Cabo Verde – Fogo – Chã das Caldeiras | VOLCANOES

Photowalk: Cooperativa  – Portela – 1995 lava flow – Boca Fonte – Cooperativa

 

Fogo (Cape Verde Islands) rises steeply from the ocean, pokes through the clouds and towers above them. From the coast of Santiago or the peaks of São Nicolau it is as forbidding as a fortress. Fogo is a volcano, still active, and inside the crater the latest eruption still smokes gently.
Fogo is a menacing place: dark lava flows from centuries of eruptions to reach down its eastern side to the ocean. But it has a soft heart. Amongst the clods of cold lava that have covered much of the floor of the crater are fertile fields. Spilling over its northeast side are woods of eucalyptus and cool valleys in which grow coffee and vines. Inside the crater lives a race of people who have defied government orders to evacuate and instead live and farm below the smouldering peak that last erupted in 1995. (Read more: Bradt Travel Guide)

This two-hour walk starts at the Cooperativa. The track leads you towards the west walls of the crater and continues round the edge of the 1995 lava to the former village of Boca Fonte – now destroyed except for the colonnaded façade of a Cooperativa which stills stands at the edge of the flow. About 100m further on, you climb up on to the lava and clamber across it to get a view of a house marooned in the flow. A short walk later you arrive at the vineyards – the vines look almost pityful, straggling along the ground like weeds. Next, after curving round to the left and on to the southern side, you see several small agricultural and fruit farms. Their produce goes to the market in São Filipe, Fogo’s capital.

 

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The Main Road into the Chã das Caldeiras

 

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For sale..

 

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Mysterious Stone Man

 

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Lava comes in many forms.

 

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Including a walker, to provide a sense of scale

 

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Growing grapevines for the local Chã. Vinho do Fogo (white & red) wine

 

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Growing pomegranates for the market in São Filipe

 

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Beautiful rope lava

 

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The former colonnaded Cooperativa

 

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Black & white

 

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Typical crater houses. Kids make them in miniature and sell them to tourist to earn an extra penny

 

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Many of the inhabitants of Chã, with their light skin, blond hair, and blue eyes, trace their ancestry back to the eccentric Count of Montrond. Montrond was a French nobleman who came here in the 19th century and brought the vines that began Fogo’s wine production.

 

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An amazing palette of coloured lapilli

 

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The magestic Pico do Fogo cone

 

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Highly recommended: the tasteful single-storey lava-brick guesthouse Pousada Pedra Brabo were we spent a couple of nights. Or consider a homestay in the houses of local people.

 

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