The seaside town of Tarrafal lies on the other side of the island, about 70 kilometres from opposite side of Praia. It is not far but considering the condition of the road, it is expected to take us more than 2 hours to reach it. So when someone suggested for one day trip to the other side of island for a swim, at first it sounded insane but then it was clear that it was the break that everyone was waiting for. Image source: Google Map
When we are on work assignment overseas, we will rarely have time for sight seeing – after all, we are expected to work on weekends and till late night. In Cape Verde, things were a bit different – since the users are not available on the weekends, there are days when we are unable to work on weekends. So left to hole up in the hotel room, the team had a choice of either rest in the room or go for a walk and explore the town.
When in Cape Verde, I rarely take my dinner mainly because it will be too late at night to order something from the hotel kitchen (I don’t want them to scrap the leftovers). Further I would be very sleepy by the time I reach the hotel room so it has been easy for me to take the shower and hit the bed than walk down to the hotel restaurant.
But nonetheless, there are times when I would be very hungry and it just happens that we are back from office early, so instead of having something light in the hotel room (namely instant noodles or biscuits). Maggi instant noodles far away from home and at cold nights is simply heaven sent – any Malaysians will confirm that.
One thing that any true blue Malaysian must have when they are having their plain white rice for breakfast, lunch or dinner is gravy.
Rice unfortunately is the staple food in this part of the world and gravy have been a “close partner” when it comes to have a rice based dish. This is why you will see a Malaysian’ face glowing with anticipation when he order Nasi Kandar at our local mamak restaurants – the guy handling the dishes will wipe 2-3 gravy from the various curries into your plate.
(Cape Verde is blessed with abundance of sea food especially tuna for lunch which we can get in a bigger chunks here compared to in Malaysia. The vegetables however is nothing to shout about – we can get better vegetables here in Malaysia)
One of the key SOP when we are working at customer’s site is that firstly we minimize time taken for lunch and secondly we break into 2 teams so that there is always someone around during lunch time.
To ensure we go for lunch fast and back, we decided that it needs to be somewhere nearby (which meant within walking distance), clean (no point having team members on sick leave), a good selection of food (it should not be boring) and if possible, the restaurant staff need to know some level of English.
For lunch, after surveying around & talking to the locals, we basically short listed 3 options (actually there were 4 but last one was not viable as we need transportation to the restaurant and need to be there early, otherwise the food would be sold out).
Starting off the next part of the trip to Cape Verde series – I am starting off random posts on food and let’s start off with breakfast as that was the first meal we had the next day after we had checked in the hotel.
As earlier mentioned, the dining area of the hotel was rather small – probably 6 small tables that could accommodate 15 – 18 people (sometimes even less). The tables for the food and drinks also took space in the dining area.
(The front entrance of the hotel in Praia, Cape Verde – Image Source: Amoma)
We had a scheduled 69 days stay in Cape Verde for project implementation, so it was crucial that we nailed the accommodations right from the start.
It’s crucial because as in the past projects, we can expect stressful & long working hours – so we will always be looking forward towards to a cosy warm bed, a clean room and a minimum room service. Usually, for long term working days, we will arrange for an apartment so that we have a common room & kitchen but renting a house or apartment for a short period in Cape Verde was not feasible. Further of the expected long working hours, it will be tiring if we expect to come back & clean up the apartment as well.
(Chaos, confusion, uncertainty at Lisbon airport when we suppose to be in Cape Verde, we have a problem when adding impatient passengers into the equation)
The Cape Verde flight passengers started to assemble closer and rumours & assumptions started to fly – some passengers especially those with small children became restless. Someone shouted “It’s Not Fair!!!” and a bunch of passengers joined in.
(Calm before the storm – this was taken just before we took off from Lisbon to Cape Verde)
This is our final leg of the journey from KL to Cape Verde and this time, we changed the airline from Emirates to TAP Air Portugal, flying on the smaller Airbus A320. And given the fact that we have been on transit in Lisbon for the last 8 hours, we were very anxious to get to our next flight and reach our final destination to Cape Verde for a hot shower, clean change of clothes and a good sleep on a soft bed.
We lined up at the boarding counter, cleared by the TAP staff after verifying the cabin luggage size and went down to catch the shuttle bus to the plane.
(It is on the other side of the world – Cape Verde or Cabo Verde in Portuguese and it is going to take 3 different flights to do the trip. Image source: www.mapsofworld.com)
There is a good reason why I did not post this earlier – details coming up soon.
When I first heard the name of the country; I had to google it up as well. Some of my friends & family members even mistook it as Cape Town in South Africa. Interestingly initially I was not scheduled to fly as I usually had managed things from the office. But as we started to go into the details and with some of the key team members made unavailable to fly at the last minute, the signs were obvious that I had to fly to manage things onsite.