Our final day on Santo Antão, we took another alugar to the town of Ponta do Sol, on the very tip of the island facing the north Atlantic. It was windy, although thankfully not as windy as Mindelo or Santa Maria, and the town felt mostly empty, save the few tourists wandering around in the sun, hands outstretched to block the sun.
We slowly walked around the downtown and along the water, toward the road that skirts the cliffs to Fontainhas, our destination. We passed a mini-city of pig pens. The pigs arguably had the best view of the ocean and Ponta do Sol. Unlike the day before, where we passed through lush valleys and dense agriculture, these cliffs were dry and dead. Very little grew and very few cars passed us each way. Single homesteads, sometimes seemingly abandoned, were dotted on shady outcrops. We weren’t the only trekkers, but there weren’t many.
Fontainhas is perched on a series of cliffs, nestled in a valley that stretches straight to the ocean. It was beautiful and stunning, and desolate. We slowly walked through, finding a town mostly empty. The cafes had closed for the day, save one mini-market overrun by older Germans (we didn’t go in).
This was as far as our journey took us, unfortunately. Back across Santo Antão we went, back onto a Ferry. We spent the night in Mindelo before getting on a plane the next morning. Our friend Antonella found us, thankfully, because we spent the entire day in Santa Maria with her. Caipirinhas on the beach, delicious dinner, and we boarded our flight back to Amsterdam, via Lisbon.
Little did we know this would be our last significant trip before coronavirus shut the world down.