Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Lapworth (spring like cruise and a trip abroad)

The only boats I had seen on the move all week were local residential boaters going to the service point and then back to their moorings.  All changed on Saturday morning – by nine o’clock two hire boats and a private boat with a family on board had come past us.  It then dawned on us that it must he half term, an occasion we often forget about now all the children are well past school age.

Karen and I went for a little cruise on Saturday morning – it was a great feeling not having to dress up warmly.  It was also strange as we didn’t have Buddy with us; I had dropped him off at the kennels on Friday in preparation for our holiday.

Karen getting the first lock ready

We pulled in alongside nb Blue Valentine for a chat with Mandy and Peter and then got underway again.

Heading through one of the quaint iron bridges

On Sunday we were up in the early hours to get the first of our three flights to the island of Maio, one of the Cape Verde islands.  We had chosen this destination as it is the island least affected by tourism and also the greenest (vegetation wise as opposed to ecologically).  There are only a couple of dozen villas to rent in the main town where we are and we are probably the youngest tourists here, the others seem to be French or German.  As for half term – it had passed me by when I booked the villa and flights but this is not the place for families to visit so the only children are locals.

We had a 40 minute stopover in Lisbon and then flew to Praia the capital of Cape Verde on the island of Santiago.  We had an Airbnb apartment for the night and spent the evening wandering around the town.  At one point we saw a grey headed kingfisher which seemed very out of place in a garden away from water.  We walked out along the harbour wall to visit the lighthouse.

The light was powered by a bank of four batteries which reminded us of being back on the boat with our battery bank

On Monday morning we went back to the airport to catch a flight to Maio.  There are only two flights a week and it had been a bit of a worry whether we would catch the plane or not.  Since booking the flights we had had three emails changing the flight times.  The original departure time of 10 in the morning ended up being 6.45 although the last notification we got was for 7.30 so we were glad we got there early.

The airport terminal on Maio

We had booked our villa through Airbnb from an English guy who spends his time between his houses in Santander, England and Maio depending on which ones he has rented out.

The island is very poor as expected and reminded me very much of going to The Gambia thirty years ago.  But everyone seems to be friendly (not surprising as tourists spend money) and we don’t feel intimidated.

The beaches are as deserted as expected with clear turquoise water

The town from the beach bar

We walked away from the town along the beach and our walking app on our phones showed we walked for 1 ¾ miles before turning back.  In that time we did not see a single person and apparently it’s like that all round the island.

There is a lot of birdlife but our bird spotting skills are practically useless so I have sent a few pictures to birder friends to confirm what we have seen so far.

Peregrine falcons (I think) coming in to land on our villa

Ruddy turnstones

Although we live on a boat I really don’t like swimming, mainly because I can hardly swim; however, I have promised Karen I will swim in the pool and in the sea as it is so warm.

Karen enjoying the view from our pool – the first time we have been in an infinity pool

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