I arrived late at night in São Tomé, capital of São Tomé & Principe, a small, 2-island nation off the coast of Equatorial Guinea in Africa. Booking this place had been a bit of a whirlwind, between Airbnb hosts either not replying to me or telling me to book them on another site/bring cash (which is against the rules & didn’t want to lose my account for this) and expensive listings on hotels.com, I wound up going with the person who seemed most helpful and brought the desired cash along with me. Glad I brought extra, because I was surprised by how many ‘taxes’ got added on! Of course, he didn’t have change, so we added a breakfast the 2nd morning (not the 1st, as I planned to sleep in) to round out the bill. Sneaky.
I walked around a lot and enjoyed the relaxing time I had in São Tomé.
I passed by the presidential palace and tried to snap some pictures, but some super-unfriendly guards put an end to that.
I turned and went through Parque Popular and the Youth Park on my way to the northeast part of the city, out to the coast.
From here, I checked out the fort, São Sebastião, which I liked a lot. Too bad you can’t go in.
I had a very lackluster dinner at a place that was out of pasta and out of pizza crust, so my vegan options became a salad and french fries.
Breakfast at the b & b the next morning was mostly good, except for being served the most obviously-not-ripe guava in history.
I walked around a bunch more, got my wrong info from the Angolan Embassy (thanks!), and really enjoyed the vibe & fresh air.
Even São Tome & Principe is feeling the Paw Patrol vibe.
There was something big going on at the National Stadium, but I couldn’t figure out what it was without getting lost in the crowd, and it seemed like whatever was going on wasn’t for me to watch (the evil looks and lots of soldiers discouraged me from going in). It seemed like maybe Olympics tryouts or army recruiting, something along those lines.
I walked along the bay and through the heart of the city, into the market, and along the sea wall. I doubled-back through the Parque Popular, seeking a good meal, and had one (but overpriced) at Sabor da Ilha (Flavor of the Island), where they actually knew what ‘vegan’ meant.
I definitely needed to walk off that heavy meal. São Tomé is a cool city, and I made sure to exchange my money before leaving. Fun fact: not 1 single country recognizes the money of São Tomé & Principe, so you need to exchange it before getting to the airport, or you’ll be stuck with it forever.
Back at the b & b, the host offered to drive me to the airport for free, because I was lucky enough that he needed to pick up 3 people who were arriving at the same time my flight was leaving, so I could ride with him to the airport. Fantastic.
The border control agent was either really nosy or really bored (either way, really annoying) when he went stamp-by-stamp through my passport and asked me “Why did you go to China? Why did you go to Belize? Why did you go to….?” Zzzzzzz.
Tiny little airport, only 1 plane on the ground, but they made sure to check the boarding passes 3 times. I’m not sure how I could be getting on the wrong plane, but it’s job security for 3 people!
Good times in São Tomé.This entry was posted in Africa, sao tome, sao tome & principe