All of Cape Verde’s islands are of volcanic origin, but the power of volcanism is most noticeable on the “Fire Island”. A 2.800 m high textbook volcano rises directly out of the ocean. The slopes on the northern side are fertile and green; there are coffee plantations here that go all the way up to the crater. The inside of the Caldeira volcano, which rises out of Pico de Fogo, is sparse and stony and reminds one of a moon landscape. Sulphur vapours well up through yellow chasms. The last eruption occurred just recently in 1995. Here, the little village of Cha das Calderas lies at an elevation of 1600 m with its picturesque stone houses, where a stubborn yet hospitable population grows a fiery wine with a fine tradition.
From here, we will be tackling the ascent to the summit. At the top, a fantastic view awaits the bold hikers, and an even more fantastic descent through the soft ashes.
Sao Filipe, the capital of the island, lies high up on a bluff above the torrential ocean. The colonial houses were restored with great care, and on the cobble stone roads, pedestrians still have the right of way.