. The streets were clean and most of the buildings were kept up - we wandered around a bit - not much was open and we searched high and low for postcards and stamps for Will and Allie - that was our only purchase - fortunately they accepted Euros and we were able to make a clean exchange - although a coin or two would have been kind of nice for our foreign money collection. Jim was really ready to return to the ship and so we did walk back and we were not the only ones - many people had already returned and as we walked back to the ship while people were on their way out - everyone said - "Give it a half an hour and you'll be back." It was a little disappointing - maybe a weekday would have been better - but it was an experience and for that it was good. Ships life is fine - we had dinner tonight with Petar - the Guest Relations Manager and that was very nice. He is from Bulgaria but has lived many places in the world as his father was a diplomat. Interesting was hearing about his life under the Communist Rule - since his was more privileged than most. Now we have three days at sea as we head for Recife, Brazil. We are scheduled to cross the equator precisely at midnight on December 11th. Ocean temperatures are running around 86 degrees F. - not that we will be swimming in the Ocean anytime soon - air temperatures are in the low 80's during the day and the seas have 1 - 4 foot swells - so hardly any movement at all.
I was pretty excited to be visiting the island of Sao Vincente in the Cape Verde Islands just off the coast of Africa . It was a very nice morning - warm and sunny - the island didn't look like it supported much life and vegetation and as we made our way around the island to the port it looked like most of the others. There were only two tours offered for this port so we decided to venture out on our own. I have to say we barely got off of the pier when Jim said he was ready to go back - but we continued on. We saw a Shell plant and then ran across the convenience store - well that looked familiar enough. There were a lot of very thin stray dogs roaming around and that was sad to see. There were quite a few kids begging for money and a lot of guys selling beaded necklaces and 'paintings' made from sand. Apparently from what we heard, these people are not native islanders but people that come over from Africa to try to make money from the tourists. It was a Sunday so there was not a lot of activity but the streets were full of police - I am guessing due to the fact that a ship was in port