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My Blogs

Information about how the websites Cape Verde Tips and Expats Cape Verde are developing and some travel stories.

February 2018 - News - Sal Island

Cheryl Thomas - Thursday, March 01, 2018

February has been a busy month, it's had some windy and cloudy days and a number of activities and events taking place.  More



An interview with Cape Verde's Beach Soccer Coach - May 2016

Cheryl Thomas - Wednesday, May 04, 2016
Polidio Brito talks about the Cape Verde Beach Soccer Team

  More


Ponta do Sino - New Horizons Development

Cheryl Thomas - Wednesday, April 06, 2016

I had walked down to Ponta do Sino a number of times over the years, one big open space of land where the  the only thing on it was the light house. However this was my first time to actually walk around the new construction being built there of the hotel and resort called 'New Horizons Ponta Siino' Beach Resort Hotel.  More



Some shopping and bus travel tips Gran Canaria

Cheryl Thomas - Sunday, March 27, 2016

A holiday or stop off with extras

A number of expats of different nationalities living on Sal Island are taking advantage of what the Canaries can offer. For those needing to refresh their wardrobe, renew their 6 month visa, replace household items or just take a break, then a trip to Gran Canaria is becoming 'the break to take'.

The flight from Sal to Gran Canaria is in-direct with a drop off and pick up in Praia, Santiago, but the flight back from Gran Canaria to Sal is direct and takes less than 2 hrs.

Those travelling on to other Canarian islands, other countries or travelling to Sal via Gran Canaria are taking advantage of some reasonably priced flight tickets and/or the luggage allowance offered by Binter Canarias. If you are arriving on Gran Canaria and have booked and paid for an onward flight to Sal, you may be able to buy an additional 23 kgs of goods to bring with you but, it all depends if you have the time and also, the price you pay for the ticket and the conditions of that particular ticket price for luggage allowance.

FLIGHT and BAGGAGE ALLOWANCE

  More


Visa and Residency Card

Cheryl Thomas - Wednesday, June 24, 2015

  More


Sal - Gran Canaria - Ireland - by Michael and Colette

Cheryl Thomas - Thursday, March 26, 2015

  More


My trip to Gran Canaria via Binter Canarias - March 2015 - Part 1

Cheryl Thomas - Monday, March 23, 2015

Part 1 - Friday   More



My trip to Gran Canaria March 2015 - Part 2

Cheryl Thomas - Sunday, March 22, 2015

Part 2 - Saturday   More



My trip to Gran Canaria - March 2015 - Part 3

Cheryl Thomas - Saturday, March 21, 2015

Part 3 - Sunday   More



My trip to Gran Canaria - March 2015 - Part 4

Cheryl Thomas - Friday, March 20, 2015

Part 4 – Monday

Last day of shopping.  A friend in Las Palmas had been back in touch to ask to meet up for lunch, so I had time to get across to IKEA (or Ickea as they pronounce it). Firstly I had a lift up to the town of St. Brigida with Chantal and Baptiste, this is where they sell wine in what was supposed to be a museum at Santa 'Brigida's Casa del Vino'.

The town wasn’t busy but a lot of through traffic. I didn’t stay there long as I wanted to get back into Las Palmas and the Global station to travel to IKEA. From the town I took the 303 into Las Palmas, this was a bit more expensive and cost 1.65 euro (wow). 

I then caught the no. 15 bus which departed from stage number 9. The bus headed off south down the coastal road and onto motorway then later went off in different directions before eventually arriving at Alcampo and Ikea. That bus journey cost 2 euros and took about 30 mins. I had time to look around both stores before my friend arrived to pick me up.

After being collected we went back into Las Palmas where I was taken for lovely tapas near the indoor market, in the old town at La Vagueta in a restaurant called El Herreno.

 

La Vagueta is a lovely little place to walk around and see small streets and the Cathedral and some converted building to restaurants with internal courtyards.

Apparently there are a lot of places that do lunchtime three course meals for 7-8 euros with a choice for each of the courses.  

 

 

After our meal we pay a visit to another family member then I return to Las Arenas before my hosts pick me up to take me back to their house and an early night.

Return flight

I arrive at the airport (Terminal B) early enough, check in my two suitcases and am directed to the Security Desk, I enter, everything goes through scanner ok, then enter the Duty Free, which is big, a lot of choice. There are a number of shops on this side of Passport Control, but items are quite expensive. I was told it was a long walk to where you board the plane, walking past and under the sign for Burger King, not sure if it always departs from this area ‘Section D’. 

TIP: Best get what you need for duty free here as there is NO Duty Free service on the Binter flight to or from Cape Verde. I was also looking for something like a 'Boots' store to buy some deodorants and mosquito repellent when the other side of passport control, but didn't find anything. I'll make sure I buy them before going to airport next time.

The flight was great once again, we didn't have a choice option for the breakfast meal, so it didn't matter where you sat, you could either have what was on offer or not. The flight was longer this time as we had to stop in Praia for 20 mins for some passengers to disembark. We had made a detour, flying along the African coast due to some military exercises in the area, however we made up the 15 minutes and landed on Sal on time, 2hrs 50mins after departure from Las Palmas airport. 

NOTE: 2016 - We now have direct flights to and from Las Palmas from Sal.

As you are coming in on a charter flight, expect to get pulled into the Customs for them to check inside your luggage, especially if you have a parcel or box and occasionally more than one case. 

I will need to add updates to these pages as I remember other info. 

TIPS:

Spar shops are plentiful, you can get a number of items from there.

There is talk that the flight will change to GC direct to Sal, then from Sal to Praia to GC.

There is a business hotel close to the airport called Elba Vecindario Aeropuerto Business & Convention Hotel. The hotel is close to the Atlantico Shopping Centre: LINK-ELBA-AEROPUERTO-HOTEL  

You can buy a sim card in the Canaries to use in your phone if your phone is unlocked.

You can’t buy GC internet sim without a contract.

Don’t walk back in a store with the suitcase you bought in there, or in fact another supermarket, it raised suspicion, I was challenged twice.

Check the prices for Binter Canarias flights, each flight price provides you with different allowances. On some you can’t change your flight, with others you can but for a fee, some only allow 1 x 23kg suitcase per person, others 2 x 23kg hold luggage p.p. etc etc.

Think about what is in your hold luggage in preparation for possible inspection by customs on arrival in CV.

TAXI: Chantal also made me aware that taxi’s charged different tariffs, maybe more if you had more than one case or different rates during day or night etc. TIP: Find out before you get book a taxi.

Once they receive their licence from the CV Government, Binter Canarias will operate inter island flights within Cape Verde from September 2015.

Take a hand held weight measure with you, so you can weigh your luggage. If you are food shopping the day before your return to CV, weigh your luggage before you go food shopping, most food items will show the amount of grams each item weighs so you can add each weight up, then add to the amount you already have in your suitcase, so you don't go over the allowance.

Check the allowance of your hand luggage too as you could end up paying another 60 euros (maybe more) if any excess weight can't fit in your allowance for hold luggage! Please make your own checks on the prices and allowances as this may change!

Arriving at an airport check-in with an extra bag or item not in your allowance or previously paid for could cost you another 150 euros. Please make your own checks on the prices and allowances as this may change!

The best scenario for me to visit Gran Canaria from Sal is to find a Promo Flight price which is sometimes offered at 69e + tax out of Sal to Gran Canaria, with hand luggage, one large hold suitcase  with a second case inside with minimal items needed for my stay. Then from Gran Canaria to Sal a 125 euros + tax flight ticket which allows 2 x 23kg cases of hold luggage. However there are specific allowances or limitations with each priced ticket which may suit you better. Please make your own checks on the prices and allowances as this may change!

The accommodation I chose to stay in on this occasion is a different type of accommodation to what I am used to, but this was a new experience and one that met my needs. It may not be suitable for everyone being that you have to share some facilities. Would I stay there again? Yes, if they will have me, lol. Would I try another type of accomodation too? Yes, but then it would depend on my needs at that time. If you are interested in finding out more on this type of accommodation please use the my 'Contact Form' : LINK-CONTACT-FORM 

MORE HELPFUL INFO BELOW

.....................................................

Hope you found some of the info above helpful, its not meant as a guide, just some info to help other fellow travelers in Cape Verde who want some retail therapy. Also for those who may be looking to use Binter Canaries for international flights or internal flights, or maybe find out more about Gran Canaria. If you have any info you want to add or share, please email me. I will add your info here:

19.03.2015: From LPR:  I have booked into a hotel called Hotel Rural Villa Aguimes which costs 52e a night for a single room and is about 8kms from the airport in a place called Aguimes. It is the sister hotel of Hotel Rural Casa de Los Camellos.

LINK-HOTEL-RURAL-VILLA-AGUIMES

LINK-HOTEL-RURAL-CASA-DE-LOS-CAMELLOS

21.3.15: ExpatsCV: The shops are more expensive in the south of the island than in the north, therefore some people prefer to shop in a large shopping centre. The closest shopping centre to the airport in the south of Gran Canaria is Centro Comercial 'Atlantico' in the town of Vecindario. Vecindario is the large commercial area on the island so you will find other shopping centres there such as Centro Comercial 'La Ciel' and Centro Comercial 'Avenida de Canarias'.

21.3.15: ExpatsCV: There are a lot of small Spar shops dotted around the Canaries, but this one is a large Spar Store in Puerto Rico in the Mogan area of Gran Canaria. Not sure if there is another large Spar store in the north: LINK-CANARY-NEWS-SPAR-EUROPA

21.3.15: ExpatsCV:  You may find this website usefull for finding out info on best shopping centres and stores on Gran Canaria. It also tells you how to reach them etc: LINK-GRAN-CANARIA-SHOPPING

21.3.15. ExpatsCV: There is also 'Leroy Merlin' situated close to Alcampo and Ikea.

21.3.15. ExpatsCV: 'Las Terrazas' is an open air area shopping centre situated near the sea, between the towns of Telde and Las Palmas. There is plenty to do and see in this 20,000 m2 centre. Lots of restaurants and bars too.

21.3.15. Update from LPR: I arrived on Gran Canaria on Thursday 19.3.15 and had booked into Hotel Rural Villa as this was cheaper (52euro single occupancy) than its sister  hotel , Hotel Rural los Camellos. Although I booked into Hotel Rural Villa, when I arrived they checked me into a big double room at the Camellos hotel so I think they only use the other one when they are fully booked. It is part of the Hotel School of Gran Canaria. It was located in Aguimes (pronounced A-wee-mez!!) a typical canarian village about a 13 min taxi ride from the airport which costs between 14-16 euro each way. There are also 2 buses that go from Aguimes to LPA and pass by the airport. They are no's 11 & 21. 

The hotel itself was nice. More like a guest house. It was a typical Canarian building which meant the rooms had high wooden ceilings. It was a huge room with a bathroom, tv, fridge (very handy for storing the food I was bringing back!) & air con. It was a little cold as the room opens straight onto the open courtyard. It is located about 1 minute from a lovely village square where there are at least 5/6 bars/restaurants around it. It was very quiet but can imagine in the spring/summer it is a very pretty place with lots more people. I ate in a really nice tapas restaurant called Bar El Populacho which I have looked up since getting back & is ranked #2 on tripadvisor. This is their website http://www.elpopulacho.com/

LINK-BUS-TIMETABLES

LINK-GLOBAL-BUSES

They told me the nearest commercial center to there would be located at Vecindario and a bus can take you there. The hotel staff were very friendly. They even gave me a packed breakfast to take away as I was checking out before the restaurant opened for breakfast.

Binter was impressive, plenty of room & snacks served. However, I got stung for excess baggage. I had 10kg hand luggage & you are only allowed 6kg so she asked me to transfer 4kg to my main case which was already 24kg (23kg is the limit). I had to pay 60 euro as they will allow 1 case to be a maximum of 32kg for a one off price of 60 euro on top of each checked in case as per the ticket you have bought.

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