In November I took a six hour flight from the UK and ended up in the small island of Sal, which forms Cape Verde, a collection of islands off the coast off West Africa.
On approaching the island in the plane, I was immediately struck by how barren the landscape was, almost out of a scene from Star Wars. The island of Sal is extremely small, this was very apparent when on some parts of the island you were able to look from left to right and see the sea on both sides.
The town of Santa Maria contains the usual tourist’s shops, restaurants, and a few bars. The beach of Santa Maria provided the perfect setting to put into practice my eat, sleep, beach and repeat mantra. The water was crystal clear and sandy beaches had a mixture of families, friends and couples taking in the idyllic scenery.
The locals were warm and friendly. I was struck by the amazing array of afros and natural hairstyles the local women were rocking. This provided me with great motivations and inspiration for my natural hair journey.
There are numerous activities to do around the island from surfing, diving, to shark watching. One activity was visiting the salt lake, which has similar to the properties of the Dead Sea resulting in you not being able to sink. The salt provided the perfect exfoliant and my skin was smooth and firm afterwards.
One of the most memorable parts of the trip was quad biking; riding through the sand dunes around the island was scary but thrilling at the same time! I truly thought I was in a mad max film the way I was hitting the accelerator.
Sal at night is when the island really comes alive, especially when performing Kizomba. This is not some new type of Zumba class which I naively thought, but a form of African dance which is very sexy. The locals know how to party and I spent a few nights raving to kizomba, Rio funk, afro beats, and the traditional Funana, which reminded me of soca.
The island of Sal is gradually changing with developments and increasing tourism. With time this might change the secret paradise feel to the island. But for now it’s my little secret, shhh don’t tell anybody.
Cape Verde is truly my new paradise.