Somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean there are bottles floating with a message inside. The message is from me and asks the finder of any of these bottles to let me know where they find them. I have been doing this for years and only ever had 2 found – 1 in Venezuela and the other in Thailand. Before I travelled to Cape Verde I laminated sheets of bright coloured paper with my message and simply put them in empty water bottles. I removed any labels and added a small amount of sand as ballast. Then threw them as far out as I could. Last seen – headed south. If you find one let me know!
IPNET is a cracking new internet place in Sal that offers fast speeds and modern equipment. One of the owners, Patrizia, was very friendly and helpful. They are Italian, and their website is in Italian, but they do speak English as well. I stopped in because I needed to do some quick banking on-line. I was done as quick as a flash. They have modern laptops to use or you can use their wireless connection if you have your own laptop. They are near the entrance to Sal, so you can do your internet before you go shopping or for a meal. They also offer international telephone calls. Their prices are reasonable and I was really impressed with their set-up.
They are open Mon-Fri: 9-12:30 & 16:00-19:30
Sun – closed!
Sal has ATM cash machines. In fact they seem to be plagued with them. Despite what the guidebooks say, there are ATM’s on Sal in the airport, Espargos and in Santa Maria. In Santa Maria they are in the hotels and numerous banks. There is absolutely no issue finding one. They belong to the VISA, Plus and Venti4 cash networks. Quite a few businesses will take Visa cards except petrol garages. You have to pay cash for any fuel on the island.
Mastercard? Don’t even bother to pack one.
Please note: some banks have ATM’s with a guard standing right there for extra security. BCA bank in Santa Maria (pictured) does this.
Please remember: Only get what you need. The local currency is essentially unconvertible.
In Sal's beaches you'll find great conditions for both, wind and kitesurf. try them! You can rent one and go on your own or buy some lessons. right in front of the BELORIZONTE hotel you'll find the MISTRAL shop. they'll help you.
The best thing to do on Sal is hanging out at Santa Maria near the pier. There's always something to see or do, the water is crystal clear, local kids are doing summersaults while local men bring home 2 meter long tunafish.
Without a doubt, the most picturesque place on the island is PEDRA DO LUME, the name given to a crater of the now extinct volcano. Entry to the crater was made possible by an artificial tunnel built in 1804. The crater is at sea-level, and even though the sea is 1 km away the water manages to filter in. The salt pits of Santa Maria, although not in use anymore, are well worth a visit and lie about 1 km from the town.
You can swim in the salted lagoon and, as Dead Sea, you cannot sink. It is a great experience!
The beaches in the island are absolutely excellent. The warm water, around 26º/28ºC, the quietness and the amazingly thin white sand are the paradise for everyone who wants to spend sometime at the beach.
for those of you who have like me always wanted to float in the Dead Sea but were not able to... visit the salt mines at Sal and take a swim. It's quite a unique experience to be able to float around...
Here you can visit one of the islands good sights; the old wood building in the photo is where the salt was stored. The Salinas are just 5 minutes away (walking) and there you can have a mini Dead Sea experience. Your body just won’t go down. Local advice, don’t dive, don’t get water on your eyes or hair. GREAT ADVICE: don’t shave before going!!!
We visited also the old old building of the salt exploitation. This building stands now like a surrealistic monument in the landscape.
The only way to come here is by own transport. From here you have a nice view at the sea.
We enbjoyed out visit to the saltlake.
It's possible to swim or better to float in the saltlake. I saw some people doing so.
I prefered just to walk around and have a look at the nice colours at the edge of the salt water.
Near Pedra Lume are the salinas in a crater of an ex-vulcano.
In 1838 the trader Martins started with the exploitation of the natural salt.
The production was more than 30.000 ton each year. In 1887 the trade collapsed, as Brasil, the biggest customer, set up a protection-tax for imported salt.
A french firm took over in 1903, but in the seventies the trade stopped.
It's still an interesting place to visit.
In the middle of Ilha do Sal, 2 KMs of the international airport Espargos, the capital of the island, is situated.
There are soem guesthouses, an hotel (hotel Atlantico), restaurants, bars and shops in town. Just a nice town for a visit.
Not only in the morning, when the fishermen come back from the sea, but the whole day it's nice to go to the pier of Santa Maria.
At the pier are always boys around trying to catch some fish, just with a wire. And often they succeed, if they are patient enough.
If you walk on the pier, watch out!
It's slippery and some shelves are missing.
If you are not afraid, to do this survival walk, it gives a lot of fun.
And it's the only way to have a close look at the catched fish.