Since I am currently living in the West Africa region I decided to spend my time exploring this part of the African continent. So for Spring Break I went to Cabo Verde; I grew up in Boston and know lots Cape Verdeans and heard the beaches #myhappyplace were nice. The fact that it is only a 2 hour flight from Dakar which is only a 3 hour flight from Abidjan and they require no visa for US citizens made it a win-win. Sometimes I am #teamdoingtoomuch and my recent trip to Cabo Verde was no exception…I took 6 flights, and stayed in 5 hotels in one week.🤨 Why sway why?🤦🏾♀️ With only a week to explore I should have chosen just to stay on Santiago the main island. But I wanted to go to another island and after some research I decided upon Sal because it has a good reputation for tourists and great beaches. Sounds simple enough but no it wasn’t…there was no flights from Dakar in the afternoon to Santiago so I had to spend a night in Dakar both going and returning which decreased my beach time. Since I visited two islands Santiago and Sal in one week it was busy and not quite the restful vacation I talked about initially because I had to get up early for 3 of those flights despite being on vacation. So don’ do what I did 😝
I really, really enjoyed my time in Praia the city of the main island Santiago where I stayed in two different hotels. At the first hotel the Tropico Pestano, all the spaces were beautifully decorated with art of local artists (this beautiful lady above was my favorite piece), and the rooms had kente cloth pillows and spreads. The rooms were organized around the pool and since I had a room with a balcony I was able to sit outside and read, or watch Netflix if I didn’t feel like going downstairs to the pool. The best part of my stay was the food in the restaurant at the hotel, it was simply delicious with lots of variety of seafood. I absolutely love to eat out and this place made me very happy #foodie.There were two beaches close by, a smaller one in walking distance and a public beach a short taxi ride for me away.😏 This beach Praia de Quebra Canela has grey sand that is hot to the touch as a result I would think of volcanic activity in the area. The water was icy cold so although I went in I didn’t stay in very long. Instead I sat, relaxed and people watched: Cabo Verdean men run the range in melanin and most of the ones on that beach looked like me and had great physiques, flat stomachs, nice strong shoulders, eye candy for sure. 😎 The next hotel I stayed at on the night before I left Praia is the VIP Praia. It was closer to that same beach and had a gorgeous rooftop pool/bar area with a great view of the city. There was also a small mall next door with a grocery store and some local fast food places. I had the pleasure of eating coconut ginger ice cream, two of my favorite flavors together and it was so so yummy I immediately loved it and was left wondering why I had never had this flavor before.
When the plane landed in Sal and I got into the car, I immediately had buyer’s remorse because Sal is a really small island and it was dry like the desert and extremely windy. On the ride to the hotel I didn’t see many people until we pulled into Santa Maria the tourist center but it is a really small town that you can walk around in a matter of 20 minutes because the streets were small. As I counted about 10 dogs just roaming around the streets, I started to feel anxious😩. I don’t like dogs so I definitely prefer to be in places where there are a limited number of them and in Santa Maria this was not the case. To add insult to injury, it was
cold, I mean chilly to me because it was below 77 😬so I was not sure I would enjoy my time there. As I waited to check in at the Ocean Suites where I was staying, I ate from the limited menu at the restaurant, drank some mint tea and went up to my room to take a nap. The rooms at the Ocean Suites were painted in shades of grey with a red accent area around the tv, and nicely decorated with creative, African art around the room and a huge balcony. When I came down for dinner I found the temps had dropped and it was even colder so I ate at the restaurant across the street. The meal was better than I expected and that great, big glass of sangria immediately made me feel much better. The next day luckily the sun came out and the temps rose so I walked to the nearby beach, found a spot on the sand among the crowds and decided to test the water. While this beach was prettier than the one in Praia with its beige sand and blue water and lots of restaurants lining the area, the water was still freezing. So I spent the time watching people and talking to a young tour guide from Obama tours 😉who was trying to sell me on the snorkeling tour. He told me he had family in the Boston area which was not surprising and that he wanted to go live there some day. For lunch I picked one of the restaurants on the beach, ate another good meal and sat there watching local men exercise on the beach and show off their fit physiques.🤩 I realized that people there don’t put their dogs on a leash so you couldn’t tell which dogs were stray. On my way back to the hotel in the evening I walked around the town center, took some pictures and stopped for an ice cream. Later that night I chose another restaurant on the beach and had another good meal before I went back to the hotel as the temps dropped. The next morning I had a local breakfast of Cachupa a tasty stew made with corn, beans, cassava, usually pork and (sweet) potato but it was made with fish so I got to enjoy it. Although I had a good time, I don’t recommend a visit to Sal especially if you are short on time or don’t like dogs, it’s small and there’s not much going on there except for the nightly party at my hotel. I should have followed the recommendation of a woman from a travel group who suggested Sao Vicente but oh well it was all good.
All in all my trip to Cabo Verde was a nice short visit, I got to relax, ate some really delicious food, spent time at the beach #myhappyplace but I could have used more time in one place. I did no tours because my time was limited, yet I absolutely agree that Cabo Verde is an untapped beauty for most of us and we should definitely add it to our travel list especially for the delicious food. During my two evenings in Dakar I stayed at a hotels in Almadies area so I could eat at restaurants by the beach, had a local dish Thiéboudienne and more coconut icecream because next to chocolate it is truly #myfavoritethings so add Dakar to your list as well. #BlackExpat #blackandabroad #springbreak #CaboVerde #travelismytherapy #exploring #foodie #expatdivas #ebonyexpats #wanderlust