Days 190 to 193: The Great Escape

Day 190: On The Beach 09.07.09: Perhaps I should have mentioned this before – Val, the guy who was ‘helping’ me last week is now demanding that I pay him €600 for his ‘services’. These ‘services’ included not getting me my passport back, not getting the pirogue to the dock and not finding me a yacht to come and pick me up. He just flapped around for a few days, spent a lot of my money on phone calls, took a lot of taxis (which muggings here paid for) to godknowswhere and generally swanned about doing nothing constructive or even mildly helpful. Which could be a metaphor for this entire island, I don’t know. Anyway, he wants his money and has spent the last week basically stalking me trying to get it. Of course, I have no intention of giving him such a vast amount of…

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Day 189: Real England

08.07.09: Well, as predicted, the Micau didn’t leave. Christ, they must be running out of excuses now. Maybe a black cat crossed the path of the captain today, or the boatswain shot an albatross or maybe the chief engineer has grown an improbable pair of boobies? Christ knows! Today, I discovered a hidden delight, courtesy of the lovely American girl Callie. Her boyfriend runs a great little café a little out from the city centre, which is FULL of English-language books (how I’ve missed them!). I WISH I had known about this place a month ago, it would have saved me hours of tedium stuck in Café Sophia. Callie’s boyfriend, Frazer, is a wonderful chap – he speaks with a deep, deep RP British accent that I would have liked to have bottled and taken with me. Last night, before he left, Colin generously gave me…

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Days 185 to 188: Ticket To Ride

Day 185: The Magic Words 04.07.09: A couple of weeks ago, I met an American girl named Callie Flood, who was ex-peace corps. After running into her again today (and the predictable “ARE YOU STILL HERE?” question that always comes up), she put me in touch - through her mate Rachelle - with a German guy named Milan who was on Maio, the island a few miles east of here. Milan has a sail boat. He went on theodysseyexpedition.com, watched a bit of the web vids, which are now (thankfully) back online. I spoke to him on the phone – I had barely finished explaining the situation before he said the magic words. YES – IT’S POSSIBLE. What? You’ll bring your yacht here and pick me up and take me the 400 miles to Dakar? Why not? I danced a ****ing jig. However, the boat required…

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Days 182-184: Meeting People Is Easy

Day 182: We Are Nowhere And It's Now 01.07.09: One thing that Café Sophia is good for, is meeting people. Possibly because there is nowhere else in Praia where you can sit out under a parasol, drink a beer and watch the world go by. Today passed like a tag team of people coming and going. I sat and chatted with Maggie from Zimbabwe and Debbie from Connecticut, whom I had met a few weeks(!) ago, together with their mate Tomic from Poland, who is studying Cape Verde Anthropology. Might I suggest he start by looking under some rocks? They were relieved by Colin, an English guy who was working for a GPS company setting up relay stations and the like. Then we were joined by Margarita, a lady born in Britain, raised in Africa, a citizen of Spain now living on the island of Maio.…

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