Sunday, March 27, 2011

Porto Grande, Cape Verde Islands

After several days at sea, it's fun to step on dry land again, even land as bleak as Porto Grande, Cape Verde Islands. This is the second time we've stopped here on a cruise, and it seems little has changed. Now that we've stopped in at Morocco a couple of times on previous cruises, we're struck by the similarity of the terrain here.

We walked into the part of the town near the waterfront, strolled around, and then walked back to the ship. They have their own currency, the Cape Verde Escudos, worth a little over a penny each, but we didn't have to worry about exchanging money because all of the shops in our area were closed.

The Portuguese discovered this archipelago in the 1400s and settled the island, which is one reason the major local language is Portuguese, along with a Creole dialect. Enslaved Africans were brought here to work on plantations and the African influence is strong in the appearance of many of the local people.

We'll depart here later this evening for our next stop, a few hundred nautical miles away, the Canary Islands. As for Porto Grande, it's a nice place to visit after several days at sea.

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