After much effort and with pain in my heart, I unstuck my butt from Rio de Janeiro and flew north to Fortaleza in the state of Ceará. I spent little time in this picturesque yet scary city and got on the bus to Jericoacoara with no delay. Up until this point I had been in cities, always near about 10 million people or so, and I was looking forward to some nature and peace.
Jericoacoara is the place. I first heard of this small fishing village from my buddy Ace who told me about it when we were discussing kiteboarding spots for my trip. Ace has spent quite a few seasons here improving his windsurfing skills, meeting his wife, etc. Jeri (for short) has grown quite a bit in popularity in the last decade or so, and is now a tourist destination of sorts for Brazilians, but primarily, it remains a mecca for wind- and kitesurfing. It is located at 2.8º South and enjoys steady trades for most the year with the windier months sporting 30-40 knot winds.
The town is about as quaint as you can find them. There is not a single paved road within miles, and the only way to get around town is with a horse or dune buggy due to the soft-sand roads. There’s a giant dune everyone goes to for sunset, and after sunset, a capoeira circle forms on the beach. Every day except for Sunday the fishermen go out in their jangadas — a fishing vessel that hasn’t changed for the last five centuries or so. They come back with all kinds of fish, mostly for local consumption. If you want, you can sit on the beach under an umbrella drinking an ‘agua de coco’ straight from the coconut (it’s got electrolytes!) and pick out a fresh fish for R15 or so (~$8). You then have a guy grill it for you right there — plenty of food for two…
Currently, I am splitting my time between kiting and watching the world cup. As I mentioned, it’s a big deal here when Brazil plays. The last game I watched with Rob, a fellow kiter from Ireland, at Z-Chopp. We joined the crowd congregated in the street around a lone flatscreen TV. After every Brazil goal, a round of artillery-grade fireworks would go off at about 30 feet distance from where I was sitting which, surprisingly, didn’t startle the small children or dogs that were all around. Brazil plays Holland in the quarter final on Friday, and hopefully they will continue on because I have a feeling the party will only get crazier as Brazil keeps winning.