was missed. Particularly because you kind of want to wear something nice to the restaurants. Thank god I never go anywhere without my pashmina.
We had reserved some daytrips from home, and even though our whale watching trip was cancelled (boohoo, but there were no whales), we had some nice trips around the island. We visited Sal Rei, the capital and took a tour of the northern island as well as the southern.
Our trip to Sal Rei began with a bus trip to Rabil, the airport town, where we visited a restaurant and tasted cachupa, a cape verdian specialty made from beans, corn and vegetables. Then the bus took us to Sal Rei, where we walked around the town. We saw the main church, a school, the market, the fish market and ended at a guest house where we tasted Grogue, a rum like spirit made from sugar canes, as well as Pontche, a drink made from Grogue, sugar cane molasses and citrus. Then we walked back to the bus, looking a bit at souvenirs. The souvenir sellers were very aggressive, in the “if you don’t buy this, my child will not have anything to eat” way. This was very uncomfortable, and did not make us want to buy anything or even ask for prices (which were very high, I could buy the same (senegalese made) things in Copenhagen for the same price).
The northern island trip began in jeeps, with a drive to Praia de Santa, a famous beach with a ship wreck. We then visited the tiny town of João Galego, before going to Fundo das Figueiras, a very pretty town.
On the southern island trip, we first visited Rabil, the airport town, then the Vianna Desert, an area, that used to be valleys before the sand took over. The we visited the fishing village of Povoação, and we ended the tour by visiting Praia do Curralinho (unfortunately to be renamed Santa Monica Beach for the sake of tourists…), a beautiful, long, long, long beach. Also a very dangerous beach, and you should not swim here.
All in all, we had a nice trip. Boa Vista is beautiful, but you should go there for the beaches (and the pool) and the nature, rather than for the cultural experience.
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