SOS Tartarugas works in Cape Verde protecting nesting loggerheads turtles (Caretta caretta) and their habitat. Cape Verde is the third most important nesting area for loggerheads in the world. Turtles are at risk from hunting for meat, stealing of eggs, removal of sand for building and unregulated tourism development. Our email is
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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Free the quad!

One of the biggest challenges of the project is reliable transport.  Both in terms of our own and also finding taxi and pick up drivers who are willing to work at night (and don't fall asleep when they are supposed to be collecting people for patrol!)

During the first couple of years we relied on one quad which somehow made it through to Year 4 until it was stolen.  In Year 3 this was supplemented by the purchase of an ancient Land Rover, the only thing we could afford.  Big mistake.  Charming it may be but reliable it isn't.  It has definitely spent more time sitting rusting outside the house than actually on the road.

This year we splashed out, took out a loan and bought a pick up - second hand but still in pretty good shape.  Must be us then because that has also spent an unfeasible amount of time in the garage.  Since good mechanics are hard to come by each time a vehicle goes to a garage we know it is going to come back with the original problem fixed (maybe) but one or two additional problems caused by not putting it back together properly!
Innocent of all crimes but locked up in the port
The final frustration this year involves the purchase of a quad bike from the UK.  Here it is pictured in April in the yard of the dealer.  And that is the last time we have seen it.  A normally smooth import process has been turned into a deluge of paperwork and confusion and the quad has been sitting in the dock at Palmeira since June, effectively missing the entire season for which is was bought.  The problem?  The quad was used on a farm in Wales and not road registered, therefore there was a suspicion that it was stolen since no papers existed from the relevant UK authority.  Not only that but the dealer put the wrong chassis number on the original paperwork!  Thank goodness for Cape Verde Imports's endless patience and efficiency with the process or I might really have gone mad.

Yesterday I took another (hopefully final) trip into Espargos to sign the 'last' piece of paper and now am hopeful that we may see the quad this side of Christmas.  There's still a small amount of time for it to be useful!

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