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Mindelo, Cape Verde Isles

Friday 28th December 2012.

Because we got into Mindelo quite early & the Braemar is quite noisy in port at first, we were woken up at 0610, so made tea in leisurely manner & were out for breakfast at about 7. Mindelo Harbour is probably a caldera & there is a prominent sharp rock which may be the core of the old volcano.

Entrance to Mindelo Harbour. The Island of Saò Anteò feintly in the distance.

Looking East from our berth in Mindelo Harbour

Later, a Geologist on board commented that he had seen rock formations that he had never seen before & which looked like folding, something that would not have happened but may have been due to movement of gases in the rock. We went on a tour, firstly round the town & to the Sports Centre, which is on a prominent hill near the sea.

West over Mindelo City from the Sports Centre hill

East from the Sports Centre hill

Mindelo is not quite as interesting than Praia. The Cathedral was shut & the market was very orderly.



Town Hall

Market roof

The Market from its gallery

Big vegetables

Then, we were driven up the highest hill, about 2/3 the way (it is 750m) to an excellent but (apropos our pharmacist Prem's warning) very windy viewpoint. There seems to be little & struggling agriculture & not many bushes. Zero wildlife, except for egrets & insects.

Mindelo City from the mountain viewpoint

East from the mountain viewpoint

We drove down to a beach with huge sand dunes of sand blown 300 miles from The Sahara Desert. We are talking millions of tons. I found very little in the way of plants to photo.

The efforts of a frustrated flower photographer.

Nearby was a sort of new village of posh villas, a rich mans' shanty town. There were very basic public loos, rather welcome after this amount of time & in a café, something like soft flapjacks, fishy little pasties & cheese, with basic fizzy drinks. There was also some basic entertainment.

Sahara sand & the Rich Mans' Shanty Town

The café in the Rich Mans' Shanty Town & entertainers

Very basic public loos

Some of the dancers

Somewhat antique coach

Art Gallery

Dry stone walls round vines.

Then, we were driven back to town & looked at the Art Gallery, which did not have much in it, except batiks (below).

Isaac, our guide

Bodega la Geria.

Dry stone walls round vines.

Back to the ship by 1315. The coach (like us passengers) was fairly antique, with cast plastic seats & no air-conditioning. Our guide Isaac, was a native of the next island, Sao Antao, which we should have visited. He was a graduate but said there are ten graduates for every appropriate job, so he does tours & works on the family farm. At least, he has that to do. After lunch, I walked through the dockyard, noting the various different vessel some of which were either virtually or actually derelict.

Graffiti on the dockyard wall of a sort we have not seen before. What was a Ukrainian tug doing here?

Immaculate coastguard vessel

Scruffy local-registered ship

Portuguese anti-pirate fort

Some were obvious re-registrations, one derelict having Nautica Bergen cast into its stern & a painted on Sao Vicente registration. I had climbed up onto the quay for photos. There must have been 100 vessels in port, from small yachts to a derelict car ferry plus Braemar. Avis had been in the gym, which has replaced the old Starlight Bar on deck 7, as Fred Olsen decided that all gyms should have a view. It used to be on deck 2. After tea with the geologist, we went on top for the evening light but it was noisy & we retreated to the Observatory.

Evening light panorama from the ship

Port 1 - Funchal,

Xmas Day

Port 2 - Praia,
Cape Verde Isles

Port 4 - Santa Cruz,

Port 5 - Las Palmas,
Gran Canaria

Port 6 - Lisbon,

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Contact: Ken Baldry at 17 Gerrard Road, Islington, London N1 8AY +44(0)20 7359 6294 or e-mail him
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