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Head northwest of Nova Sintra, on a relatively easy and well maintained cobblestone path, and you will reach the town of Rodela Baixo. From here, there is a trail to the town of Fajã de Água, one of Cape Verde’s most charming bays. The trail is a descent of moderate difficulty, through a deep valley terraced with fruit orchids.

Fajã de Água Brava Cape Verde
The charming little fishing village of Fajã de Água, on Brava Island, Cape Verde

Tamarinds, maracuja (passionfruit) and papaya were in season, and my favourite part of the trial was snacking on the freshly ripened tamarind hanging low off their trees. If you live in a city like we do, freshly ripened anything is always a treat.

Faja de Agua Brava cape verde
View on the way down to Fajã de Água

This trail was surprisingly different from Brava’s cloud forest trail, which we undertook the day before. Unlike the route around the rim of the island’s caldera, the road to Fajã de Água was quite dry, although still lined densely with vegetation. I personally thought the hike downhill was a bit too much effort for the pay off, although it was still a worthwhile activity.

hiking to faja de agua brava cape verde
The beginning of our hike down to Fajã de Água

The town of Fajã de Água was delightfully quaint. Situated right up against Brava’s steep slopes, with the Atlantic lapping close to it, it was everything you’d expect a fishing village to be. Our guide, Beto (who is by trade a fisherman), had offered to take us free diving in the bay. We were very excited when this was proposed to us the day before. We were both looking forward to watching him in action, possibly making videos of him catching octopi, and perhaps, a lobster or two. Unfortunately the sea was far too rough, and the plan had to be scrapped.

Faja de Agua Brava cape verde airport
The airport at Fajã de Água, now closed down due to strong winds

Instead, we headed over to the abandoned airport south of the town. On the road from the village, as it twists and bends, the airport occasionally looked like something out of Star Wars. A huge expanse of runway carved right into the red bed-rock of Brava.

Faja de Agua Brava cape verde
The runway that used to service the now derelict airport at Fajã de Água

Along the way, we met two little girls, four and six, I’d say, who were walking by themselves, hand in hand, down this rather long stretch of road. We found it a wonder that children could be safe on their own, out here on a road, in near wilderness. Anywhere else, and they’d surely be run over. But I supposed it was because the entire island was such a small community that everyone kept a look out for each other.

faja de agua brava cape verde
A house in one of the villages on our hike down to Fajã de Água

All it all, it was a good hike. Now if only the sea hadn’t been so rough that we could have gone diving with Beto… We didn’t, but if you have the chance, his details are right here:

Albert Andradi Batista (Beto)
Furna
Brava
Cabo Verde
002851452

Fajã de Água brava cape verde
Beto, our guide on Brava, Cape Verde. Beto is also a free diver and a fisherman by trade

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