Sao Anton Island

Sao Anton is a 90 minute ferry ride west from Mindelo. If you find yourself in Cabo Verde, a visit to this lovely island should not be missed.

The south of Sao Anton is a dusty and windswept badland. From the port a rough cobbled road climbs 6,000 feet into clean cool air and a wonderland of deep ravines, canyons, volcanic craters and dizzying cliffs. The whole area is reminiscent of the approach to Machu Pichu, or the Himalayan foothills. Every conceivable space – both horizontal and vertical – is terraced and farmed. On the northern side of the island, ugly little cinderblock villages sit on the water’s edge at the base of huge cliffs. Big North Atlantic swells crash onto the volcanic coast and the wind is constant and wearying.

At sunset we watched fishing boats negotiating a tricky entrance into the tiny harbour at Punta do Sol before we collapsed into our beds at the hotel, whose shutters rattled unsettlingly in the wind.

Ian and I will be sorry to see Maxine go. She’s been her usual irrepressible self and, as I have said before, she leaves behind a larger but emptier boat. Without her we depart for Trinidad tomorrow and I hope the crossing takes less than 2 weeks. Looks like there’ll be plenty of wind.

Meanwhile, here are some pics of Sao Anton.

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