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Soul searching in Cabo Verde

Silvering, almost transparent wafts of mist float up the valley.
Like massive waves which get hammered onto steep rocks. They get pushed by thermic winds  up and down. Behind this silver curtain you would find an endless green.
My view wanders over the juicy grass, cane, and Banana plants. Mango and Papaya trees up to huge palms. From the eastern part of the village Paul conifer forest reaches over hilltops and crests while broadleaf forest covers the westerly hills.
From the deep valley some dog barking, mooing from a cow and some voice from playing kids sound up to me. Silence.

Wafts of mist hit against the steep rocks.
Below me there winds a single trail build from countless little rocks and stones into countless serpentines down into the valley.
The hillsides and steep faces are dominated by little handmade stonewalls built over the past hundred years to route every single possible square meter of the valley.
Hands covered with calluses impel cows up these tracks and carry heavy potato pouches down into the valley. On a tiny edge a woman spreads seeds into her freshly prepared arable.

I’m standing like glued to a spot on this massive edge in front of our Tent. Feel the energy of the fresh morning air. I recall the past couple of hours.
The steep ascent in the cooking mid day sun, the rare food and the freezing night with neither a camping mat nor a sleeping bag.

The first sunbeams spread over the crest and the cold gets pushed away for the warmth of the day.
I breathe calm and consistent.
I left everything behind. The long bright and dark nights I partied through in summer, losses and victories of the past competitions the love to my last girlfriend, self-doubts and flights of fancy.
I think of the past sessions with Tilo, Seppi and Gucci, my buddies at home on the Baltic sea and my lonely progression in the bay of Sao Pedro.

At the Horizon the sky merges with the sea.
I feel.

Not only the moment in time as well every single detail of my past, the flow of time. Supposedly decisions merge with presumed coincidences.
The flow appears slowly and takes me into the present.
My breathing is calm. Nothing matters. The good and the Bad merge as well as black and white do. Everything merges to a level away from human dimensions.
There is so much ahead of me but nothing else than the moment in time matters.

I want to rest but the hunger drives me to go on.
Slowly I pack up the tent. Every handle leads to more warmth in my maltreated body.
I shoulder my heavy backpack and pick up the bulky suitcase. Slowly I descent into the valley again.
Every single step reminds me of the painful ascent. Yesterday I enjoyed every single step up there for the view. I absorbed every little detail. Today only the next step down counts.
The little river at the bottom of the valley flows below me. I snake up a bit on the little stone wall of the old bridge, The Sun is slowly but surely getting warmer. Just had some selfmade bread and cheese, fresh fruit and vegetables which filled my stomach nicely. Fresh spring water quenches my thirst.

My eyes shut and I patrol around together with Legolas and Aragorn through Lothlorien. The Valley, the elves an green oasis free of all the anger and fear from Mordor, out of the reach for the Nazguls.
The noise of the water falls and creeks merges with the noise of the little river below me.

I’m in an Oasis so far from all the worries of the real world. So far away from consumption capitalism, terror and war. Far away from the anger and fear which is around us to torture us.
I’m at a place where everybody has what he needs but nobody has more than that. Just perfect.
With a honk there announces a Minibus its appearance. „ Porto Novo?“ the smiling driver calls me over and out of the paradise back to reality. After a few kilometers the dream is over and the lava Island is again what it is.
Barren, rocky – nothing what would remind you of the paradise behind the hilltops.
The ferry takes me back to the capital of the neighbor Island Sao Vicente, Mindelo. It’s the second biggest city of Cape Verde. 1850 the natural harbor was one of the most important hubs for the trade in the transatlantic maritime traffic. But that didn’t last long as about 60 years later Mindelo was replaced for this purpose by Las Palmas and Dakar.

On the flat screen of the fast ferry I watch music videos from local artist on Sao Vicente.
The Island is well known for its Music culture.

Slowly we run into the port.
It feels a little like coming home. I’m glad to stay another two months here in Sao Vicente.
We have about an hour sunlight left. Chantalle, Davy and Remko are still ripping.
They weren’ t willing to spend their time on spiritual self-discovery trips in remote valleys when there are non stop great surfing conditions in Sao Pedro. Understandable when you have to leave the next day.
I grab my gear and want nothing more than head out.
Like I missed it! Two days not on the water and I don’t want anything more than just merge. It’s not the same merge I had this morning in the valley. But the feeling on each great session is the same. I merge with my boom, my straps, my sail and my board. Gravity, water, waves, gusts become one with my toys. Everything becomes light and easy. I feel nothing else than control and want to begin to play.
Again everything else doesn’t matter. For two hours I’m in my world!

A litte spray on my buddy Remko and a big smile. – The Pinguin is back in its element.

We had memorable weeks. Didn’t miss even one sunrise, not a session, surfed a point break with wind from starboard tack in Salamansa and a portack Wavespot called Tupin.
Saying goodbye hurts. My friends Kim, Did, Hui from the village took the boys and girls from Germany and the Netherlands into their hearts. Multiple joint evenings playing soccer in Sao Pedro, Hikes on top of the highest mountains, barbecues on abandoned ruins and countless sessions memorable meetings with locals will stick in our memory.
For ever.