Most of the staff spoke a little English, but our nationality meant we could move around almost unnoticed, safe from the forced jollities of the dreaded "animation" team.By day, this tireless troupe of French and Cape Verdean youngsters staffed the kids' club and conducted exercise and dance classes by the pool.While the island still feels undeveloped, it probably won't do for long.The main town, Sal Rei, still shows its colonial bones beneath the gaudily painted concrete and rubble, but it has a long way to go before it's a tourist destination in its own right."No stress", we were told several times, is the Cape Verde motto, and the package offered by the Royal Decameron delivered on that promise.We'd never been on an all-inclusive family holiday before, but after a week, we were converts.Like so much about the islands, the music fuses influences from Europe, Africa and South America – a product of the islands' history as an important provisioning call for sailing ships en route to South America, and later a trading post for the West African slave trade.The last century hasn't been kind to the Cape Verde islands: economic emigration, mostly to Portugal, became the only option for many of its men.
Music is everywhere in Cape Verde, from the jaunty piped Afro-pop that was played by the main pool all day, to the visiting musicians who performed murmuring fado-like mornas at night.Our last day in Boa Vista presented us with the ultimate leaving gift.As we sat on the beach, I spotted a burst of white water, then a flash of white belly, and a humpback whale came cresting out the water quite near to shore.However, in recent years, the Cape Verdean government has been investing heavily to promote the poorer islands as tourist resorts.
Boa Vista opened up to international flights in 2007, and new roads and hotels are springing up.
Best of all, from a "no stress" point of view, was the lack of fuss and fretting around mealtimes.
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