After 2 months in Cape Verde and gotten busy with work, we soon forgotten about this and we were looking forward very much on the trip back home, back to tanahair, back to family and back to all that glorious Malaysian food.
I rode a motorcycle for almost 15 years before changing my daily commute from a bike to a car for 2 reasons – firstly I got married, so it was not safe when I had to bring my wife as a pillion rider on long distance and secondly my new workplace was nearer and thus there was less traffic jam compared my original journey all the way to KL city centre. So it makes sense to drive car then. I miss biking so I still watch other rides if possible and the one that started it all was the Long Way Round – image source: Amazon.
The journey continues to Tarrafal after Part 1 here
From afar, we could see and even smell the sea and some of the guys started to get excited, probably because it was a welcomed change from the earlier dry, hilly route. Tarrafal was indeed a small town next to the sea but seems cleaner and more organised compared to Praia. The houses and commercial areas mostly two and three stories high were well organised and clean.
Seriously the Government and private enterprises need to do more to promote their beautiful beaches here. If this is in Malaysia, the plan would have been overrun by local and foreign tourists on the weekends. Just take a look at Port Dickson which is about 100 kilometres from Kuala Lumpur – there are already plenty of hotels, service apartments and houses for rent and the town continues to be developed for tourism.
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 – 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 a stressful & long working hours – so we will always be looking forward towards to a cozy warm bed, a clean room and a minimum room service. Usually for long term working days, we will arrange for apartment so that we have a common room & kitchen but renting house or apartment for 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.