Time seems to stands still on Ibo, and thanks to the humid tropical heat so do most living things on the island. The temptation to sit under a shady tree reading a good book, with occasional plunges into the handy swimming pool at the Cinco Portas guesthouse, is hard to resist when the heat is so overwhelming. If Ibo seems largely undisturbed by the outside world, the remorseless heat of the tropics must be largely to blame – this is a place which redefines peace and tranquility.
Exploring the island, even early in the morning, is sweaty and energy sapping, but in the otherworldly surroundings of a decaying colonial city in the tropics, exploring is a truly wonderful experience. This is an island with a rich history and culture which demands attention. Elsewhere, you could expect that there would be several nasty tourist developments, but Ibo’s relative remoteness has meant it remains untouched by large scale tourism. Since the island has limited water resources, this is probably a very good thing.
The simplicity of life on Ibo is fabulously seductive. Outside of the occasional festival, what action there is tends to be found around the shoreline and on the beaches when the tide is low. When the island’s fleet of small wooden fishing boats returns to land, the skilled fishermen sell their catch on the beach. Given the sedate, and sedating, pace of life on Ibo, this is as close to a rush hour as the island gets.
Once this excitement has died down, there is little to do but return to wandering through the streets admiring the buildings, and trying to find a good spot to watch the dramatic sunsets in which Ibo specialises.