Thursday, December 29, 2016

Sao Vicente

We have had a chance to take the bus to two small communities on the other side of the island. Our first jaunt was to San Pedro, it was only a 20 minute drive by Aluger. An Aluger is a mini van or a truck with bench seats in the back , and there is no fixed schedule. The Aluger leaves when it is full, and I mean full. 
There were fifteen stacked into this van, we had the bumpy back seat. The ride on this van took about 40 minutes but as we got further and further away from the city and the vehicle emptied we were able to stretch out and we almost had a seat to ourselves when we arrived at our destination. 
San Pedro the first stop had a lovely beach. It seemed to be a fishing community, there were traditional home made boats on the beach.
We saw them bringing several boats in and it was a community effort. There were some men on the beach and others came out from their home and helped manhandle the boats above the high tide mark. At one end of the beach men were banging shells with hammers, we think they were conch. We asked if we could take a picture but were denied, and then one fellow said a euro but we didn't bother. There were piles of shells everywhere all smashed to bits. It was a very poor spot we wandered up the hill and it seemed the further up the hill you went the poorer the housing was. 
The goats were putting the shade to good use in the noonday sun. When we left the Aluger drove down to the beach and plastic bins of fish were loaded on the top of the van and strapped down for the ride back to the city to be taken to the market. 
A couple of days later we headed to Calohoa, we went with the Swedish couple who are anchored next to us, Ulf and Pia.
Pia was a physiotherapist back in Sweden and the two of them spent several summers sailing around Spitzbergen, an island north of Sweden at about 80 degrees north. ANYWAY, we seem to have quite a bit in common and have had great fun swapping stories. 
Here are a couple of passengers from the bus carrying the goods that had been stored on the roof. Notice the roads, they are rock which has been tamped down on the ground wth no real foundations built for the road. Barry says he read these roads can last for twenty years. 

We rode along a valley that was obviously the bread basket of the island. There were windmills along the route, palm trees and gardens with all sorts of vegetables growing.  One fellow got on the bus and he had a sunflower and some coconuts in his hands to take back to his home in the city. He was going  to replant the sunflower at his home in the city. 
Pia and I went for a nice swim just off these rocks. There was a ladder imbedded in the rocks so you could get in and out, very refreshing. We are hoping to leave tomorrow, Dec. 30 and it may take anywhere from two to three weeks to cross, talk to you again or the other side.