Santo Antão

On the leg from Santiago to São Vicente it is always a gamble can whether we can make it in one go or do we have to make a tack. But sometimes one is lucky! The wind was more east than the usual northeast, so we could steer higher than ‘normal’. At midnight we were just below São Nicolau at the leeward side of the island, so we used the engine a bit to catch the wind. When we did we could sail north of the islands of Rasso, Branco and St Lucia to Mindelo on São Nicolau. During our stop at Mindelo we take the time to go for a hike on Santo Antão. Still after many years of sailing here, I take the time to do the hike at least once during our time here. 
It still amazes me how the dry and barren landscape on one side can transform in the lush, green landscape on the other side of the island. The van brings us to the old crater where the hike starts. First, we hike up to the crater wall and when one gets there one either stand in the clouds and don’t see that much and only when you walk down, and the view will unfold the further you walk down as the fog disappears. Or it is a bright sunny day and you will have an amazing view from the crater wall all the way down to the deep blue ocean. Well, yesterday we had the amazing view from the top! 
Slowly we hiked down the valley. First there is only wild and lush vegetation, but then suddenly the area is more cultivated with sweet potatoes and sugar cane plantations. But also coffee, papaya, mango, nespra and bananas. This hike keeps surprising me, so I am sure I will be going again.