Santiago Hiking Trails

Santiago Hiking Guide

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Cape Verde

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Panorama-Highpath and
an easy descent to the Silverbeach

We walked this path in 2000 for the first time.

Joe Geberth describes it as follows

Characteristic: Long, easy and very enjoyable hike leading over old mountainpaths and rough and paved drivepaths down to the beach from Ribeira da Prata (Silvervalley) on to Chao Bom (Tarrafal).

You walk almost without any trouble along an old well preserved pass up to the ridge of mountain range which has a wonderful view ready. At the end of the exciting descent you will find cocos palms and a silver grey sandbeach. The variety of different fishing boats and their nets, all spread out to dry let dreams of an old almost forgotten originality come true.

Pictures from March 2002
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Pictures from October and November 2004
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At the time Sibylle wrote

I walked this path in August

Clouds hang thickly in the mountains and damp fog shifts along the way which makes it impossible to see the beautiful view. Out of the cloudy fog I can hear voices of children who greet me with bom dia and immediately ask me for money money. Meanwhile I hear the unmistakable sound of rakes that cultivate the ground. In the fields of maize the weed is taken away and the clay is loosened.

I am partly by myself in complete silence and solitude. The fog disappears slowly and the clouds rise higher. Really, the view is fantastic, the walk gets me in high spirits and a feeling of enjoyment arises. The landscape in its beauty is impressive. My view moves from the sea to the bizarre world of mountains, from the gorges and deep valleys to the isolated highpath of Assomada.

It is indescribable. I see the fresh and healthy green which, after the rain, has spread out everywhere on the way. I see fields of young maize plants which have opened quite well.

On my way in a small village a man asked me where I was from. The rather old man sat with his family infront of the house. He speaks French and has been abroad for a long time. Now, he is back and happy to be with his family. Life abroad in the foreign environment was hard, however he now enjoys his retirement. After a short chat about the marvellous rain, the maize and his grandchildren and after a mutual sincere keenness for a blessed time in the future i went on.

Again and again people talk to me on the way to the sea. I am happy to have learned enough portuguese by now to communicate with the local people. I am - again - surprised by their happiness and contentment despite their hard work and poor life. Children, teenagers, adults, all have time for a smile, time for a couple of words, a short conversation about Where from and Where to.

A couple of young girls walked towards me on my way back home from work. A really beautiful and healthy looking teenager spoke to me and asked for money because she was hungry. However, she did not appear hungry. So I told her, that - with that figure and her smart appearance - she would not look like a starving person to me. The others started laughing. She added: "At least I can try....." They went on giggling and laughing.

It would lead too far if I wrote down all little instances.

The way runs mainly on a highpath, almost until you arrive at the sea. Only behing Figuera das Naus is a street of soil that leads lightly down towards the sea.

The silverbeach with his palms and Riberia da Prata gets closer.

It still is fishing, agriculture, and herding that provides the foundation for the population in Ribeira da Prata. Many houses are nicely built and this somehow sleepy appearing place looks very inviting. You reach the silverbeach through a small forest of cocos palms. I did not stop for a swim but went on in the direction to Chao Bom. After 20 km and 4.5 hours one of my most beautiful hikes on Santiago was over.

For the first time I was by myself on the Cape Verde Islands. I have encountered solitude and silence, marvellous views, an incredible amount of green , majestic mountains, simple villages and especially a good portion of dear people. There are not enough words that describe the experienced. I leave it on that note: It has been an indescribable wonderful day!

The Tour in Brief

Composition Characteristic Altitudes/Distance Orientation
good to satisfactory from the mountains to the sea +150m, -1000m, about 4/6 hours predominantly easy

Our Service on the Spot

As there are no adequate hiking guides for the Santiago Island available yet, you will get further information ** to this Tour on Santiago Island directly on the spot from Sibylle & Geraldo.
** Depending on the course of the tour the information will be the hiking map Santiago island and/or a description of the course and/or a local guide.

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© 2003-08 Sibylle & Giraldo unforgettable vacation on the Cape Verde Islands matched with your preferences 08.12.2007