04.02.2009 - 17.02.2009 35 °C
How to get to Jericoacoara
To get to this slice of heaven was a lot more difficult that we thought it would be. Jericoacora (Jeri s it is impossible to pronounce) is situated on the northeast(ish) coast of Brazil. Coming from the jungle meant that we had to make our way from Manaus, the jungle town! We set off on Febuary 4th from Manaus were we flew to Belem, which is situated in the north of Brazil. It was a 3 hour flight with one stop on the way. During our flight we were treated to fantastic views of the Amazon jungle and the scribling lines that cut threw it - the amazonian river. It was so vast and so impressive. From the lofty heights of the airplane it looked like ugly green carpet! We arrived in Belem and immediately made our way to the bus station, opting to ignore what Belem had to offer us seasoned backpackers We were heading east and the nearest large town to Jeri was Fortaleza. We tried to get a bus there knowing that it was actually 6 hours past Jeri but also that access to Jeri was best from Fortaleza. Jeri was not accessible via main roads at all. No bus was leaving to Fortaleza until the next day so we decided to follow our Jungle friends to Sao Luis which was a slight detour. This was a 13 hour trip on the bus, a little spin!! Once in Sao Luis (at about 8am) we arranged to get the next bus to Fortaleza - approximately 6 hours later.
We spent a few hours with Yali, Tanya and Lina in Sao Luis having lunch and taking in the old town. It was a really nice town and in a way it was a shame to leave so soon. However, once we met the guys again later in Jeri we were glad we did as they were mugged by knife waving thugs. Lucky enough they had only a few quid and cigarettes stolen from them. Needless to say if Karolina and Martin were there we would have busted the robbers asses....not...! During our short stint we picked up a new camera as ours had spent too much time swimming in the Amazonian river. Unfortunately we paid about Euro100 too much for it compared to Irish prices, ah well..
An 18 hour bus journey is what lay ahead of us once we left Sao Luis. It was now the 5th of Febuary. A couple of sleep inducing travel sickness tablets later we arrived in Fortaleza. It was now the 6th We had not showered since the 4th. It is times like these that you are glad that bus stations have showering facilities but then you are just too afraid to use them. God bless the person who invented baby wipes!! In Fortaleza we decided to keep her lit and try to keep the momentum. We booked our tickets to Jeri. This entailed a 5 hour wait (another one) in the bus station until we were collected by a nice bus which would be our home for the next 6 hours. By now we were kind of travelling back the way we came.....it felt wrong! Two buses (1 was an off road bus designed to drive on sand as Jeri is only accessable by off road vehicles as it is surrounded by sand dues) and about 7 hours later we arrived in Jeri. In total we had travelled 54 hours straight without sleeping in a bed. Hard as nails. We took up a recommendation we got along the way and stayed in a gem of a place called Casa de Taipa. This was home for nearly the next 2 weeks.
Casa de Taipa is owned by An Argentinian guy called Esteban. After having reached a reasonable level in Spanish (this comment is exclusive to Karolina) where we can at least communicate with people Portugese is a disaster and we struggle to get our heads around it. Being able to speak ( well kind of) Spanish with Esteban was therefore great! Esteban went to great lengths to makes us enjoy our stay. Most times as we returned from the beach and/or the village he would invite us to drink his homemade booze (most of the time we tried to avoid it as it is bloody strong and we did not want to be rude and say no) and hanging out with him and his adoreable kids and his dogs (very cute- comment by K of course). We spent a lot of time playing with the boys and were met by big hugs any time we would come home! We were invited Estebans h Argentinian/ Brazilian BBQ with our mates on a number of occasions which would turn into a bit of a party! Later as our American friends left us to continue their journey Sebastian who is a German kite surfing guy moved in. Sebastian turned out to be an amazing chef who loves cooking for people (how bad eh) and we were totally spoilt as we were fed like kings and queens. The only thing we could do to recipricate was to bring the booze to the dinners (how Irish is that)! Esteban also brought us on a trip with his buggie and brought us kayaking. In short he really looked after us and made his pousada feel the closest to home since we left Ireland over three months ago.
Our plan was to kick back and relax here and that we did in abundance. Jeri is a really laid back town with idyllic winds for surfing of all kinds. Caiprinhas, Asados (BBQs), Capoeira ( Brazilian form of martial arts) watching, sun bathing (Karolina), sun burning (Martin), swimming,. horse riding and allround laziness were the main features of our stop over in Jeri. 13 days of it to be exact, the most we spent in one place. Budget restraints (we really wanted to kite surf...) in mind we took it up ourselves, and a guide in speedos, to learn how to Windsurf. Yali joined us too. It turned out to be harder on the second day than the first. It was mainly due to the winds. We both had problems getting back to shore, very frustrating to swim back while dragging the windsurf...but eventually we got to a stage where we could windsurf (in one direction only!!). There is still an urge to learn to kite surf, fingers crossed we get around to it as it is so impressive and we could show off in Dollymount strand!
We went on a day trip arounf Jeri in a beach buggy- it is a must do thing while visiting Jeri. We took in some impressive sights including a place called the blue lagoon. There was 5 passengers in our buggy but it was still able to carry us across some massive dunes. Going over the dunes in high speed in the beach biggy was really good funand we held onto the buggy for dear life! At one dune location we practised our long jumping skills. It was great crack....
Fire on the beach
Sadly we had to leave this place but lucky for us we are heading for Carnival......