I’m not really sure where the last couple of weeks have gone. Between starting my new job and planning my latest adventure, the days have been a blur. After a lot of lusting over travel blogs and Instagram, I’ve had it in my head that I’d love to visit Norway or Iceland. So when Helen found some cheap flights to Reykjavik, I couldn’t resist an impulse purchase mini break! Hopefully this will be the start of many adventures this year and a whole more travel blogging… But instead of getting hung up on colder climates, let’s go back to Boa Vista. Bear with me because this is going to be a very photo heavy post!
As far as travelling goes, I can honestly say I don’t think I’ve ever been somewhere as stunning as Cape Verde. The white sand beaches and turquoise waters have all the makings of a real beach lover’s fantasy. A spur of the moment sort of adventure, we decided to visit the lesser developed Boa Vista after flights to Sal sold out. Despite a minor amount of researching, I’m not sure I was ready for the untouched, raw beauty of the island. Boa Vista, the third largest of Cape Verde islands, is something of an unspoiled paradise. With only a small tourist to local ratio, and even fewer hotels and complexes, it’s the perfect island to explore if you’re looking for something a little off the beaten track.
Yeah, there’s the Thomson all inclusive (and I’m sure very beautiful) resorts. But if you’re happy to skip that, the island’s most beautiful beaches are the ones that aren’t overrun with people. If you’re staying in Sal Rei, Bahia and Morabeza offer the perfect retreats with big beds and bars right on the beach. f drinking cocktails and listening to reggae isn’t your cup of tea, the breeze on this part of the island makes it the perfect spot for windsurfing. Otherwise, it serves as the perfect respite from feeling like you’re scorching. Both beach bars have nice friendly staff and offer reasonably priced cocktails and great food. But Morabeza definitely tips the scale with the most amazing grilled halloumi salads and lobster pasta served right on the sand.
Visiting in April time, the weather is sunny but quite overcast. But then there aren’t many places this side of the hemisphere that you can rely for consistent sunshine on early season. Having a few cloudy days and being a quite windy island, meant that the weather varied between quite cool and blistering. Of course, even on the overcast days, we still managed to catch plenty rays in the hazy sunshine. But being an island in the mid Atlantic ocean, the sea temperatures were pretty chilly! The beauty of the beaches more than makes up for it. And while the fine white sand gets EVERYWHERE, it’s the sort that’s easy to dust off. If you’re as much of a sucker for salty skin and hair as I am though, it’s a small price to pay.
Despite being one of the largest of the Cape Verde islands, Boa Vista has the smallest population. The main town, Sal Rei is the most densely populated in terms of locals, but still a work in progress. Much like the roads. If you’re looking for a week in paradise with white sand beaches, this is definitely the place. But don’t be scared of a little off-road action! Most of the taxis are 4x4s and pick ups driven by friendly locals with simple wooden benches fixed in the back. With little in terms of development yet, the decay of the island’s colonial past is the most striking part of Boa Vista’s architecture. It has the haunted quality of a place that’s been abandoned and left to decay. Colonised by the Portuguese, its name comes from the Portuguese ‘good view’. And with its sun-bleached colour and softly crumbling buildings, the town still has a certain elegance.
If you’re looking for strips of bars and night clubs, or fancy restaurants you won’t find them in Boa Vista. At least not yet. The island is a tranquil haven that you can already tell will be taken over by huge complexes in the next 5-10 years. It’s one of those places you have to see now. An untouched slice of paradise just off the African coast, with sand so white and water so perfectly turquoise blue it’ll take your breath away.