The beaches on the quiet, often overlooked island of Maio in Cape Verde are lovely and often almost deserted. This picture is of the main beach in the lovely little town of Vila do Maio (also known as Porto Inglês). The beach is known as Bitxe Rotxa and although right in the centre of the town, you will find it peaceful and quiet. On the beach is Bar Tropikal, where you can get a drink and something to eat. Maio is well worth a visit, especially if you want a quiet, holiday away from everything that makes our lives so busy.
You never know who or what you might be sharing the beach with! This sow was clearly finding the weather a bit too warm for her and was enjoying a little relaxation in the sea. This pig was completely unphased by the people who were sharing the beach with her. We have also seen cows on the beach enjoying a paddle. Cape Verde is full of surprises!
The main beach in Vila do Maio (Porto Inglês) on the island of Maio, is a lovely stretch of soft white sand. The beach is not often very busy, so it makes lovely place to be based for the day. The sea is warm and pleasant for swimming and food and drink are available from Bar Tropikal on the beach. At the right time of day you can see the fishing boats coming in and the fishermen unloading their catch.
There is good news for people wishing to travel to Maio. There is now transport to the island six days a week from Praia. The flights remain the same – on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The ferry now operates four days a week on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday. This means the only day when travel isn’t possible, except by private boat transfer, is Saturday.
There is currently a Cape Verdean Parliamentary Delegation visiting the island of Maio for three days of meetings and visits. A number of subjects will be covered including ecology. The delegation will also be entertained with musical events on both Monday and Tuesday evenings. The entertainment being provided by local bands and also Tibau Tavares.
On Wednesday there will be a meeting looking at matters of ecology within Cape Verde. This meeting will consider issues surrounding water and agriculture together with other environmental issues. This could be an important initiative in a country that already has grand plans in terms of green energy. If Cape Verde can address other issues such as recycling and dealing with waste, it would be a good move.
A recent report identified the island of Maio as having the necessary conditions to be considered as part of the UNESCO Biosphere. Biosphere reserves are ‘areas comprising terrestrial, marine and coastal ecosystems’.
Consultants identified Maio as having the potential to be an excellent reserve, given its size and the quality of the natural environment. Also because it is part of Macaronesia (islands in the North Atlantic, belonging to Portugal, Spain and Cape Verde). It is hoped that the formalities will be submitted to UNESCO by September. The proposal is considered with a decision due in July 2019. Some aspects may not be completed in time for that deadline and may have to be considered for next year. Submissions always have to be made by September.
Designating the island of Maio in this way could bring some advantages for the island, including recognition world wide. It will also bring to the island organisations and individuals interested in research. It will also provide support in the management of the natural resources on the island.
Cars in the streets of Maio are probably less common than livestock! It is not uncommon to see chickens, goats, cows and even pigs in the streets. This all adds to the charm of this lovely island. Animals can also sometimes be found enjoying the beaches.
On Sunday, three young whales became stranded on the little beach next to Stella Maris in Vila do Maio. Various attempts were made to push them back into the sea but even with ropes and sheets, this proved impossible. Eventually a fishing boat arrived and using its motor they managed to get these three lovely creatures back into deeper water. This successful outcome was greeted with applause from the crowd that had gathered. Its puzzling why the whales came into such shallow waters. Congratulations to all concerned.