Whenever I am in Santiago island I have to go to Cidade Velha, whether I am on my own or not and irrespective of the amount of time I have and it's not so much that it is now UNESCO recognised but more so because there's something quite special about it - a certain quietness that one doesn't seem to get anywhere else.
Noëlle and I walked down from Plateau towards Sucupira market place where most public Hiace cars leave from, this having been the first real perspective Noëlle had of the overall atmosphere once we had basicaly been "indoors" or travelling overnight.
Because I have taken hundreds of photos of Cidade Velha over the last five years I decided I would only consider taking photos of the things that had apparently changed in the course of this period or which were somehow slightly different (such as the Church of Rosário's churchyard which had some additional shrubbery around a stone tomb).
Having walked around the street of Banana back onto the pillory square we opted to make our way towards the remains of the Cathedral rather than the fortress, as the temperatures were fairly high and the access wouldn't be easy. I must confess I was rather disappointed to see that the Tourist office was closed and that a small handicraft shop which stood next to it no longer existed, together with the fact that the "yellow house terreiro" which until recently had had a sort of ethnografic display had since then been changed into a sort of café-shop.
As we were awaiting our lunch (I had ordered a typical Cape Verdian plate - "caldo de peixe com molho de São Nicolau") we strolled around the bay, where the primary school is located. I noticed itsbuilding had been painted in a different colour and had some quite interesting paintings on its side walls.
I was particularly impressed with the "naïve"one depicting children, whose clothing (or naked bodies used as clothes) showed the stary nights, one so often sees in the unpolluted skies of Cape Verde. The other one was equally impressive especially because allusive of the type of sea activities most people get involved in around here and along the Cape Verdian coastline.
Our lunch was "perfect" to say the least and as we sat admiring the waves and sipping Fogo wine, I was told that there seemed to be some volcanic problem on the island that particular type of wine is produced on (Fogo island), according to what Noëlle seemed to have heard on the evening news.
It wasn't but on the "Hiace" back to Praia that I confirmed the conveyed information. Despite not understanding the Portuguese Language Noëlle was right once the island of Fogo's volcano had erupted (the last time having been 1995).
(to be continued)