Friday, 23 November 2012

Lesson 7 - The Order Of The Ponta Preta

It feels like the world. No more thinking about the dementors .. no worries about the screaming mandrake - no worries around the captures ... know what .. its starting to feel like a holiday ... yes really ... 

Yesterday going through reception ... a piano played quietly in the bar ... an empty bar .. and my mind wondered to "The Shinning" when Jack Nicholson walks into the bar for the second time and is met by a bartender who offers him drinks on the house .. a piano plays quietly in the background ..... well you get the picture ... right? 

Somehow ... there is something on the back of my mind - a black cloud on the horizon .. you know when you can clearly see that everything is OK - but yet there is a unsettling sense of doom, of an event that is about to happen that will change the world as you know it .. but you cant just put your finger on it ... 

Its a lovely sunny day. there is a long golden sand beach we are on called Ponta Preta - but its a long beach and there is a restaurant somewhere down this beach that is well priced, yet has a reputation of good food. Its pretty in accessible form most directions - but its a 15 min. walk away from where we are. 

Not going into town yet - well come on ... would you take the risk ? so a sit by the pool and off - down the beach to find this restaurant ..

Its a 15 mins walk across sand - but a nice walk - golden sand - and a peninsular that is a hot spot for kite surfers with constant waves that crash against rocks .. its an interesting thing to see .. but not to do...

Past this point - is the Ponta Preta bar restaurant ... its nice - in the middle of nowhere - but as promised in the write ups - good food. Next to the resaurant are some of the most amazing sand dunes ... seem to be there in the middle of nowhere and they block the road into a big Riu hotel, and from there you are in the town. The hotel looks like a Moorish walled city .. very strange ... 

So a walk along this golden beach - up the sand dunes - and back. is in order..... getting ready to set off on this "epic adventure" .. we are joined by Barbie doll and Ken ,,, well as they got closer it was more like Barbie Hag and Crusty Ken .... Its very hard to keep a straight face when the all you have done for 3 days is hide (with zero success!!)  They were pretty typical of the people who wandered around Cape Verde ... well the tourists anyway. 

Apart from being chased up the beach by a Ginger Tom who thought she was a guard dog.. and was bigger than most ... it was a walk - then back to hotel tourturetoga Melia ... for an early evening beer and a night in ....

Lesson 7 - It was our extreme loyalty that had called Ponta Preta to us .. and it took a real spiffing walk to put that out of the hat today Harry !!!! 

  

lesson 6 - A New Hope

The torturetoga area is in a state of civil unrest and spies for the unwilling captors have stolen plans to the Milia hotals Death Star, a heavily armed and armored security gate capable of annihilating an entire planet. Rebel leader Meerkat (Sandra Mcdonald) is in possession of the plans, but her flip flops are captured by hotel forces under the command of the evil lord Happy Hour cocktails free. Before she is captured, Meerkat hides the plans in the memory of an astromech droid called Jonny Sloth (John Reilly), along with a recording. The small droid slotth flees to the surface of the desert servings forced on you at Tourtureoga with fellow protocol droid Played by the local cat ... the plot thickens ....


OK not quite - but security guards now have no intent on asking us for our "white wrist bands for entry" and neither do they seem to want to know who we have with us... the main beach security guy moves away from us as we pass by ... and we finally have something like a Villa existence.... ( I still scowl at the other gate security who was stupid enough to start this).
Its a new hope in the galaxy, as we had said our good byes to dementors, and the island is ours. Free to roam as we please, and return when we feel like it, its time to go into town ... some art shops, look for some local crafts then of to that beach restaurant for some food on the beach , and perhaps, as a treat, if the town sea is not so rough, a first dip in the sea !!!!
We spotted some art - unique, and interesting. Colourful !!!!! teased some mild bumsters. Look we have been bumstered by some of the best (worst) in the world, these chaps are polite and gentle in comparison, and so its nice to have a laugh with them for a brief while.





Lesson 6 ... yes tomorrow is a time for festival and celebration .. A NEW HOPE ...... 





So through time and into the Barracuda Bar Restaurant .... as we headed to the entrance we heard that music ..... you know the music you hear during a horror movie just before you get stabbed to death by a deranged killer ... yes .. that's correct, walking into the restaurant at the same as we were are the DEMENTORS ... who must be stalking us ... there can not be any other explanation !!! apparently they tell us they are waiting to go on a boat trip ... yeah right !!! They join us for a beer ... then leave to get their boat trip. So we say our goodbyes again ... grab a quick lunch ... then head out of town. It probably wasn't too bad ... just they were only staying for a beer but took the 2 sea view seats as we sat and looked at the inside of a beach restaurant.  


The sea was lovely ... actually better than expected. Its still got some force, but its a soft silky feel to the water, and when we got out, you didn't get that salty sticky feeling on the skin. However, not a beach for young kids as the waves and current is still pretty strong. 


Out of the sea, stop a quick beer in the Cultural Bar- check the time ... the dementors said it was a 3 hour trip .. its about 2 1/2 hours since they left ... time to get out of dodge ... but this time ... THIS TIME .. Santa Maria will be a safer place to go to .. their flight is tomorrow afternoon and we will not go into town until tomorrow afternoon .... 

Lesson 6 - Dementors gone - Cape Verde is now free to roam ... A New Hope !!!!





Thursday, 22 November 2012

Lesson 5 - A Few Goblets then Fire


A pretty un-eventful day ... CAFFEINE !! makes the world seem better - as the tension builds up to the dementors meeting later in the Blu bar later ..... this time we cant use any excuses... as the fate of a rabbit on a stove lies in our hands ....

I wanted to go to the Creolo bar yesterday .. but as we had talked about this to Voldermot and companion the night before, it was considered to be a high risk event. So perhaps today then - for lunch.

This is about the most crappiest looking food bar you will see outside of a horror film ... but the food write up is excellent - and for good reason. Its a bit pricey for a place that has obviously not spent anything on its d├ęcor since 1642 ... but the food was excellent ... and even better ... no sign of the demetors .. yet !!

Some boring stuff like looking around the shops, getting supplies (Chinese guy who jumps out at you !!), and home to meet the Mandrake re-potter, cleaners, and more as the place turns into Piccadilly station for the day.

Sit around - chill out - sun bathe - 20 lengths of the pool :), watch the world go by ... as the clock ticks closer and closer to Blu Bar time ... Life has turned into a black and white Hitchcock movie .....

Mandrake re-potted ... now that's MUCH more like it ... get ready ... and off into town. The meeting time came and went.. the presumption that the Dementors were not coming grew ... then, suddenly, just as we were asking for the bill and going... we heard that tune normally played on Hammer House of horrors as Christopher Lee is about to appear at your window ... yes they arrived. But a cunning plan had been hatched. We would only be able to stay for a couple - then go for some food. They didn't want to come along - so that was it. They were going home on a flight on Wednesday so chances are this is the last time we will see them in windy central..... we said our goodbyes.

Sober, ish, stuffed with a Carbonara at a lovely Italian place ... and home... to get some needed sleep in a QUIET Villa.

Lesson 5 - A few Goblets then fire off for some food !!!!!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Lesson 4 - The Wind in the pillows

While Mole wanders off to the gym for a bit of exercise, Toad goes off for a run.

Outside it looks like someone has taken the sponge covers off all the sun bed cushion and pillows outside our Villa, and thrown them all over our large estate .... they had also taken the umbrella and thrown this across the extensive Lawn ... Vandals ?????

Ah no.. its the wind again ... that's pretty strong wind again ....so on return from a mild stretch at the gym, time to investigate ... a bit of internet "surfing", some quick research and Totorture (Tortouga) Beach, at the area where our villa is located, is a major Kite surfing area ... actually not just "a" kite surfing area, but one of the worlds top destinations for the very best kite surfers .. all year round ... Suddenly it all makes a bit more sense ... its not just a few days of wind - its 365 days of wind (366 on a leap year is my best guess !! ) .. and this beach, this area of this beach, is where you come to if you compete at the top of this sport .. like a fog lifting in our head .... the constant beach red flag ... the wind that never seems to stop ... No bloody wonder !!! Its windy then ... DUH ....

On further reading you learn the fact this beach is so windy, its TOO windy even for wind surfers, and no-one will hire you and sail based equipment for this beach area unless you are at the top of sail based sport.


But here is where we are, and despite having a feeling of Helsinki syndrome, we will keep a stiff upper lip ... (Rule Britannia plays melodically in the back ground .... ) Which reminds me ... on the way to reception we pass a couple of pools .. one with a pool bar .. one with out ... both are a tad bigger than ours .. (by about 40 meters in both directions). Yesterday, glistening  in the bright sun, is a tiny sequinned Union Jack .... that is sitting promiscuously on the huge ass of a VERY large woman ... I am normally very loyal to the flag .. but I could not see my self saluting this one -and by the looks of the direction it was heading in - there was NO WAY I was prepared to sacrifice any more lives to recover it !!!! Once lost this flag would be gone forever ! ... a photo moment you say? the thought had crossed my mind, as had the hospital I would have ended up in ....

Oh yes ... the wind ...Can't change the wind then.. can't change the location, but today I am going to sort out 2 things ... that BLOODY mandrake ... and Caffeine Coffee ....

So work required and booked to find and re-pot the mandrake (see Harry Potter if you don't get this comment) - shop that sells caffeine based coffee found and proper coffee acquired ... there is enough time for a quick dip and 3 laps around the pool, VERY quick ... put some decent looking clothes on - and go into town to forage for some food ...

The Atlantis bar I think tonight .. a French influenced, Italian run, African and Portuguese type restaurant ... now this I have got to see !!! on route I was thinking ... not seen many cats or dogs on the island .. in fact virtually none... and my mind cast back to an Indian restaurant, down stairs on Fitzallan Sq, in central Sheffield, where all the students ate, cheap as chips large quantity food. For years this place kept many students alive .. it was "the place" to eat .... some years later shut down by  health and hygiene for its array of dog and cat carcases in the freezer ... so not many cats and dogs on the island then ?????? strange ....

Atlantis bar was just a really nice place  right on the beach with the sound of waves crashing against the shore as you ate... and a few dogs and an odd cat milled around the outside ... good sign ...  sat on a table down was a couple and their pretty young girl. Graobster I heard him order as we sat. Umm oh... must look that one up .. never heard of that dish ... but then as he spoke more and more, in French, it was clear .. he was pissed as a newt .... drunk as a skunk ... and when his, and his wife's, Graobster arrived, I recognised the red colour and rough shell ... Lobster ... he was quietened by the owner after some short time. So not wishing to miss out ...and just about got over 12 days of only being able to eat Lobster in Sierra Leone ..we ordered our Graobster.  Nice ...

So Lesson 4 ... read more about the area you are heading to when coming to Totorture Beach !!!!!


Lesson 3 the prisoner of Azka Melia

Locked away - for years - dementors always around to make your life hell ... ah yes - we are in Tortouga  beach ....

Bit windy again today ... in fact more so than yesterday ... but the sun is out, the warm 18 meter pool waits us for a gentle morning swim... our Mandrake has kept us up most of the night gently serenading us 24 hours through the night with his gentle screams of extreme pain  ... along with a huge hangover. Welcome to paradise ... Bounty adverts eat your heart out !!!

Its one of those "lay in bed until you have to get up" days ... its the weekend yeah !!! but feels more like a Monday morning .... but up and awake ... just what is needed with a huge hangover ... some lovely DECAF coffee ... I MUST sort this out !!! So what delicate delights await us for breakfast .. let me see ... bread ... cheese and Salami !! oh yes ....work it girl !!!  OK that's all we have - and that's all we are having then.

Its late anyway, too late to grab a breakfast somewhere else ... and we have become immune to the Salami smell that follows us around now ... as its us .. that's just as well then....

Its a sit by the pool day ... gaze at ... well the same red flag on the beach as was there yesterday - and the day before ... and fight to stand upright in the wind ... BUT ... the sun is out, its warm, and all is well...

As he day drifts along - a call is made ... we are in no physical state to meet the two Wakefield girls again tonight ... we have barely sobered up from last night and it is 4.30 pm..... so we will get a beer (hair of a rather ill dog !! ) and sit in the top veranda and watch the world go by.

Its then - when you least expect it - when everything is quiet and the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end ... its then you know ... you see dead people (6th sense ...) ..... and sure enough we did ... 2 dead people in fact ... 2 of the worst Dementors ever known ... yes it was Jane and Michelle  walking past our Villa just as we were out on the balcony.


A bunny boiling in a pot came to mind... play misty for me zipped through my head ... yes it was them ... and of course we invited them in. Ah - but they cant come in ... as security tells them they have to "report to reception" and sign in as guests. Not even escorted through security gates by a Villa in the owners section. So we are in a hotel then ? We pay for everything from the hotel as we are not guests of the hotel - but suddenly we are ... or not .. or ... so again I saw another red flag .. this time not in the sand but in my temperament.  We told the girls to walk trough the beach bar .. but oh no ... Mr security called his beach bar colleague to let him know that this was the plan. And as he shouted and hissed (its an African thing .. ) as the girls walked up ignoring him ... you would have thought that he had more sense than to stand outside the Villa and wait for ... Mr zero Caffeine hungover man ... but he obviously wasn't the brightest spark. He left the front of the Villa with the FULL understanding of my thoughts ... in my best Creole ...

Dead people now sat in the Villa. Maybe they come to us because they want something (6th sense again) that why they haunt us !!!! YES they do ... more alcohol ... so its a couple of bottles of wine and 6 beers later before our Dementors leave. I have to escort them to reception - just in case .... (in case I am lucky enough to meet the security guard again).

Back to the Villa - throw together something from a tin and some rice ... eat and bed. Its just like being in Heaven !!!

Our dementors have organised that we MUST .. (with those scary stab you to death eyes)  meet them on Monday in the Blu bar ...






 our captors torment us with their Mandrake and the thickest security guards since the keystone cops ... and rules that have a lose - lose feel for Villa dwellers ...  Yes and all this with zero caffeine !!!  Tomorrow its time to sort out the Caffeine, the mandrake, and escape from Azka melia !!!

No photos today - as its all a blur from start to finish !!!


Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Lesson 2 - the attack of the colons ....


First day at the Villa that's not a Villa - and not a .... well OK you get it .... woke up to our favourite Mandrake screaming in the down stairs bathroom ... oh yes living the life .... and open the door to the back 14 acres of land ... OK patch of 3x3 sq feet ... but its Mine all mine and no-one else's ...  and there the Olympic size swimming pool awaits you .. warm and welcoming ... 



OK I should have been an estate agent ... its Olympic if you are an ewok. But again its MY pool ... MY plunge pool ... OK OK MY Bath ..

 ....MY small Bath !!!!

Not bad - just about then you notice its a terrace set up ... yes all the Villas are detached ... but the back gardens back onto each other like ... well like .. a scene from the start of coronation street !!!! on every side !!!!

So home cooked some breakfast (bread and cheese) - in the sunshine - and a needed cup of caffeine enriched coffee ... kindly picked for me at the supermarket ...  2 cups later - not feeling the same old caffeine driven buzz ... its decaf coffee ....Thanks !!!! This needs rectifying quickly....

What to do now? ... a plunge perhaps in the warm and welcoming Olympic pool perhaps ? It now you find out that its Africa on the patio, and Siberia in the pool .. once you have used anti-freeze its actually OK ... but be warned ... it stings on certain parts of the body !!!

A quick defrost - and walk along the beach - which is only a spit away from us .. as the crow fly s ... but in the absence of being a crow .. its down the path - turn towards the beach bar - and through the beach bar onto the beach ... sod it .. who wants to be a crow anyway !!!

Bit windy ... but hey .. nice and sunny ... wonderful to see kite surfers enjoying the days windy conditions ...

Back to the hotel to sort out internet connections  for the Villa / Apartment  ... which has no wireless ... but they have built in an ethernet connection .. well a bit of waiting and asking - and we are connected to the outside world ... so perhaps ... to celebrate .. some lunch on the patio and a long swim in the pool then ...

what wonders for lunch ... perhaps some bread and cheese then ... and as its a treat - lets add some salami :) :) ... before our 20 lengths .....

Our Mandrake still happy squealing ... its time to think about heading off to the town. NO ... you are not entitled to use the bus its for all inclusive guests only... OK so a taxi ..

A pretty little town called Santa Maria .. and we stooped off at a bar called the blu bar ... 1/2 price cocktails and a nice warm evening to sit and enjoy them on the outside veranda. That's about as much detail as can be recalled from night 1 ...   except for the faint remembrance of  a conversation with 2 lasses from a small town near Wakefield. Oh yes chatter chatter - cocktail cocktail .... and next thing that comes to mind is signing loudly with a live performer at another bar,  ... having some cheese, salami, and ham on a platter, then tax home.... I had been tempted by the dark side !! of long island ice teas .... and oh yes ... Jane and Michelle AKA Jango Fett and Count Douku ... AKA AKA Lord Voldemort and his snake !!!! I hope we don't meet these two again ... but wait .. we organised to meet them the following night ... CRAP !!! who in their right mind organised to.... oh right .... we did ... the blu bar ... definitely the chamber of pi*s heads .... or as I like to think of this as the attack of the colons !!!!!

Cape Verde Lesson 1 ! The Phantom Milia ...

I wasn't really planing to do a blog on Cape Verde ... but its too good an opportunity to miss .. so in theme of writers like JK rolling in it - George Luc rative   and such ... this is the series book on lessons to be learned BEFORE you embark on a trip to Cape Verde ... these books have adult content and are not for the faint hearted....


Lesson 1 ........ A villa on an all inclusive resort - is neither a Villa nor an Apartment !!!

When you first arrive at Villas in Tortuga .. you are in a Villa, yes, but you have to register at the hotel reception like a hotel guest, to collect your keys to a fully enclosed, all inclusive resort. But you are not an all inclusive client... yet you register, you queue, you are checked in, like all other guests ...

This was the first strange thing to encounter .. but not the last. So enter what is advertised as a 5* all inclusive resort ... into the posh reception with everyone and their luggage .. and you with your luggage, and 2 boxes of food and drink and a box of beers from the nearest super market. NICE !!!

As the 400g of salami warms nicely in the heat of reception, an aroma stinking up the posh 5* reception, you are stood in a queue listening to madam bucket (bouquet is how it is pronounced) tell of their trip to "The Gambia" ... "oh yes we are very familiar with African  culture from our safari to "The Gambia" ... It is tempting to mention the 15 years you have been going to Gambia .. not "The Gambia" - and how this is like saying Rotherham makes you totally familiar with the UK ... but humourless by now, not helped a less than faint waft of salami, cheese, and ham, which is going off by the second ... you stay silent. after all ... who cares.

Keys finally in hand - snooty receptionist who won't give us 2 keys - and boxes loaded we are driven by golf cart to our Villa. We can't get in as the single key she has deemed as suitable to get in - does not work ... !!!  I am really not in a mood for this ....

Anyway - in at last - and to bed .... listening to a strange sound that sounds like a cat being strangled ... all night ... every 20 seconds or so ... over and over again ...

Lesson 1 .... The Villa chooses the person not the other way around Harry (as in his wand!) .... or my Padawans ...don't book a Villa based on an all inclusive campus ...