Twice a day, when the ship from Mindelo docks at Porto Novo, half the island’s population comes together at the wharf. Pallets with beer and sacks of flour are unloaded; vegetables, papayas and chickens are then stowed under the deck.
With the “aluguer”, a small bus, van, or an open pick-up truck, we will be driving up an adventurous serpentine road to an alpine mountain landscape with elevations up to 2000 m, mystical cloud forests and sparse plateaus. Sugar cane, manioc, papaya and coffee are cultivated on the tropical green stepped terraces.
The footpaths are something really special. A unique net of well-fortified, ancient cobble stone roads runs all over the island. They are still used by the locals in order to reach the fields and villages. These comfortable cobbled roads have been built by the island inhabitants over generations of hard work, running along the steepest slopes, over the highest mountains and atop the most breathtaking bluffs. We will travel on these roads through the diverse landscapes of Santo Antaos, and will encounter mule caravans and children on their long trek to the next village school.
In the nice dozy fisher villages such as Ponta do Sol, life still has a contemplative rhythm. Here, one can watch women as they pound the corn or join the fishermen down at the harbour when they are selling their freshly-caught fish beside their colourful boats. One lives in small boarding houses or private accommodations with a view on the ocean. A few restaurants and cafés are located around the harbour. Just the right place to enjoy a fresh crayfish or a tuna steak after a day of hiking in the mountains.