Cape Verde-Santiago bus to Tarrafal

Fishing Boat in Tarrafal

Day 280 – 23rd April 2011

Praia, Santiago, Cabo Verde

Cape Verde-Santiago bus to Tarrafal

Tanaca showed up as usual around 9, but today he was only needed to keep an eye on the boat.  We accepted the tow ashore and made our way on the buses to the town of Tarrafal.  The mini bus only leaves when it is full – and when I say full, I really mean full.  16 people and the entire back seat was filled with cargo.  Somebody’s child lay sleeping across my lap. A few stops for deliveries and pick ups and we made progress towards the main road.  Once on the open road, the driver hardly lifted his foot off the accelerator.  The road was wide and had an asphalt surface, I was pleasantly surprised. Small subsistance farms with cabbages, corn, papaya, mango and other items too far away for me to identify dotted the hills.  The interior of the island was an interesting mix of jagged mountains and valleys with terraces on the lower slopes.  A cool breeze blew through the open windows sending some strong body odours my way.

Every village had a church and Saturday it seemed was laundry day!  There were clean clothes hanging everywhere flapping in the breeze looking like buddhist prayer flags.  Ladies were washing clothes using big concrete basins with an integrated washboard.  The music continued to blare out from the speaker at my hip.  I had no idea how the little guy asleep on my lap managed.  Some houses were so precariously perched on the hillside, you would need to have the balance of a mountain goat to reach them. A solitary tree absolutely covered in flowers, a beautiful shade of purple caused me to say “Awe!” and smile.  We stopped, and the driver got out, lifted a little girl of about two years out of the bus and onto the side of the road.  Barefoot, she was dressed in a cream frilly dress, which the driver held up over her head and the child did a pee with all of us looking on.  There were goats and chickens everywhere there was a home and the odd home had a donkey.  A village called Chao Bom was swarming with pigs and piglets.  They were everywhere, wandering around the streets and lying outside doorways.  At Tarrafal, we had lunch which was delicious, then I went for a shower on the beach.  I tidied the lawn, and washed my hair and thought, “this might be my last decent shower for more than a month.”

view from the bus Cape Verde-Santiago bus to Tarrafal The return trip involved a few detours and an unexpected transfer in Santa Catalina. I visited the internet café for a quick update and returned to Faraway where I began to read a new book.

Menu today

Breakfast – Tea and muesli

Lunch – Slow cooked beef and pork with rice and chips and a beer

Dinner – Lunch was enough

Snacks – Fruit and nut custard pastry, Sprite

Meraid Griffin

Freelance writer, adventurer and public speaker. Descibed in the Sunday Times as a 'modest explorer'. Nothing modest about me.

Fancy sharing your thoughts