I’d like to start off by thanking my mum for this holiday. She booked it several months ago when I was going through a rough time with my mental health. The holiday was planned as a break away for us both. A week to chill out, catch some rays and do almost nothing. Leave all of our worries behind and have a week away but my mum mainly wanted the holiday as a bit of mother, daughter time away before I move to Australia in August.
The holiday didn’t get off to the best start. When we arrived at the airport we were welcomed with a 3 hour delay, so we checked in and headed to Frankie&Bennies to get some breakfast. Once we were ready to board our flight we had to wait an additional 20-30minutes before we took and then it was about 5hours and 45 minutes till we landed in Boa Vista. If you haven’t been to Boa Vista airport yet, it is pretty unique. The majority of it is open. You get birds flying in and out, you can sunbathe whilst waiting for your flight and it’s pretty small so we didn’t feel as stressed when we landed. We got on our bus and thankfully our hotel was just a 4 minute drive from the airport which was ideal after the long morning we had. We arrived at our hotel we were welcomed with a fruit drink and our suitcases were taken to our room for us. You could tell we had just checked into a 5* hotel. It was magnificent. Like nowhere either of us had stayed before. we headed to our room and we soon realised how much land the hotel covered. It was huge but beautifully set out and designed. Everywhere you went was picture worthy.
Our first couple of days there were mainly spent eating, drinking and sleeping on the beach. The hotel we stayed at was by the sea front and they had their own section of the beach just for hotel guests. We were provided with beach beds, towels and wooden man-made shelters. It was perfect. Just what we wanted and needed. I soon realised a lot has changed when it comes to my mental health and mind set. The past few holidays I’ve been on I’ve been so paranoid and scared to wear a swim suit to the point where I would cry in our hotel bathroom before I left the room. I would never cry in front of my friends about it. I didn’t want to bring the energy down on the holiday and I knew they wouldn’t quite understand where all of these insecurities were coming from. It just didn’t seem worth it. So I used to cover myself with fake confidence and head out, even though on the inside all I wanted to do was cry about how I looked. This holiday was different. I realised there is no such thing as a bikini body. It’s a load of bullshit and people don’t actually realise how much it can impact a persons confidence and self image. This holiday I wore several swim suits with confidence. Real confidence. I ate what I wanted to eat without feeling guilty or fat. I felt free from all the torture I had endured over the past few years. It was a strange feeling for me. I wasn’t used to it but I know now that I will never ever go back to feeling that way about myself again. I will never doubt, judge or be negative about myself to that extent again.
There isn’t much to do in Boa Vista. It’s a small island which is mainly sand and rock, so we booked on a couple of tour excursions. Our first one was an even spent star gazing. You can read about it here. Our second excursion was a 2 hour quad bike ride, exploring the Northern part of the island. This took us through the Viana Desert and to the cargo shipwreck which has been there since the 1960’s. They reckon it will only be there for a couple more years as it is slowly collapsing, so we were quite lucky to see that. Being stood on the rocks looking at the ship in the turquoise waters was both haunting and beautiful. The atmosphere the ship brought to the scenery was eerie. It didn’t ruin the scenery at all. It was a wonderful combination. There is so much history to the island. From pirates to slavery, the island has more to offer then I realised.
Our third tour was of the Southern part of the island. Here we went to see how their pottery is made, listened to the locals play their music and we went sand boarding in the sand dunes! So I can tick that one off my bucket list! It took some convincing but I managed to get my mum to have a go and she actually enjoyed it! After our sand boarding session we went and ate cachupa which is Cape Verdes national dish. It’s a relatively small dish made up of a mixture of seasoned meats, eggs, beans and grains. It was delicious. I’m glad I’m no longer the fussy eater I used to be, otherwise I would have missed out on trying this national dish! Once we had finished our food, we headed back into the jeeps and went to Santa Monica beach. As soon as we arrived we could see why it is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The sand is almost white and the sea is almost crystal clear. The beach was home to the crabs on the sea front and the goats who fed on the plants nearby. The beach was once ranked at number 9, however it has slipped back to I think number 13 as they are currently building a new hotel right on the sea front. The hotel is starting off with 2000 rooms and then moving up to 5000 which is quite sad because the overall setting of the beach is so peaceful and undisturbed. They think the hotel will be built in the next couple of years, so again we were quite lucky to visit the beach before the hotel is up and running. It’s a shame that such a busy attraction is going to be built on such a quiet and beautiful place, but at the end of the day it’s all about money to some people.
Even though we have had an extremely chilled and relaxed holiday, I feel we managed to experience as much of Cape Verde as we could. I would like to go back there again, but whether I will or not I’m not sure. Our holiday has been filled with laughter, food and experiences neither one of us will forget. I would highly recommend Boa Vista to anybody who’s looking for a child friendly holiday, couples retreat, a week away from life or just somewhere to catch up on some sleep in the sun. It’s both beautiful, historic and somewhere you can definitely tick off your bucket list.
Now that I am home it’s time for me to look forward to Australia! Only 7 weeks and 3 days to go!!
Sending my love to you all,
Love Emma xo