I love Cape Verde so much, I visit the islands as often as possible. Many times I’ve stayed on Sal. Surely, this is the best place for kitesurfing in the world! Since summertime is not the perfect time for kitesurfing, I decide to do some “Cape Verde island hopping” instead. And, of course, make some new Cape Verdean friends along the way. Let me inspire you to visit Cape Verde: travel the diverse islands, meet the laid back people, and taste delicious food.
Kitesurfer in need of power food
Looking back at my time on Sal I do not only remember the wind & waves. Moreover, the hungry feeling after hours of kitesurfing come to mind. Sure thing: a kitesurfing lady needs power food! The local dishes Feijoada and Cachupa (main ingredients: beans, corn, vegetables, meat or fish) are very nutritious. It contains everything your sporty muscles need! So, the perfect meal to eat when you are active all day long.
On these hungry days, several times I shared lunch with a local ResiRest family in Santa Maria. Sometimes I went by myself, sometimes in the company of someone, I met during surfing. Anyway, it always was pleasant and surprising to share a Cachupa or a Feijoada with locals. When I found out ResiRest is also available on some islands besides Sal, I made a mental note to search for some more homemade power food on my next trips.
Summertime: Cape Verde island hopping
Yes, it’s time to go to Cape Verde again! Since summertime is not a good time for kitesurfing, we grab our chance to do something else. With my friend Julie Dheere, I am off for a Cape Verde island hopping experience. Main goal: visiting the beautiful island Santo Antao. We heard and read a lot about it. Unlike Sal, the scenery of Santo Antao is hilly & green. And to get there, we stop over at another amazing island: Sao Vicente.
On Santo Antao, there’s no airport yet. So, first, we fly to Sao Vicente. The next morning, we get on the ferry from Mindelo to Porto Novo. Exploring Santo Antao, we travel with a private guide, Nany West. On day one, we hike on the Cova crater and all the way down to the beach of Paul. That’s quite a trip altogether! Next day, we decide to take a tour by minivan. Our guide shows us Ribeira Grande, Ponta do Sol, and a unique village in the mountains called Fonthainas. Santo Antao turns out to be a beautiful island indeed!
Tips to travel to Santo Antao
First tip: double check the departure times of the ferry. We had a crazy ride back to the ferry because suddenly we found out the last ferry was leaving at 16.00 instead of 17.00. Luckily, our guide informed us just on time and called someone to get us the tickets. Yet, we had to drive pretty fast to Porto Novo to catch it.
Speaking of ferries, that’s the only way to get to Santo Antao, since there is no airport yet. So, from Sal you can fly to Sao Vicente, and then you get on the boat. For your comfort, make sure you arrange your flight on time!
Does Santo Antao appear on your bucket list? They are planning to build a small airport. You might want to visit the island before it opens since this will increase the number of tourists by large tour operators. Off you go! As we go off to Sao Vicente again.
Mindelo, and there’s the Feijoada again
Well, the ferry safely takes us back to Mindelo on Sao Vicente. And right here, we take the opportunity to have dinner with locals. Like on Sal, we book a meal by ResiRest to discover some true local culture. So, on our last evening on Sao Vicente, we meet a lovely local family!
We arrive on the meeting point. The paterfamilias Carlos Nunes already waits for us. He takes us to the house of his family. At the house, the whole family welcomes us with much warmth. Everything is set, and they invite us to join them at the dining table.
Immediately we start chatting. Yes, there is a language barrier. But we can work around using words from all different languages, as well as our hands and feet. Meanwhile, we enjoy the food and drinks. Their homemade Ponch is the best I’ve ever tasted!
We really have a great time together. Like meeting old friends. After dinner, our bellies stuffed, we all place our chairs outside on the street. Conversations keep on going while some local friends drop by, making it an evening never to forget. Among them, a guy who lived in Belgium for some time. So, now we even found ourselves a translator, since he happens to speak French perfectly.
Before we met the family, we had some plans to visit some bars in Mindelo. We never made it. The atmosphere is so nice, we stay as long as possible with our host family. Making the best travel memories on Sao Vicente. We are glad to have such an amazing night before we have to leave the island to fly back to Sal. It certainly made our Cape Verde island hopping adventure complete!
We recommend it!
We would like to thank ResiRest for setting up this kind of meeting with locals. It has been a wonderful evening (&night)! And, the best thing is, you can have these meetings all over the world with all kind of people. Sharing a meal with a local family paints your trip with beautiful colors. It gives you not only a taste of the delicious local cuisine, you get to learn the local culture too. Therefore, we highly recommend Cape Verde island hopping and meeting up with the Cape Verdean people!
About the author
Vera Van den Broeck (51) lives in Belgium. She loves to travel, especially to Cape Verde. In the spring of 2017, she was among the first travelers to meet & eat with Cape Verdean families by ResiRest.
Be like Vera and get a taste of real local Cape Verdean life yourself! Book your meal with locals in the free ResiRest app right now! We believe in sustainable travel. So, by joining ResiRest, you directly support your host family. See you soon!