The Flâneuse in Lockdown # 2 Sea Sadness / La tristeza del Mar

The sea breeze skimmed over her skin like silky salt. Its aroma the scent of mystery, the secrets never to be found on the never seen other side of the horizon. She shivered as memories triggered deep inside, so she walked along the beach, feeling the sand as each step sank into the wet blanket. The waves inched in, echoing her tears strolling down her cheeks, making her aware of how salty and dry her lips were. A coldness crept over her. She walked to the slipway, marched up then sat on the wall to remove the sand and put on her sandals.

Looking over the harbour, she saw the fishing boats bobbing, but neither sea nor horizon would return who she most desired. Pulling the shawl from her bag, memories returning like the tides as she shook it out, wrapped it around her shoulders but it felt like a shroud. Yet another day she had sought the sea alone.

 

The Atlantic

Seeing the sea

La brisa marina le acariciaba la piel como sal sedosa. Su olor el aroma del misterio, los secretos que nunca se encontrarán en el otro lado nunca visto del horizonte. Se estremeció cuando los recuerdos se dispararon en lo profundo de su interior, así que caminó por la playa, sintiendo la arena húmeda, se hundía en la manta mojada con cada paso. Las olas avanzaban poco a poco, haciendo eco de sus lágrimas que recorrían sus mejillas, haciéndola consciente de lo salados y secos que estaban sus labios. Una frialdad se apoderó de ella. Caminó hasta la grada, subió y luego se sentó en la pared para quitarse la arena y ponerse las sandalias

Mirando hacia el puerto, vio los barcos de pesca flotando, pero ni el mar ni el horizonte le devolvieron a quien más deseaba. Sacando el chal de su bolso, los recuerdos regresaron como las mareas cuando lo sacudió, lo envolvió alrededor de sus hombros pero se sintió como un sudario. Otro día mas ella había buscado el mar sola.

 

Posted in memories, Travel | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Flâneuse in Lockdown #1 Haiku

Many years ago, I was given a copy of The Flaneur, by Edmund White, which I enjoyed. I liked the concept of a stroller, writing detached observations of society. Originating in 19th century France while surveying the streets of Paris. In these Instagram days of the instant image, I like the idea of something slower, more thoughtful, composed, a word picture. The flâneur has become an important symbol for scholars, artists and writers. Recent scholarship has also proposed the flâneuse, a female equivalent to the flâneur.

During lockdown I have written a series of short pieces, prose, poetry, haiku, while perhaps not in strict flaneur tradition they are observations, potential perspectives of this weird time.

I open with my haiku on Lockdown, because I think carrying a notebook to write Haiku compliments the concept of the Flaneur and the Flâneuse

 

sad stillness seeps out

stray thoughts veil descends veil lifts

crisp clean cleansed sky

Shadow in the sunlight

shadow in the sunlight

triste quietud se filtra

pensamientos perdidos velo desciende velo levanta

cielo limpio y nítido

Rainbow after the rain

 

Posted in Haiku, memories, Poetry, Scotland, Spiritual, Travel, Travel Poetry, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The queue

He wandered over to sit on the bench, always trying to be there five minutes before the arrival. It was going to be later this evening the tinkling was farther away. People began to gather by the lamppost, impatient mothers with young techie children, tugging and stamping feet, older children twisting on skateboards or upending on bikes and several glued to phone screens.

A man arrived, big and beefy a child attached to each hand, voicing the words of many, ‘should be here by now, he’s late.’

‘Definitely late, wonder what’s happened?’ said a young mum pushing a buggy back and forward; it had a slithering toddler strapped inside.

The twinkling began to pick up and the group turned as the van came around the corner and parked – not in the usual spot. There was a whoosh as the people rushed to grab their place in the queue.

The old man relaxed and smiled to himself as he saw the customers leave, children already with white and deep pink stripes running down their chin. He sensed a change; it was always a happy event the arrival of pleasure but as the people wandered away, he saw the spring in their step, the glint in their eyes. He joined the queue, he liked to be last to have his daily natter with the ice cream man.

‘What would you like sir?’ asked a young man he had never seen before.
‘I was going to say my usual but you’re new.’
‘My granddad’s in hospital, he was worried, so I offered to cover for the summer.’
‘Oh dear, please pass on my regards, is he very ill?’
‘He took a funny turn and they are doing lots of tests to find out what’s the matter.’
‘I’m sorry to hear that, I looked forward to our chats. Your grandad made me a 99 with two flakes, it was my wife’s favourite.’
‘Would you like to try my new sauce?’
‘Not today but I might tomorrow. Nice to meet you young man.

“You too, enjoy you ice cream, see you tomorrow.

Delicious and Devine

Orange Chocolate and Dulce de leche ice cream in Colonia de Sacramiento , Uruguay

Posted in Food, Writing | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Making Pastry (pie dough)

I haven’t made pastry (pie dough) for years, too easy just to pick up a pack in the supermarket and keep in freezer till required. I used up my last lot of filo pastry just at the beginning of lockdown and decided to add it to my shopping list. It was sold out so decided to make my own.

I didn’t anticipate the cascade of memories it brought flooding back to me. My earliest cooking memory is with my mother, who passed on both her ability to cook and a passion for reading. Making sausage rolls was my first class; I could hear her words coming back about cool hands, very cold water, lard from fridge, cut up in chunks. Good flaky should not be made into breadcrumbs but folded with a knife cutting the fat into tiny pieces. Jus rol was considered an expensive unnecessary luxury. She had a special pastry knife which
I still have and used for the first time in a long while the other day. Rolling it out and while it rested in the fridge, removing the skins from the sausages. The roll and fold into a long thin rectangle, putting the sausage in place then sealing the roll, pricking with a fork, cutting the long strip into into pieces, the egg glaze, to the oven and a wonderful simple childhood tea.

Balsamic onion and toast cheese tart 1

My mother made amazing tablet and wonderful cakes. I’ve never tried to make tablet and I never beat her in the cake stakes, except for cheesecake which is not baked. But in later years, when I was around at home, and she needed pastry she would ask me to make some. You have a good touch for pasty you make it better than me. Praise indeed for my mother whose criticism far outweighed her compliments, but when they came you knew they were sincere and well meant.

Balsamic onion and toast cheese tart 2
I love cooking but modern life tends to find us too rushed, though when I have time find it therapeutic. However, I’ve been cooking more during lockdown, trying out things I have wanted to do for a long time, and here we have balsamic onion and goats’ cheese tart. I enjoyed the tart and have decided when I use up the rest of the batch, I will make my own pastry again and freeze. Financially I don’t think there is much difference in the cost but it is therapeutic, it requires its own pace and setting time aside to focus on that is quite zen. It is also practical to have it ready to go for those times when I come across a recipe that I’d like to try that needs pastry. I won’t have to rush but can use my own home made, which is always best and usually healthier. goats cheese and onion tart 3

Posted in Food, memories, Recipes, Scotland | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Moon Haiku Chain / Luna Haiku

Curved horns winking
in night sky silver orb sits 
slither fades begins 

Crisp ice winter night
howling haunts cold night stillness
dark lit the wolf moon

Winter white slip slide
grasp grip blizzards stormy breath
bright night the ice moon

Chilling chasteness cuts
ripping trees breaking houses
night cleared the wind moon

Seeds stirring waken
showers settle liquid energy
growing moon power

Hares hop grass meadows
poppies pansies come to life
caressed flower moon

Short nights long daylight
petals bloom blossom enchants
the strawberry moon

Cranes corn mead wort hay
calming aroma scented
nights of the rose moon

Swirling storms dust heat
cuts cracked still sky scarred
the lightening moon

Nuts berries barley
to the harvest table go
the singing moon joy

Hunters harvest calls
days slipping fast into night
revealing the blood moon

Snow sadness settling
trading beavers in the dark
of the weak tree moon

Cold oaks standing stiff
long time wishing the passing
of the long night

Howling Moon

Howling wool moon

Cuernos curvos guiñando
el cielo nocturno orbe plateado sienta
desliza se desvanece comienza

Crujiente hielo noche de invierno
aullidos persigue la quietud de la noche fría
oscuro iluminado la luna lobo

Invierno blanco resbala 
agarraron ventiscas aliento tormentoso
noche brillante la luna de hielo 

Cortes escalofriantes 
rasgando árboles rompiendo casas 
la luna del viento despejó la noche 

Semillas despiertan
las lluvias entregan la energía líquida
poder de la luna

liebres saltan prados de hierba
jaras amapolas abren vida
acariciado por la luna flor

Noches cortas, larga luz del día 
florecen pétalos flores 
encantan la luna de fresa 

Grullas maíz mosto heno 
aroma calmante perfumado
noches de luna rosa

Tormentas remolinos polvo 
calorcortes agrietados cielo cicatrizado 
la luna relámpagos  

Nueces bayas cebadaa 
la mesa de la cosecha 
van la alegría la luna canta 

Los cazadores cosechan llaman
los días se deslizan rápidamente en la noche
revelando la luna de sangre 

La tristeza de la nieve se asienta
negocian castores en la oscuridad
de la luna del árbol débil

Robles fríos quietos
mucho tiempo deseando el paso
de la larga noche de luna

 

Posted in Haiku, Poetry, Spiritual | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Dream Catcher / El cazador de sueños

The Dream Catcher

She sat staring at the door.

Slowly it opens creaking to reveal a floor

speckled with starlight.

She stood up and walked towards the opening

It snapped shut, frustrated where was the key?

She looked around the room, scanned the door,

then dropped drained to the floor

and felt the key beneath her back.

grasping the key would she see the stars

when she opened the door

THrough the watery looking glass

Through the watery looking glass

 

Se sentó mirando la puerta.

Lentamente se abre crujiendo para revelar un suelo

Moteado de luz de las estrellas.

Se puso de pie y caminó hacia la abertura.

Se cerró de golpe, frustrado, ¿dónde estaba la llave?

Miró alrededor de la habitación, escaneó la puerta,

luego cayó al suelo agotado

y sintió la llave debajo de su espalda.

agarrando la llave vería las estrellas

cuando ella abrió la puerta

Posted in memories, Spiritual, Writing | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Cape Verde 5 – Farewells

Not so early as the trip to Santiago, but the trip around the island was to be an 8.30 pick up. All my fellow travellers were Portuguese, and the guide directed the majority of his information at them with me getting an edited version tagged on at the end. Despite being very close cousins linguistically to Spanish, which I speak with confidence, I can pick up the odd words but can get a better idea of Portuguese when I see it written down. Our first stop was in the Islands capital, located in the centre of the island. It looked much poorer and not as colourful as the fishing village where most of the hotels are located. Our first stop was a look out point. Sal is fairly flat and its origin as a volcanic eruption was left in no doubt. Flat, dingy the sea and the sky’s blue hues cheered things up. I did make a couple of small purchases and found them much cheaper than Santa Maria.

Our next stop was to visit the location of a mirage. It required crouching down and using a lot of imagination to actually see. At this stopping point was a small café where you could sample the local rum, I declined but did like the selection of pictures and finally saw one which I liked and used the last of my local currency to purchase. A pair of dancers doing the samba, the vivid colours and the energy of the picture drawing you in.

Light by sun rock pool looks like large eye

 

Another natural phenomenon called The Blue Eye was our next stop on this whirlwind island tour. When the sun hits the water in the middle of rock, hued out by the force of the sea, it looks like a very large eye. People were swimming in the water pool, it looked inviting, but the jump was far too high and clambering over the rocks to get out was simply stupid. The walkway to the dive point was good but without more investment in safety features, I remained on land.

Our next stop was to be the most picturesque, a small fishing village with the boats bobbing in the water though there was no time to take a wander to explore. Then it was off to see the sharks, not having seen any marine life on the cruise. However, I was to regret once more not having invested in a pair of crocs. To see the baby lemon sharks, you had to go into the water, Shoe covering was essential, it was possible to hire water shoes for 5€, but I declined. Those on the bus who did go in said they hadn’t seen anything.

Villagers at the fish market

The product that Gives Sal its name

The final stop of the morning was to the former salt mine, that gives the island its name and the chance to float in the saline water. The entrance wasn’t included in the ticket price and when I got through the tunnel I wasn’t impressed. Blistering midday sun and a very steep slope.  I returned and asked if I could get a refund, the very rude ticket seller said no. My guide arranged for me to be driven down by one of the guides going to pick up his clients. A lot of people were floating in the water. My flip flops were not enough, and they fell apart from the saline pull. My guide tried to help me get into to the pool to float but I felt neither safe nor comfortable. I made my way to the bar were my fellow travellers invited me to a beer and voiced my thoughts that the pool needed major investment, Steps, handlebars, supports.

The pulleys that carried the baskets of salt were also used to punish the slaves. They were tied on and whipped. The archipelago was originally uninhabited but colonised by the Portuguese as a slave trading post almost equidistant between Portugal and Brazil. The Senegalese slave traders commuted between the Islands and the coast of Africa, so the Portuguese never had to set foot on the mainland. Many foreign investors eyeing it as a new Caribbean were investing, but sadly on the cheap. The afternoon saw me packing, relaxing and reading.

It was to be a strange last day, it was a night flight back so pick wasn’t till around 7 pm but rooms had to be cleared by ten a.m. I had booked another massage to while away the afternoon. Found a comfy spot in the shade to read and discovered the ice cream station, which I regretted but was probably just as well. I had opted for an Ayurvedic massage this time and once more I felt cossetted and buffeted in the spa rooms with views of the sea and the swaying palms swishing outside. By the time I returned to the main reception people were gathering for the pick-up, those who had spent the day in the pool for the final tan top up were all getting changed. The sun had set as we waited for the bus and for the final time, we made our way round various hotels, the bus filling up. The airport was speedy and straightforward and the duty free was better than anticipated.

The plane back was more modern but still cramped and seats were fixed. I dozed but didn’t really sleep and we landed forty-five minutes early into a cold, dark, wet, Manchester. The airport was quiet and by five thirty we were back at the food area all that was open was Greggs.  My train didn’t leave till ten.  I did manage to while away some time and made my way to the station by nine where I found a rather pleasant café on the middle platform that I hadn’t noticed the day I had arrived. The train journey home was awful.  The first time I travelled on transpennine Service in 2010 I vowed never to use them again. I didn’t until March 2018 when it had proved to be a fairly civilised experience. Although I had a reserved seat, the eight-carriage train was missing four carriages. We all had to bundle on fighting for a seat. Luggage crammed on to seats to not block the aisles. It made everyone narky. I was glad to get off and shuddered and shivered on the cold November day, but the Christmas lights were up and added a bit of cheer.

I’d return to Cape Verde, but I’d try and base myself on the capital island to be able to visit  other islands, I wouldn’t go back to Sal which is developing the all-inclusive holiday resort model which I feel kills character but suits many people. The people were lovely and helpful.

 

Posted in Cape Verde, memories, Travel | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Cape Verde 4 Cruising Singing and Dancing

More Plans 

I took things easy the following morning and after breakfast wandered to reception and coincided with the agents from the company that had organised my trip to Santiago. I booked two more trips, a cruise round the island the following afternoon and a trip round Sal for Monday. I found a spot to read on the garden. The travel agent had told me there was a quicker route to the village if I took the beach path.

The sea and the sky – The Atlantic

Short Cuts 

As I left the hotel, I was approached by various touts selling tickets for trips, but they were similar to what I had already booked. I made my way along what was to prove a fairly tortuous route. It was cobbled with small stones; they were pointed and were painful to walk on. Wearing light sandals, I navigated my way along, looking for the half-moons that were flat and much easier to walk on but the uneven way of walking across the jagged stones slowed me down. I had been advised to invest in crocs for my trip, I wish I had followed the advice. The short cut didn’t prove to be that short.

Getting my bearings 

Finally arriving back in Santa Maria, I found myself at the other end of the street that had the ice cream parlour. I walked along the pier, to establish the cruise departure point for the following afternoon. Looking at the stalls again I was pleased that I had made purchases in Santiago the day before. Treating myself to another ice cream, I was surprised at the length of time it had taken. I decided it was time to check out the clothes shop, but it was closed, not sure for lunch or simply Saturday afternoon. I decided to treat myself to a taxi back to the hotel, it was cheap and well worth it as I had now acquired a blister.

Sailing round Sal

Before my cruise I returned to my spot in the garden to read. The sea was just out of sight but not of ear shot. Cape Verde was windy, but in the garden, it was pleasant cutting the heat and wind. I wanted to arrive fresh for my trip and not fearing extortionate taxi fares I took a cab to the pier and made my way gingerly to the meeting point. I spent some time wondering how the catamaran was to pull up to the side. It didn’t, we all had to climb undignified on to a tiny dingy. I didn’t make it first time as the tiny vessel swished back and forth but made it on the second. It took two trips to get everyone on board. I manged to cut my foot and burst my blister but Amelia the host got out the on board first aid kit and patched everything up for me.

Playing in the band

Sea Sky Singing and dancing 

We didn’t see any whales, dolphins or porpoises but it was an amazing three hours sitting near the edge of the catamaran almost able to touch the ocean. I love being near or on the sea and this was a zen experience. The trip was advertised as sailing round the island, I don’t think we circumnavigated it completely but a cruise is a cruise. The peace brought on from being on holiday plus the massage alongside having ticked the bucket list of trips to another island was consolidating. Towards the end of the cruise we laid anchor and a few people were brave enough to dive in and swim. Most of us watched on board. Then the crew gave a small performance of traditional Cape Verde Music and some of us were given very basic instruments, including myself to join in and others got up to dance. A charming end to a delightful afternoon.

Singing and dancing

The Boutique was Open

I bought some bits and pieces as I made my way back along the street to the pier towards the taxi rank. To my delight I saw the clothes shop had lights on. I came away with two new dresses, they had only been closed for lunch the day before, but I felt my new pieces were meant for me. The assistant was lovely as she brought out several items for me to try on. Despite my injured foot another amazing day was coming to an end, only the trough awaited.

Posted in Cape Verde, memories, Travel | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Cape Verde 3 Visit to the Capital Island, Santiago.

Flying to Santiago 

Waiting for the pick-up to the airport to take the trip to Santiago, I saw the hotel staff being dropped off at the nearby hotels. There was a selection of nationalities on the trip, all from colder climates. Norway, Poland, Holland and three others from the UK. Taking the same route as on the evening of arrival, now seemed a lifetime away as the bus drove on the roads cutting through the desolate Sal landscape. Probably better not to have seen it on arrival, it was depressing. Security was tight but the short flight to Praia the capital city was pleasant and a lot more comfortable than the previous one.

Changing Money 

We meet our guide in the arrivals hall and I followed the lead of the English bloke to go and get money changed. I had some dollars; it didn’t take long and we made our way to the minibus. Following us was the woman from the money exchange, she asked for my receipt. I thought she had given me too much, but it turned out she had not given me enough. Our guide went off and five mins later he came back with even more money for me. The local Cape Verde Escudo, lovely colourful notes. It is a closed currency and I had also brought Euros as they use both the Euro and the Escudo.

Visiting Praia – The Capital City 

Next stop was breakfast where I was to have one of the best espressos I have had in a long time. I sat with the English family, parents and son and we were to be companions for the day. Sadly, I can’t remember their names. Mick may have been one of them.

We were taken to a lookout point where a Portuguese canon still stood and looked over to the Atlantic twinkling in the distance. Led through various points of interest, statues and memorials. We caught a brief glimpse of the president as he was driven into the presidential place, giving us all a wave. Nearby was a park where the slaves were taught to play cards to keep their masters entertained. At each corner of the park there are flower beds laid out in the symbols of each of the four suits of a card deck.

A New Handbag for the collection

We were given some free time in a shopping street, and we were reminded that it was Black Friday a shopping ploy clearly having reached all parts of the globe. I did add to the handbag collection. Not the most expensive but one of the most unusual. Made from recycled tyre and the closing flap embroidered with traditional Cape Verde patterns. As a handbag addict, I like nothing more to get something a bit on the unique side. I hadn’t seen them in Sal.

Black Friday is everywhere

The Original Capital 

Rounded up on the bus we were taken to the original capital of Ciudat Velha, meaning old city in Portuguese. En route we stopped to visit an old church, but it was a ruin and not safe underfoot. It was a rubble path on a steep slope. I opted to avoid the climb and went with the driver where there was a small market and where we were having lunch. My group arrived not long after and the English family felt it hadn’t been worth the effort.

We then made our way to visit a church, the oldest Catholic church in sub Saharan Africa. Adorned by beautiful Portuguese tiles. It had been a stopping point for the famous Portuguese Explorer Vasco da Gama whose presence I had also found in Southern India.

Lunch was a buffet of typical Cape Verde food, chicken, rice, beans and vegetables. Tastier than the hotel, it was nice to sit and chat looking over the bay as the fishermen brought in their haul and laid the nets on the beach.

Fishermen arriving with their catch

Into the mountains 

After lunch, our next stop was a rum distillery where there would be the opportunity to try and buy. There couldn’t have been a greater contrast to the landscape of Sal. Santiago was lush, verdant, and we wound up several mountain roads. A lot of Chinese investment was taking place on the island including the University. We pulled up in a gravel car park and the guide pointed down a steep slope to the distillery. Not an easy walk over a narrow steep stony path. The distillery was a bit of a misnomer. I imagine a whisky distillery in the Scottish Highlands a couple of hundred years ago would be the best analogy. It was a couple of huts with the storage tanks sunk into the ground, protected by coconut matting. Due to the climb I had brought neither bag nor camera so couldn’t record it. The next stop was to try it, I only had a couple of sips, wondering how safe it was to actually drink. Some of the group up with the somewhat dubious rum but the rest of us preferred to make a small donation to the family. The children were all barefoot.

The climb up was as bad as it had been down, taking the quick route, not safe as a downward trek had the ground slipping away beneath your feet, a most unpleasant and worrying sensation. Relief at making it to fairly stable land at the car park and was it worth it? The location like everywhere on Santiago was beautiful.

Verdant, and very windy roads

The Return 

A coffee stop on the road back to the capital, was a non-event. A small shop and we had a final stop while the driver changed buses. Gazing out into yet another view of the Atlantic as the sun began to dip into the horizon. People were beginning to get very antsy as we had a flight to catch. The guide returned and we made it to the airport, we had our boarding passes issued in the morning but those who had purchased rum had to check it in as hold luggage.

The flight back was uneventful, but again we had to wait as the rum purchasers had to wait for their luggage. Sal was now bathed in darkness and we made the now familiar trip back to the various hotels.

 

 

Posted in Cape Verde, Food, memories, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Cape Verde 2 Exploring

First Steps

Our room was quite a long way from the reception area, and I made it just in time for breakfast. It was an all-inclusive holiday and we were all manacled with plastic wristbands to identify us. We were warned by the tour company rep that hawkers would approach us and say they worked in the hotel when we were in the village. She didn’t explain they did this because the hotels were colour coded, that I was to learn later.

Spa treatments

I returned to unpack and organise then went to explore the complex. I had found the spa just before it closed for lunch so planned to return to book when it reopened after lunch. I was delighted to find there was immediate availability for both a massage and a pedicure.  Spending the rest of the afternoon in a state of bliss, first in the massage room air conditioned with a view of swaying palm trees and blue sky, the sounds of the sea a distant soundtrack. More in the here and now for the pedicure as my feet were coaxed and pampered and ready for holiday exploration.

The main dining room was trough like, large and bright but functional. I enjoyed identifying some of the fish I knew from living in Spain. Catering to various nationalities and tastes, the fun of eating soon become a chore. An industrial seasoning flavour became ubiquitous with every dish as the week went on. It was possible to eat in the boutique restaurants within the complex, but the long queues were off putting. I later heard from others that one of the three restaurants was good, the others slightly better than the international trough.

The Village

Day two in Cape Verde saw me rise fresh from a good night’s sleep and feeling the benefits for the massage. My plan after breakfast was to go to Santa Maria the little fishing village to explore and to see if it was possible to visit another island. My thinking was, having travelled a couple of a thousand miles south to an archipelago it would be good to take a look at another one.

The walk to the village wasn’t far but seemed longer than it was. There was no shade until I reached a little row of shops with balconies, a feature I knew from Spain. I saw various travel agents offering similar rips, a cruise round the island, a trip round the island. Sadly, the night trip to read the night sky was not available because the telescope was awaiting a missing part.

I delayed my decision and made my way further into the village. I visited a small stall market selling a mix of goods but found the black volcanic sand uncomfortable to walk on. A wander in the other direction and saw more of the same and a lot of pictures being sold but none really grabbed my attention. The ice cream parlour did, so I sat down and treated myself.

Travel Plans

I made my way back towards the street with the most travel agents but found a clothes shop with some lovely dresses on sale. The assistant took one look at me and said come back on Saturday we are getting new stock tomorrow, we will have larger sizes. A few doors up I went into a travel agency and asked about trips to other islands. They recommended Santiago the capital island. There was a daily flight to and from the capital. Initially they suggested Monday but after a few calls the only availability was for the following day. Advised to take it, the travel agent echoed my own thoughts about taking the opportunity to visit another island. Booked for the next day they advised I could book the other trips in the hotel as the agents visited all the hotels in turn. I was to be picked up at 6.15 am and would be back at 8 pm.

The travel agent who was Portuguese and had lived many years in Spain, we had found it easier to communicate in a common second language, gave me a lift back to the hotel, most appreciated in the heat. With exploration in hand I decided to opt for an afternoon by the pool. I love the heat and cope up to35ºc pretty well but my years living in Spain have taught me to look for the shade. The pool was okay but was deep all round and I enjoyed the swim. However, cooking on a sunbed I find to be one of the most boring and uncomfortable pastimes on earth. Millions of people do it every day but it’s not for me. I returned to rest read and the bland evening meal. And looking forward to the following day.

Getting your bearings

The road sign in Santa Maria

Posted in Cape Verde, memories, Travel | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments