Vanessa and I took a ferry to Santo Antao, one of the bigger islands of Cape Verde. Santo Antao is also higher than Sao Vicente but does not have a harbor where sailing yachts can anchor comfortably. Vanessa would not appreciate a sail of two hours to the other island anyway. So we took the ferry taking us in one hour to Santo Antao.
Small detail, the crew handed out throwing-up bags for people getting sea sick, which some people needed. The trip took one hour for the ferry to moor at the dock of Porto Novo, the main city of Santo Antao. There our hostel from Casa das Ilhas, had arranged a taxi to bring us together with a Belgium company, to the other side of the island where we would stay. There was a detour planned for the Belgium company towards the edge of a crater “Cova” (dead volcano) where they would decent towards the hostel, some four hours hiking further along the way. Vanessa and I had planned this trip for the next day.
I did not know what to expect of Santo Antao, but vanessa had visited this Island some years ago. I surely did not expect a beautiful green island after barren Sao Vicente. Santo Antao looks like a jungle where King Kong has lived and the bottom of the crater looks like a paradise with lush green and fertile ground with all kinds of vegetables and fruits growing there. Although not abundant, Santo Antao has fresh water running from the mountains, making the north west part very green.
Next day we did this hike also and luckily the clouds and mist cooled the area where we walked to a acceptable temperature. Also, we only had to decent towards our hostel which was not as luxurious as Hotel Kira’s but very idyllic in the middle of the mountain. Our new host cooked for us a simple but very nice meals for the three days we have spent there. The ever necessary shower was present as well. Also a place we can recommend.
Next day we did another hike presumably for four hours, but taking six hours with rest because we got lost. First we had to ascent for almost one hour without the benefit of a cool mist. The temperature was above 30 degrees. Slowly, every 15 minutes stopping and hiding from the sun behind a small stone wall, we climbed up the mountain along a winding path toward a small village. In the village we met very nice people inviting us in their homes to rest outside the sun and we met a small group of children who climbed this mountain every day from school! After the village, the path became more adventurous, so we lost or way. However, people working in the fields where very friendly to point out the right direction but could not prevent us to take a more strenuous route from which we were not sure where it would bring us.
At the end of our tethers and water bottles we were directed in the right direction and stumbled our way towards the main road, finally. Just image, all the houses and small villages (five houses or so) where only connected by a trail we used to like for hiking. Regardless whether you had to go up or down, carrying all your shopping’s, food or water. We found a small bar along the main road selling the finest cold beer I ever had. Wonderful!
Santo Antao is a beautiful island where one could hike for days. The environment is green, often with small creeks and streams with fresh water. We found the people living there very friendly and helpful. A place well worth visiting again.