Since we heard that the island is apparently little more than a hot rock and doesn’t have much to offer outside of the city limits and with a long list of boat chores and preparation to do for the next leg of our journey, we limited our exploration of this island to Mindelo itself. We walked its charming cobblestoned streets with street vendors vying for our attention and a few beggars trailing along behind us, visited the main market, fish market and a local gallery, frequented several of its eating establishments and watering holes and shopped in a variety of stores ranging from a spanking new supermarket to a veritable hole-in-wall where Patrice and Alan found fishing gear. Most shops, even the smallest ones carry an amusingly diverse range of goods which can include just about anything.
So we have the unexpected gift of a little more time here. On Sunday, we set out to hike up to the Fortim, the highest point in the city, but on the way we were lured off course by the sound of drums and found ourselves in the midst of a pre-carnival parade. Over a thousand revelers in homemade ‘costumes’ gyrated to the beat of a dozen drums and danced their way down the main thoroughfares--not Trinidad exactly, but equally exuberant.