Asociación CAUÉ - Amigos de São Tomé e Príncipe

The impressive Caué Peak

Vista del Pico do Caué o Cão Grande desde Ribeira Peixe (foto X. Muñoz, dic. 2006)

The Caué Peak or Cão Grande is an impressive torre de penedo (a basaltic pillar) of 663 m high, placed near the old plantation of Emolve, on the Southern part of the São Tomé Island. It gives name to the administrative district which capital is the town of São João dos Angolares and now it also gives name to our association.


It is one more piece of the set of panes de azúcar and torres de penedo which are spreaded on the centre and the southern region of the Island (panes de azúcar: Maria Fernandes Peak 861 m, Fraternidade 338 m, São João 351 m, Sinaí 254 m; torres de penedo: Cão Pequeño 390 m). Its existence is related to climate conditions of warm and humid regions and to nature of rocks: phonolithic rocks, constituting necks, disemboweled and modeled by erosion [sic. F. Tenreiro]. Good examples of this kind of landscape can be found in all the Mount Cameroon's diagonal, but may be it is in the Island of São Tomé where it is possible to find the most contrasted samples.


In fact, it is the kitchen of an ancient volcano which was freed from its original covering by the hardly erosion. Its verticality also made to reduce the covering vegetation to brushwood and lichens and then the basaltic column is clearly shown, standing up between leafy forests and plantations of dende palm that are in its base. So that its impressive and majestic image. On its bed it is also possible to find the rests of original covering materials.


We don't know whether the Caué Peak has any kind of magic meaning for southern islanders, but, with no doubt, it is indeed the local sign. At least that is the impression that travelers take when finding suddenly on the jungle landscape, just arriving at the highest point on the road to South, immersed as often within a sea of foggy, which it gives it an enigmatic look.


The phallic reminiscences are obvious, such as suggesting perhaps a virile masculinity of land or to make us remember hour by hour the permanent sensuality of the island nature.




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