Position 16:45.09N 22:58.79W

Julian & Anne Whitlock
Wed 24 Dec 2008 21:04
Christmas Eve in Sal
What a difference a day makes.... Today dawned bright and sunny so we set off to explore the
glories of Sal.Our guide book refers to arrival in Sal (by air) as" relentlessly brown and featureless,
one feels like the Mars Pathfinder as it fell towards the Red Planet - except that Mars is believed
by some to be capable of sustaining life." How true! the land is stony desert with absolutely
minimal vegetation. However, from this wilderness resorts are now sprouting all along the coast
(at least in the far south the beaches are wide and golden). If the development does not get scuppered
by the global financial meltdown, tourists will soon outnumber locals 3 to 1. We can only assume
local politicians have done a marvellous job in encouraging foreign investment, but despite the concrete
jungles expanding rapidly we saw no signs of the golf courses and marinas promised on the desert
Car hire was exorbitant (like the prices generally) but a lovely taxi driver volunteered to give us a
tour of the island - completed (every road) in 3 hours. When you realise that the chief tourist
"attraction" is the semi abandoned salt pans (actually very interesting, in the base of an old volcano)
then you appreciate what they say: "most people who come to Sal (it has the only international airport)
are passing through to islands of much greater interest".
That is what we are off to see for ourselves tomorrow.
HAPPY CHRISTMAS to you all. 
   Local cafe at landing stage in our harbour 
The sandy beaches on the south tip of the island 
The more typical landscape except this is the interesting hilly bit!
  Salt pans in extinct volcano - now main tourist attraction!