So why does ARC+ visit the Cape Verde Islands?

14 November 2014

São Vicente is known as the Culutral Island of the Cape Verdean Archipelago. The port at Mindelo used to be busier but since its decline a new focus on Cape Verdean culture has developed here. Many sailors from around the world have passed through the port and whilst here have looked for amusement and entertainment.  As a consequence, São Vicente is the birthplace of the many, even internationally famous, music styles of Cape Verde such as morna or coladeira. Well-known artists such Baú still perform in the clubs such as Café de Morna or Café Musique and also in Mindelo’s smaller restaurants.

Outside the city of Mindelo, where more than 80% of São Vicente 80,000 residents live, is a dry landscape. However, with towering peaks such as the mighty Monte Verde peak  at 750 metres and the two other mountain ranges of Madeiral and Fateixa), it is an interest area to explore, not least to catch a view back down into the city of Mindelo or across the the neighbouring islands of  Santo Antão and the uninhabited islands of Santa Lucia, Branca and Raso.  The ARC+ crews will visit São Vicente as a group on Monday.

The neighbouring island of Santo Antão is almost a complete contrast. The second-largest island of Cape Verde is also mountainous but it is green with abundant vegetation and the soil is rich for cultivation, particularly on the northern side. There are forests of fir and pine trees as well as plantations of date and coconut palms, mango and carob trees, as well as citrus, almond, papaya and orange trees. Maize, pineapples, coffee and manioc are cultivated in the mountains on terraced fields that consist partly of black lava soil and partly of white "pozzolana". The fragrance of eucalyptus, lavender and even lotus blossoms hangs in the air.

The nearly 50,000 inhabitants of the island mainly live in the cities of Porto Novo, Ponta do Sol, Paúl and Ribeira Grande. However, the residents of Santo Antão are mountain people and are spread throughout its area; many attending to the crops.

Many of the ARC+ crews will take the ferry to Santo Antão on Sunday, to tour this wonderful island. Whilst only a short crossing of about one hour, the distance between the impression of  the two islands, could not be greater.