The Western African region, how exciting! A lot of people travel to South Africa for a vacation of a lifetime. But are there more beautiful places to visit in Africa? I think I’m ready to experience a whole new adventure and visit a beautiful place in Africa called Principe.
A beautiful place in Africa
I feel blessed that I am able to visit this unknown and unique island. So on my way to Principe! Our first landing is on an Island called São Tomé. From here we continue our journey on a suitable propeller plane to our final destination. The landing on Principe was very impressive. I could see jagged rocks stabbing out off the dense jungle, white beaches and clear blue seawater from the sky.
I get off the plane and here I am, in the middle of the jungle on my black lacquer heels, in my little black dress and with a blow of humid heat striking my face. Many local people gathered near the airport to see the airplane landing. They all had a big smile on their face and waved both hands in the air to say hello. What a lovely and warm welcome.
This island in the Gulf of Guinea was uninhabited before the arrival of the Portuguese in the 16th century. Portuguese navigators explored the island and decided it would be a good location to act as a base for trading with the mainland. Despite that the Portuguese have left, the language is still spoken by its inhabitants.
On the way to our resort by Jeep, I could not believe what I was seeing. I found myself in an African paradise. However, it was a bit of a shock to see how little comfort the local people enjoy. Despite the poverty, everything looked pretty neat and tidy. The clothes that people wear are brightly coloured and neatly washed. The cottages wich they paint in many cute colours and their gardens are beautifully arranged. It soon was clear to me that the locals make the best of their lives with the little things they have. In the morning, most of them go outside to look for food, and that is how they fill their days. Men are walking down the street with large hood knives, while women walk with big heavy boxes on their heads filled with fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs. Luckily the island is green and fertile enough for nature to offer everything they need. They seem pretty happy; they laugh a lot, dance, make music and sing together. Somehow it looks like their way of living is very healthy for a human being.
Once I arrived at my luxury resort, I refreshed myself, changed my clothes and sat down on the terrace. Strange to experience so much luxury while 5 minutes away people live in sheds and wash themselves in the river. It made me wonder why I am blessed with that luxury and a Dutch passport. Why did faith decide that I got to be born in The Netherlands? But are we really happier than these people? As a matter of fact, I am not sure.
I ordered a gin tonic and I took the time to really feel the environment. In the distance, I could hear the murmur of the sea, and I was very impressed by the gigantic orchestra of bird singing. What a heavenly sound. This will become a week of nature, tranquillity and discovery.
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Photo’s: Movie Catch Me If You Can & Pestana Sao Tome