Local Heart, Global Soul

September 2, 2011

Comparing Dinner to Lunch and being Ruined for Life…

Filed under: CAPE VERDE,FOOD,Travel — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Still on my 2007  retro tour of Sal in the Cape Verde islands, we have found that cooking back at our self catering accomodation is limited by  the difficulties of obtaining the ingredients in the quantities we want and the cooking space and equipment available.

Eating out is not terribly expensive so we  decide to head to the resautant that’s  not too far from the pier, on the beachfront  for dinner.

We had been here earlier in the day, for lunch  and returned  in the evening becuase we had been impressed. I’ve got a combination of our lunchtime and evening menu photos here.

Kiwi’s Best Friend had lobster for lunch, she scored it high on the yummy scale, and  had a deep fried cheese appy to go wiith it, the verdict on the cheesy thing  was ” looked divine, taste somewhat lacking”

Kiwi’s Best Friend had sampled some of my lunchtime tuna and loved it so ordered the tuna for dinner … I tried some too… it was good but was not nearly as good my lunch plate….  Different chef perhaps?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Wanting a change from tuna  I opted for the grilled fish for dinner and it was  quite tasty actually, especially compared to some of the others.. ton of tiny bones made it a hassle though…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Himself couldn’t resist the lure of reasonably priced mega fresh lobster… we hardly got a word out of him becuase he was constantly busy eating with a look of bliss on his face.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Ordering the bread here was the best and worst thing I have probably ever done in my life. It was beyond divine. It’s arguably the best combination of garlic and bread I have ever eaten, the garlic was intense but not with that “raw” kind of taste you sometimes get when you have a mega heap of garlic…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I want all garlic bread to be like this.. forever and ever. This one has probably ruined me becuase few will ever measure up to this again in my lifetime. (sigh) I wrote this note when we were on Sal and sadly no garlic bread I have had since has been as good.

This bread has ruined me for life…   I have this bread in mind each and every time I make my own garlic butter concoctions to go on bread… I keep trying, but in all honesty, I haven’t even gotten close.

Oh well, everyone needs a Life Challenge,  “To attempt to match this garlic bread perfection“… (happy sigh) …someone’s gotta do it.

September 1, 2011

There is also Time for Some Fun…

Filed under: CAPE VERDE,PHOTOGRAPHY,Places and Sights,Travel — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Still on my retro tour of the Cape Verde Island of Sal… Yes, we often see people fishing for their dinner’s but there is also some time for fun.

The beaches here are well known in windsurfing circles and we saw quite a few surfers too.

The large jetty in the bay stands on very tall piles and some of these dare devil locals were taking a running jump and going some somersaults off the sides:  it’s much further down that it looks, so bravo guys, rather you than me!

Getting the shutter to close at the right moment on a small point-and-shoot camera is notoriously difficult so I praised the digital age for what must be the ten zillionth time as I deleted  tens of photos that showed just a foot, or an arm or in a lot of cases, entirely missed the jumper completely.

Diving is also popular here, but getting the heavy tanks into the boats at the end of the jetty was no mean feat.

There’s too big a drop to pass them down so they has to take them one handed on a slippery ladder at the end.  We watched a team of guys loading and unloading tanks from boats and even though they are well used to the heat they were sweating like crazy.

This isn’t just work, it’s a workout.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 31, 2011

Make a Man-Made Tidal Pool and the Sea Dumps in Fish Twice a Day!

Filed under: CAPE VERDE,PHOTOGRAPHY,Places and Sights,Travel — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

On the other side of the restaurant close to our rental appartment, someone had made a sort of  pond or man-made tidal pool that appears to be self-stocked spasmodically by the sea as the tide passes over it twice a day.

From the vantage point of the restaurant balcony we look down on  a group of young lads fishing for their dinner. They appeared to be sorting and cleaning  the fish as well.

From the  restaurant  balcony I could also zoom in on the jetty across the bay (not that the zoom lens on the camera I was using is particulary powerful)

A few days later I take more photos from this same jetty and with the zoom pointed back towards this restaurant it’s possible to see the waves rolling over the spot where these boys are fishing in the first photos.

Not only is this a cool way to go fishing it’s also dinner!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 30, 2011

Boat Photo’s Anonymous anyone?

Filed under: CAPE VERDE,PHOTOGRAPHY,Places and Sights,Travel — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Ok.. I admit it .. whilst we were on Sal in Cape verde in 2007, I took a heap of Boat photos…

Crikey, there are almost as many Boat photos as Food photos…

Kid photos of course came out on top per volume… but the kids are cute (and mine) and I can justify them… and food..

…well, I’m a Foodie… nuff said…

But boats?

Goodness knows I’m the Worlds Worst Sailor… and yet I find the boats fascinating. There’s no  logic to it.

Part of the allure are the beautiful colours that the boats have been painted, (that’s the Portuguese colonial influence) and the stunning colours of the water around here.

…anyone know of a Boat Photographer’s Anonymous I could attend?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 29, 2011

All aboard a Yellow Submarine!

Filed under: CAPE VERDE,PHOTOGRAPHY,Places and Sights,Travel — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Ok.. if you have sea salt  in your blood,  dream of the sea and sailing the world, then this trip would be one of your dreams come true.

The Neptunus looks like a Yellow Submarine but is actually a glass bottomed boat… I’m rally rather  proud of these photos of  wrecks we went past considering that I lasted about 30 seconds below deck…

…if you are a car sick, train sick, bus sick, wobbly legged sea sick confirmed landlubber like myself, the biggest pleasure was getting my green gilled self back onto dry land as promptly as possible.

Since I have the ability to feel sea sick about five metres from dock, this was a trip where I was determined to try mind over matter and  give it my best shot, Hey I might even enjoy it …

(um… wrong,  looking at anything bobbing up and down had it’s usual devistating effect on my stomach and there I was with a view of the sea from the perspective of leaning over the stern) If ever there was someone who’s feet were destined to be anchored firmly to dry land it was me.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This was also the very first time when we got a hint that Kiwi Daughter shares the motion sickness gene of her mother and does not pocess the sea farer stomach stoutness of her father.

Little Mr. however needed no press ganging to enjoy the views, both from above and below, he could happily run away to sea.
We take a tour down the coast, and get a new viewpoint of our hotel as we go past… yep, it was quite choppy…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 28, 2011

Fishing for your Supper….

Filed under: CAPE VERDE,LIFE,PHOTOGRAPHY,Places and Sights — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Very close to Pedra Luma and the salt workings there is a small harbour. There are some local fishermen there, working hard…

This fellow sitting working in his boat on the water, saw us, waved, motioned us over, mimed taking a photo and grinned, so he was pleased to have his photo taken.

The arrival of our small tour party of six, trippled  the number of people in the harbour,  it’s rather lonely out here in this tiny almost deserted settlement.

As you can see from some of the photos I have taken in the posts so far, Sal has no lush fields, vegetable plots or gardens. Fruit and vegetables are all bought here from other,  more furtile islands in Cape Verde.

What they do have here is Fish.  You’d better be a fish eater here or you will find yourself going rather hungry. Every menu we come accross offers a small amount of salad, fish, fish, sea food and fish.

Luckily we love fish. (That said, I might have to get used to the idea of having it constantly, almost 365 days of the year if I actually lived here).Thus fishing here is livelyhood and survival, it’s the Cape Verde daily bread … well daily fish.

Following the Portuguese tradition, the fishing boats are brightly painted, and are beautiful to watch bobbing around in the clear turquoise water of the harbour. We  do a bit of boat spotting and watch the gent in blue busy cleaning his catch.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 27, 2011

Pedra Lume… the Future and the Past…

Filed under: CAPE VERDE,HISTORY,PHOTOGRAPHY,Places and Sights — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This post continues yesterday’s, where we hired a 4-wheel drive vehicle and set out to explore Sal’s biggest salt mine …

We take the road to Pedra Lume, where the salt processing is done. Our guide pops inside first and talks to someone he knows in there,  he comes out smiling, Yes, we have permission to go inside and take photographs.

This shed was huge…  it once held tons of salt for export, now in just one tiny space at the end of it  their entire supply was stacked up…

What was once the main processing area was in total ruin…

Pedra Lume is the oldest settlement on Sal, and once thrived, but today it has few inhabitants,  and they are mostly fishermen instead of salt miners these days.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We did see a large signboard with architects drawings  envisaging a proposed hotel complex for Pedra Lume.  We didn’t see any actual construction, but since we visited in 2007, maybe something has since been completed.

The kids in the houses mimicked “taking a photo” and then grinned and pulled faces at us.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Sadly, depletion of the salt deposits, transport costs, the world market for salt and general running costs meant that  a fraction of the original mining operation is still in working order… it just doesn’t make enough money to expand the business more.

Pedra Lume is the oldest settlement on Sal, and was once a thriving community. Today it’s a shadow of it’s former self and the few remaining inhabitants are mostly fishermen and not salt miners these days.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 26, 2011

A Volcano, a Discovery and a Name Change…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Another post in my retroctive tour of  one of the islands in the Cape Verde  group, visited in 2007.

During our stay we discovered that the Island of Sal has not always been named “Sal.

Discovered in 1460 it was first called  “Llana” and the islands biggest (and pretty much only) geographical featutue is the extinct  “Pedra de Lume” volcano.

One day salt was found in the crater of the volcano and the island found itself an important industry, important enough that the islands’ name was changed to “Sal

(“Salt” in Portuguese).

We hired a 4 wheel drive for the day and set out into the desert to explore….

Since the salt mine area is mostly found  in the centre of an extinct volcano… we need to find a way inside it. First we drive up the side as far as we can and  then this tunnel though the rim… is the only way in or out…  it’s  rather narrow so we descide to walk through it rather than drive.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

It was soooooooooo hot outside and soooo cool in the tunnel LOL.. It wasn’t hard to linger to take a few photos.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

There isn’t much clearance either side of the tunnel… glad we didn’t attempt to squeeze the car in here.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Himself is the tall one in the photo.. he’s 6’5 ” (196 cm)
The young guy in the red number “7” tee shirt  is a guy we found outside town trying to hitchhike back to his house, which, it transpired is situated in an even lonelier patch of wilderness off the lonely side road that we needed to take to get to the salt mine. On the drive he asked Himself if we wanted a guided tour of the area and thus became our inpromtu guide for a few hours…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Sadly the language barrier (he spoke mostly Portuguese/Creole) meant that we never actually worked out what his name was.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We saw only one other car the whole trip out this way so I think we saved him from a very long and hot walk home.

Himself is learning portuguese (but four years down the track with his study is nowdays vastly more profficient) even so they had fun having a decent but sometimes halting conversation in creole/Portguese together… a little English helped too..

He was very friendly and delighted with our donation for his “guide” services and he also scored Himself’s cap that he had taken a shine to.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

My photos are mostly back views of everyone, and our new friend loved having his photo taken, but for me, internet cautious as usual, I’ve pixilated the parts that we are in.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Pink salt…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 25, 2011

There’s a Reason why This is NOT the Local Swimming Beach…

Filed under: CAPE VERDE,PHOTOGRAPHY,Places and Sights,Travel — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , ,

Welcome to my retro tour of Cape Verde: We  hired a car, got flagged down by a  friendly young guy needing a lift on the lonely and desolate road and he offered to be our guide.  We accepted the offer, agreed on a price and started to explore the southern end of the  island of Sal.

Apparently this ship was wrecked here around 2001 and it’s located a small distance away from Santa Maria, but on the part of the coast that leads up the eastern edge of the island. The currents here are very  different than those just around the corner of the peninsula, and our guide didn’t know if everyone got ashore safely at the time of the wreck  or not,  because the waters here are infested with sharks.

The currents and sea bottom on this side of the island appear to be especially favoured by the sharks who prefer specific parts of the coast and stick there…  so this is NOT the local swimming beach…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We only had to wait and watch and after a while, there they were…
Best Friend and Himself proved to have the sharpest eyes of everyone there and spotted them heaps of times.. I was slower to react, and see it so zoomed in the lens as much as possible and took a zillion photos hoping to get a lucky shot that I could see better on the computer.  Best Friend says that in the following photo I definitely snapped a fin…. (centre left).

I’ll leave you to decide if it really is a shark in my photo or not, but yes I did see a fin very clearly in the water some minutes earlier, but successfully getting a clear shot of it on camera was another story…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 24, 2011

Aiming for the Islands, but only got Close…

Filed under: CAPE VERDE,FOOD,Reviews — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , ,

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Welcome to my virtual tour of  a trip we made to the island of Sal in Cape Verde that we made in 2007.

We have a self catering apartment, but there are just the very bare basics for cooking,  two elements on the stove top for pots and not a huge amount of space  to deal with everything. Add to this that we are in the tropics, it’s darned hot inside and  eating out in Cape Verde is not  expensive with the rate of exchange to the Euro…

…and last but not least, tracking down suitable things from the supermarket that our fussy kids will eat,  is a small mission in  itself so we’ve decided that we will just prepare fruit, drinks and breakfast here and support the local businesses by eating out the rest of the time.

We  had hoped to eat at the restaurant near the middle of town that had tables shaped like the different Cape Verde islands, but when we got there they were closed, so since we were feeling lazy, we opted for the place next door.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

It was daylight when we walked here and daylight when we ordered but there is no real twilight in the tropics, it’s almost literally light one moment and dark the next, so by the time the food arrived we were in the dark. I did my best with the photos…

Fish simmered in herbs and served Hawaiian style with pineapple for Kiwi Daughter… ok,… the three adults shared the fish in the end since she wasn’t fussed.

My  shrimps  were pretty tasty… not bad, not great…

Fried fish for Himself…  for him this was a dish that could be directly compared to others he had had…this was not one of the best … live and learn…

Fried Tuna this time scored by Best Friend.. this was was PERFECT and I wished all our meals were this quality….

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Chocolate mousse… One of Himself’s favourite desserts: it was ok, more a good attempt than anything else…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

So a mixed bag of results at this restaurant, Little Mr, raided the rice off our plates, Kiwi Daughter the fries and both got  cucumber, but they had sneakily infiltrated a packet of crackers earlier and scored ice-cream so this wasn’t one of their best eating days ever. Oh well, that’s exactly what holidays are for when you are a kid I suppose.

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