Cabo Verde

December 16, 2013

Santiago island had a mostly rocky volcanic coastline.
One exception is the pretty beach at the far north by Tarrafal.

Six weeks ago the small country of Cape Verde officially changed its semi-anglicized name to Cabo Verde. So I'll make the switch which at least makes the name consistently Portuguese, instead of half English (Cape) and half Portuguese (Verde). Few online maps have been updated, although National Geographic claims to be working hard.

Diogo Gomes, the Portuguese explorer credited
with discovering Cabo Verde (circa 1460)
Cabo Verde's archipelago of nine inhabited islands are about 400 miles off the west coast of Africa. It was uninhabited when the first Portuguese landed in the 1400s.

Today Cabo Verde has nearly 500,000 people, most mixed Portuguese and African descent, speaking Portuguese and creole. It's had some droughts and rough times since its revolt gained independence in 1975, but it has the most literate and least poor citizenry in West Africa.

Local singer rehearsing for a festival that night.
Cabo Verde is famous for its music genres (like morna, funaná, coladeira, cabo-zouk), but as an amateur, I especially hear the fusion of lots of good Brazilian and African influences.

The various islands have their own attractions. I went to Santiago, the largest and most populated island. I stayed in Praia (pop 150,000), the capital, but explored all over the island.
In the south of Santiago by the old capital (Cidade Velha).
The interior has great jagged peaks along the ridge of the highest mountain ranges.
What is it about real markets that makes them always so appealing ―
nature's bounty, colors, freshness, authenticity, smiling sellers, all the above?
My seat was almost in the cockpit of this Beechcraft 1900D (Senegal Air).
I'd never flown in such a small prop plane over hundreds of miles of ocean
― Dakar to Praia's Nelson Mandela Airport, and later back to Dakar.
The diaspora is often found in Massachusetts (esp. in New Bedford) and Rhode Island.