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Flight Praia to Boa Vista, Estoril Beach Hotel and Home (page 10)
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Friday 9th December 2011
We are very sad today as we are leaving Maio and flying to Boa Vista for 4 days. We spent the early part of the of the morning ensuring everything is packed away and that we are leaving the bungalow tidy, in readiness for our next stay, whenever that may be.
Once we had finished we took the opportunity to take another walk on the beach. By this time it was 1015. The sun was bearing down on us so we waked quite slowly; the beach wasn't as deserted normal as there was one lone fisherman on the beach casting his net. With a friendly wave of acknowledgement he went about his business. Surprisingly the sea was calm so we went in for our last chance swim in the Atlantic and it was beautiful, very warm. Although we only went in at chest height,it was just what we needed and we could see little silver fish swimming.
Well that took about an hour and we both thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The walk back was even slower than the walk to get to our favourite spot. It is now 1225 and as you can see the temperature is 28°C in the shade and 40°C in the sunlight.
Well, Benvido collected us from Vila Maris at 1430 to take us to the airport. Each time we go to the airport you can see that something has changed with the upgrade of the building, which is reassuring. We did hear on the Cape Verde news that they are still talking about making Maio an island with an international airport. Anyway, although there was a short queue for checking in, we still had to stand for a good ½ hour because nothing is rushed in Cape Verde. At check-in we asked for our luggage to be taken straight through to Boa Vista and the very helpful TACV lady made sure this was done. The 2 suitcases and 2 hand luggage cases which we arrived with, had now been condensed into one single suitcase, which still weighed 25Kg.
Anyone who has been here will know that people take plastic containers with who-knows-what inside (maybe goats' cheese or fish), from Maio to Praia and back again. We have actually witnessed that these containers leak from time to time, which is obviously a problem for the airline, so they are now making people wrap their containers in black bin bags, to contain any leakage. This process is carried out at check-in, causing further delays. Maybe this will encourage locals to put their own black bags round their containers, before bringing them to check-in.
The flight was on time! Also, very surprisingly, it was only about ¾ full. We knew that we would only have 20 minutes to check in at Praia for the Boa Vista flight, even though it was the same plane being used for both flights. I'm not sure whether we told you, but we are not impressed with Praia airport staff. We have had a lot of bad experiences in the past, and this time, with 20 minutes spare, we were the last ones at the end of the queue of 2 people for the Boa Vista check-in. We were standing behind the yellow line, like good British people and the check-in lade looked at us and promptly closed up shop. When I told her we needed to check in for the Boa Vista flight, she shrugged her shoulders and continued to walk off. 10 full minutes late, after much complaining by us, she reappeared. Politely we said “Boa Vista” to her and she begrudgingly took our passports and gave us our boarding passes. Thankfully, the plane was still being prepared following its long flight (10 minutes) from Maio and people were on the apron, queuing outside the airplane, waiting to board.
The flight from Praia to Boa Vista took around 25 minutes. With great relief, our bag was the first one on the conveyor at Boa Vista. This never happens to us!
We ran the gauntlet through arrivals saying "no" to all the baggage handlers who think you are incapable of wheeling your own luggage to a waiting taxi and expect to be paid for it. Outside the airport, we met a taxi driver who took us to our hotel for 1000 escudos, approximately a 15 minute drive. Christine had found us a very pleasant hotel online whilst planning our holiday called the Estoril Beach Resort Hotel with bed, breakfast, TV, fridge and en-suite, which is located in Sal Rei. The price for 4 nights was £190 for the two of us.There is a very small reception hut where you can get a free internet connection after 9pm.
After having a quick shower and a change of clothes, we went out for something to eat. We found near the hotel a very nice Italian restaurant which obviously sold pizza. I can't say enough about how friendly everyone is in Cape Verde, the staff were falling over themselves to make us happy.
We will be staying in Boa Vista for the next 4 days. As this is a blog about Vila Maris, I won't talk too long about our activities during this stay but will post some of our photo's for your information.
Well we sadly came to our last day in Cape Verde for now. We booked a taxi to collect us from the hotel to the airport two hours early. When we got there, which was about a 15 minute drive, we noticed that the Thomson passengers were already checking in.
The flight back was pretty uneventful but Birmingham was freezing. It was quite a shock coming from the beautiful sunshine to a very cold UK.
Q: What would have made the holiday better?
A: 24 hour electricity. The price on diesel is very expensive, like it is everywhere else in the world.
It really would be a fantastic location if the complex was completely finished. We are so very lucky to have bought on this lovely island.
I have to say that each time we go to Maio there is always something new to experience.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this blog as much as we have writing it.
Chris & Christine Whitaker