p. 72 Options for travelling between São Vicente and Santo Antão islands have been halved since the latest edition of the Cape Verde guidebook was published in June 2014. The Vicente ferry, run by the Tuninha company has now ceased to operate, as a result of financial difficulties. The service was in any event unreliable, but this leaves the Mar d’Canal as the only ferry currently operating. Visitors to Santo Antão should allow themselves a little leeway when planning their trip, as there is no other scheduled means of reaching – or escaping from – the island. (There is talk that a new operator may emerge in due course.)
Having said that, on a trip last year, when the ferries were all out of action, I joined together with a small group of other would-be ferry passengers and chartered a fishing boat, making a choppy crossing back to São Vicente which was Mindelo. Apart from getting soaked by waves, getting vomited over by queasy German children, being 50 euros poorer and sighting a shark, the journey was uneventful. But we did make it to the São Vicente airport on time!
Santa Maria Das Dores
Where to eat and drink
[Updated 08/01/2015] p. 121 Telephone number for Barracuda Restaurant is 242 8010
[Updated 2/12/14] News reports on 24 November are indicating that the volcano on Fogo, dormant since its last eruption in 1995, has begun a major eruption. A large plume of smoke is visible as far away as the country capital, Praia, on the nearby island of Santiago. Lava flows are moving ominously, and the imminent threat has led to the Government ordering evacuation of the two villages in the crater, home to around 1500 people.
The island’s airport is reported as being closed for the time being and therefore travel to the island is not practical nor currently advisable. Those intending to visit the island should monitor newsfeeds for further updates before making bookings. There should be no impact on those visiting most of the other islands, though the ferry which connects neighbouring island of Brava (which has no airport) may see some disruption to its schedule.
[Updated 18/11/14] The proposed visitor centre in the volcanic crater on Fogo has now opened, though due to a lack of funds it is not yet properly equipped. Although the structure of the building has long been finished, delays have occurred in ‘kitting it out,’ so visitors will have to wait.
A proposal has also been made that all visitors to the island will have to pay an entry fee if they wish to access the crater. The fee is likely to be the equivalent of around 5 euros, though the amount and the date it will come into force are yet to be determined.
Getting there and away
[Updated 18/12/14] p. 288 CV Fast Ferry got their second ship, Liberdadi, last spring and it runs mostly between Sao Vicente and Santo Antão islands. It also makes trips from Sao Vicente to Sao Nicolau twice a week. On the company's webpage (https://www.cvfastferry.com) it is not very easy to find updated timetables, as you have to use the reservation system to check for these. It is much easier to find information from their Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/cvfastferry), where they post updates about changes.
The same company connects northern islands with Praia once a week and runs between Fogo and Brava.