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Date: 09/02/2009
Trip to Santa Maria, Sal in January by Adrian Lillywhite, MD Cape Verde Property Ltd.



I visited Sal again on January 19th just for a week, and was fortunate to be invited to the the Tortuga Beach and Spa Golden Spade Ground Breaking ceremony. The Cape Verde Prime Minister was present along with several other dignitaries, and the Resort Group chairman Rob Jarrett. After the ceremonial spade work on the Tortuga site (with champagne) we went back to the Odjo D'Agua Hotel where there were speeches (with champagne) and then a great dinner (with champagne) and very unstable dancing to excellent reggae band Dub Squad (you guessed it, with more champagne and a few pints of Strela, the local lager). A great night and also I believe Tortuga Beach and Spa will in a couple of years develop into a top quality resort. After the Odjo D'Agua we all departed to the Calema Bar till the early hours which was jam packed and completely champagne free (more Strela).

Whilst in Sal I had a good look around the Vila Verde Resort, and was extremely impressed with the overall development. Great pool sizes, large apartments and villas and very impressive open spaces. There is plenty of work still to do, however the whole concept of the development can now be appreciated. I visited the show apartment with the Vila Verde furniture on display, which seems very good. As I am sure you are aware there are cheaper alternatives available now if you don't fancy the developers furniture. Just ask us. We have just undertaken the first snagging of apartments in Sedum and generally the quality seems excellent. There are obviously a few issues with new apartments, as always, and I would suggest that everyone who has bought makes sure they either inspect the apartments themselves or use our snagging service. By the end of the year Vila Verde should be fully operational and in my opinion is destined to become the first quality resort area of its size on the island. We have available a selection of really well priced resale units, some of which are real bargains.

It was also great to see Porto Antigo 2 finished. The apartments are ready to use now and the location is stunning, right on the beach. The landscaping is coming along very well and I am sure it will be as successful as Porto Antigo 1. We have some of the best apartments in Porto Antigo 1 and 2 both for sale and to rent. If anyone fancies buying a bar / restaurant on the front in a stunning location in Porto Antigo 1, we now have the ground floor of Papayas up for sale. I reckon the best location for a bar / restaurant in Cape Verde.

On the weather front, the first couple of days I was in Sal were a bit cloudy, however the wind and kite surfers were loving it with some excellent waves. As the week went on the weather became hotter and sunnier and as usual I had to make sure the old head had factor 30 rubbed well in. Mitu Monteiro, the world kite surfing champion from Sal, was actually giving lessons on the beach. It is just incredible to watch these guys.
Josh Angulo's coffee bar/ restaurant in front of Leme Bedje was always very busy with surfers from all over Europe, and the spicy beef wraps in Tracey's Surf Shack were as tasty as always.

Sunday was beach day, and as always I am always amazed at the colour of the water. A good scattering of people on the beach and in the sea, enjoying swimming and body boarding. I am told the sea was 22C, and the air temperature 24C, not bad for January. Sunday night was a nice early evening drink in Papayas watching the sun go down. Beautiful. Not too much booze after the excesses of the Tortuga do, and then a Papaya Special pizza.

Talking of alcohol, there is a new bar in Sal. It is the small, but very up market Blu Bar, great for cocktails and a happy hour which was very popular with the growing British population. Yes it seems that there may well be 100 Brits living in Sal now. Not exactly Spain, thank the almighty, however it was nice to see things progressing and have a few new faces around.






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