Sand sand sand sand sand
18.03.2012 - 20.03.2012
Our next destination was jericoacoara (jeri). I knew very little about this place other than that it was on the beach and was so remote that we couldn't take the truck there.
On the journey to jeri I located my very unused lonely planet and read up on the town. I remember only three things, that jeri was supposed to be home to Brazil's best beach, that it was a bit of a party town and to wear flip flops at all time because of the flesh burrowing parasites - wtf?!
Anyway, we arrived at a random service station in a town called jijoca, to be met by two four by fours who were to take us the rest of the way. We put our luggage in one, us in another and off we set. We went through the town of jijoca which was very basic, lots of very small homes and happy people wandering about on the dirt tracks. On the thee side f the town we hit the dunes. We had a 30 minute journey through the sand dunes to get to jeri, it was fun bouncing around on the sand.
At one point we drew to an abrupt halt. We were wedged in the sand and the tyres were just getting deeper and deeper as or driver tried to get us out. Eventually the other driver came back and after what looked like a few words exchanged between the two drivers the other truck was set up ready to tow us out. The ropes were tied up and as they tried to pull away they too got stuck. So we now had both trucks stuck in the sand. We enlisted the help of another passing truck to pull the second truck out of the sand and then started again on the attempt to get the first truck out. In the meantime the truck who's helped us got stuck and we could see its passengers bouncing in the back to try I get it out. After a short while we were all free and ready to go again. A short interlude and something to write about on an otherwise standard drive day.
We pulled into jeri, to find a really cute little town which was all lit up with colourful lanterns and little coloured lights wrapped around the trees. All of the (6) streets were made of sand and the place had a really nice vibe.
We got to or hotel very excited and ready to go explore. We had a quick talk about some dime buggy trips that we're on offer but I wanted to try to finish my kite surf lessons so passed on these this time.
We wondered around town looking for somewhere to eat, the group ended up breaking up but Sarah and I found some pretty nice places during our exploration. We located the beach, although it was dark so we couldn't see what it was like. All we knew was that there was lots of little stalls selling cocktails - we'd be back here later.
In the meantime we headed to a place to eat pizza. It was a cute little restaurant with little bottles with bulbs in them hanging over every table, roses petals on the floor in the bathroom an really nice waiting staff. After eating our meal and managing only one slightly embarrassing mix up between a pepper pot and a cocktail stick holder, we paid up and as we were about to leave our waiter offered us some free ice cream. This obviously came with a shot of cachaca. This place was good!
We headed down to the beach spotting a sign along the way that said there was a party at "maloca" with live music that night. So our plan was made for us. We went and drank kiwioskas from the beach bar - crushed kiwis, ice and vodka (which you chose from a selection), and then went and sat on a surf board for a whole before eventually meeting the others for a couple more drinks and some pool.
We went off on the hunt for maloca, using our instructions of right at the restaurant left then right. After getting lost a couple times we eventually found the venue and headed in to the party. There was a really lovely setting with a little garden and a stage area and bar which was all lit really nicely. The band were already playing. I'm not sure what music you'd call it (perhaps the local dance forra?), but it was very nice and we all had a little dance around. After a couple of hours, I fell asleep stood up at the bar and decided that it was probably time to leave so made my way back to the hostel for some well needed rest in our lovely hotel room including double bed!!
The next morning if arrange to meet rudi to try to find a kiting instructor who had been recommended to us by the girls in canoa quebrada. All we knew was that his name was christian and he could be found behind the dune. With little Sarah and Kate in tow we set out in the direction of the beach stopping along the way to ask for directions. We found the dune walked behind it waking for ages. We eventually found a hut with pigs outside the another with a tightrope outside which we played on a bit before admitting that Christian was nowhere to be found. We walked back to the sea, went for a swim and then returned to the beach. A round trip that took us 2 hours and without any sun cream we were all roasted! We found a guy on the beach setting up a kite so we asked him about Christian and apparently he wasn't there today which is why we couldnt find him but we'd walked way too far looking for him! This guy was an instructor though and he said he'd take us out but after then waking around the town for another hour looking for another instructor (we needed two), we failed and gave up. After a quick coconut stop, we headed to the beach to play in the water, sunbathe an eat ice cream. It ended up being a lovely relaxing day.
In the evening we arranged to all meet on the beach to climb the sand dune and watch the sun set. The sun set was a little disappointing as it was really hazy but it was pretty special sitting on top of the dunes with a couple drinks.
We went back for a snooze before dinner ad headed out to the same restaurant we went to the night before. I had the best steak ever at that restaurant. So nice! I was too full for the free ice cream today and even said no to the free shot of cachaca so instead the waiter brought us limoncello. I guess the decline of shots was lost in translation somewhere. We asked the waiter where we could go out that night and he told us to go to planet jeri on the beach for a samba party, but when we got there it was shut and there was no one around. We actually were quite pleased that we could go home and sleep without feeling like we were missing out. A relatively early night for a pleasant change :-)
Our second and final day in jeri saw most people heading out on dune buggies but I stayed behind on an attempt to get this kite lesson. Rudi and I agreed to meet up at 9:30 to go out on the hunt for someone to teach us. Whilst I was waiting I headed into town to wander about and found the instructor we'd found the day before. After an embarrassing dance in the street without music for him to explain what the difference was between samba and forra, he said the wind was too low for a lesson but it may pick up in the afternoon and he'd take us out at 5pm for an hour before sunset.
I went back to meet rudi and finding all of the other kite schools shut we headed over to another beach that the guy had told me was really nice and had good surf. We took a swim in the surf until it started raining and the made our way back I town. We found someone in one of the schools and he agreed to take us out for three hours at 2pm - yay we would get a lesson after all!
Rudi went back to sleep and I explored the town, mainly in search of board shorts but making friends
With all the locals along the way. It's so easy to meet people in brazil, it's brilliant!
We had an ice cream lunch and then went to find our kiting instructors. Rudi's was a young boy who could only have been 15 and mine was morinho his uncle. We set off with boards in hand (slightly scared) and headed to the dune again. There wasn't much wind that day so it wasn't the best condition for kiting but we were determined to try, so try we did.
We set up the kites again and got them up in the air playing with controlling the kites. You could tell the wind wasn't good enough as you needed to pull down as hard as you could on the kite just to keep it in the air, when we were in canoa quebrada, any pressure lifted you into the air.
I played around controlling the kite for a while before morinho had me
Controlling the kite and walking up and down the beach with the board under my arm at the same time. Next up was body dragging. I wasn't as good at this as I had been in my lesson, I think the wind wasn't pulling fast so it was more difficult to keep the kite in the air. But I managed to go up and down the sea a bit before heading back to the beach and learning how to get up on the board. All of a sudden there was a lot to think about. This was going to be hard.
Morinho took me to this little pool to practice. The pool was tank and the bottom felt nasty. I didn't like it much. Especially as I was to spend the next hour siting in it and being dragged around on my arse accidentally drinking the nasty water.
Morinho demonstrated what to do. It looked easy enough. Kite at 12 o'clock feet in the board, kite at 2pm and you're off. I spent an hour trying I do it and managed approximately 5 seconds max and many many far plants. Quite frustrating but still fun.
On my final go I face planted over the top of the board, fell in the water, something took a massive bite on my toe and I had a bit of a panic as morinho was shouting at me to grab the board and return to him. I'd convinced myself it was one of the flesh eating parasites. In actual fact I suspect it was a crab.
We walked back to the town, had a quick snack, some frozen yoghurt and then back to the hostel for a chill before our final night in this town.
We decided to be stick to what we know and go back to our restaurant for more steak, which ended up being a good call. Our waiter apologised for sending us to a non existent party the night before an insisted he'd checked today and the dancing was on. We had a really nice meal and then were plied with free drinks until midnight. We left there pretty tipsy and headed to the beach for another cocktail. The place was really quiet but we went in anyway and played some pool and before long it filled up. Our waiter joined us and taught us how to dance forra, which I did for the next three hours until everyone had to drag me away and back to the hotel.
Our time in jeri had come to an end, turns out the beaches were pretty nice, huge at times when the tide was
Low and non existent when the tide was high. The party scene wasn't really true although we were there during off season. The flesh eating parasites also ended up to be a bit of a myth depending on who you talked too. Anyway, we had a lot of fun relaxing there. Brazil just keeps throwing more and more at us!