Category Archives: Brazil -the land of wind and caipi

One week later…

We’ve been completely out of wifi. But now back in Taiba we’re finally connected, so here’s my update from the downwinder. And oh man, I’m sore, sunburnt, stiff and superhappy…

We, 4 kiting “spice-girls”: Nina, a flight attendant at Norwegian who has also taken a leave from work to travel the world. Monika, a Swiss girl who quit her officejob to start a downwinder-business over her. And us, Maggie and I. This was the first time also for Monika downwinding this stretch, so it was more an exploration than an organized trip. We didn’t know in advance how the conditions were for kiting or where we could spend the nights. Also this excact stretch is quite undiscovered by kiters in general, so it was all pretty exciting. Day 1: We kited the whole day, passed the fishingport Camocim, till we reached a tiny village, Marceo, where we had bonfire on the beach and stayed the night. We crashed early and shared beds with cochroaches and frogs. Day 2: I had something wrong with the bar-setup (appearantly), so I was really struggeling to make it fly.

The car couldn’t follow us on the beach, so I couldn’t change the kite either. It was a nightmare with big waves and a non-flying kite, but we finally reached a remote beach-house (Robinson Crusoe-style) where the car met us. We had a lovely fishmeal amongst cows and hens before we headed to Barra Grande.

BG is a supersweet little spot with a few pousadas and one main road lit up by lanterns, creating that cozy vibe so uncommon in Brazil (they usually prefer flouresence). Day 3: We decided to kite at Barre Grande and do a downwinder to a lagoon nearby, with two options on how to get back (the car couldn’t follow here either): Upwinding or donkey-riding. We decided on the first option, which turned out to be a decicion resulting in a battle between us and the wind and waves. But the fantastic big lagoon with no other kiters, was absolutely worth the fight… Back at the beach barraca in BG, the little old japanese hippielady had made her famously dangerous space cake, which was strangely enough sold openly from the bar. And the people there who were all fine earlier in the day, were at this time completely out of it after only a few bites. Scary stuff… Day 4: Downwinding to Parnaiba, a major stepping stone on the coastline stretch, but ugly as hell. We were straight back to flouressence and restaurants in the middle of the highway (ironically enough with the best meat any of us ever had in Brazil). Day 5: We took a boatride down the Delta of the Rio of Parnaiba, a 2700sq-km delta of channels, sanddunes and mangrove forests, teeming with wildlife.

We saw croccodiles, monkeys and iguanas, and at the far end of the delta, at the rivermouth to the sea, we pumped our kites. As our Italian driver would say: “perrrfect conditions! One of ze best in Brazil!” And it WAS the best! We were only a bit scared of the croccodiles…

Day 6: We had a kitefree day in order to get to the national park of Lencois Maranheses. This adventure included: 4WD-drive to “nowhere” through the sanddunes, then a ferry, a looong boattrip through more mangroves (and plenty of animals), a carride, another ferry, then lastly a horrible rollercoaster of a drive through the forest. The lencois (meaning bed sheets) are immense expanses of sanddunes with usually crystal-clear pools and lakes between the dunes. But at this time of the year, the pools were not so impressive. It was definately more of a “been-there-done-that” sort of place, rather than a “I-definately-have-to-come-back-here” kind of spot… But by getting to the Lencois, we reached our goal. Although we didn’t kite the whole way. The mission was completed anyhow.

Driving back in the non AC’ed sweaty car, we stopped a few places, ate another meal in the middle of the highway, kited again in Barra Grande, played games, listened to music, sang christmas songs and lastly reached Jeri where we had our little farwell-party. Thanks Monika, Nina, Maggie and Francesco for an amazing adventure! I think I’ve learnt from this #12 that the scary stuff usually is the most rewarding. It’s easy to avoid the hard option and go for the easy ride, especially when your on your own. But rememeber that girl (note to self): You can do the long route…

The following day (yesterday) we picked up Scott back at Ilha do Guaijiru and drove back to Taiba. And now, we’re about to be seated for the final dinner with mummy and Maggie. Buhuu..







A long, fat, scary, exciting downwinder…

The kitespot in Jeri is choppy and gusty and with strong offshore wind. In other words, not ideal. The wavespot here, on the tip of Jeri where east meets west, is where the windsurfers are. And the kitesurfers have to stay far away from there in order to avoid the stormy war between the windsurfers and kiters during the hours of the day. At sunset though, everyone meets in peace at the famous Jeri dune watching the sun slowly dipping below the horizon melting the sky into an amazing kaleidoscope of colors. If not at the sunsetspot, you meet at one of the many caipi-kiosks on the way to the beach later on. Or in the Forro-party. Or last nights samba-party. We didn’t go. We needed to take an early night and save energy for today and the next weeks’ kitesurfing… We’re starting a massive, long fat downwinder. Meaning we’re gonna kitesurf downwind from here in Jeri and as far as we come (the goal is abt 300km) to lençóis maranhenses over the next 5-7 days. A 4×4 will bring our backpacks and take us back.

I am super nervous and excited about this. It is one big experiment. We are four girls who’s never done a downwinder this intense before, in an undiscovered stretch, covering abt 40-60 km everyday. Uææææhhh. Please wish me good luck…





Seahorse-sightseeing with mummy

Mum came up from Taiba a few days ago. So instead of kiting everyday we went on a buggie-sightseeing-tour on the sanddunes today. We saw a rock with a whole and did a boatride between the mangroves looking for this rare little creature, the seahorse. The seahorses are pretty strange… The male stays usually 1square meter from his inhabitat while the females territory reaches 100 times that. The male is the one getting pregnant after receiving the eggs from the female. At the time when the eggs are passed from female to male the animals gets synchronized. They may change color, swim side by side holding tails or wheel around in unison in what is known as a “pre-dawn dance”. They eventually engage in a true courtship dance lasting about 8 hours (just like their fellow forro-dancing citizens). Romantic and mythological…

I have loved to hang out with you here mum. Will miss you loads over the next five months… <3




Jericoacoara and sensual jazz

Driving further up the coast, we headed towards Jericoacoara, known as “Jeri”. A magical place without any paved roads or cars, but plenty of sand and bare feet. The city is built right into the sanddunes of a far-flung nationalpark and you can only arrive here with a guided buggie, 4WD-car or by the seaway. Many obstacles; near flat-tires, a near-to crash, adrenalined sanddunesafari and a crookish teeny bobby driver/guide later, we finally reached Jeri. And probably partly because of the hard-to-reach location, it magnetizes Brazilians, other South-Americans, hippies, surfers, windsurfers and kiters from all over the world. Musicians and musiclovers are also attracted to this isolated place, and right now the Jeri jazz-festival is on. The small town is on fire. Cozy restaurants, small street-bars, charming pousadas, surfshops and arts&craft-stalls (occupied by majorly tattooed-rasta-pierced hippies) are bursting with good vibes. And music… Brazilian jazz, bossa nova, a blend of American cool jazz, European advanced harmonies and Afro-Brazilian heartfelt seductive rythms and lyrics, is everywhere you turn your ear… Another music- and dance-form extremely popular in Brazil, is the forro. The dance is a mix of slowdance on speed and sensual salsa. I must say it seems like the couples are getting it on on the dancefloor, allthough they usually don’t know eachother and mostly part (after the dance) like nothing ever happened between them. Maggie and I joined the forro-party last night, after the final jazz-concert. Starting at 02:30-03:00-ish at night, to steaming rytmhs of live music, the hormons were floating all over the place. We joined in on the dance, but oh boy after some 18-year olds quite intensily tried to get little kissies from mommas, we ran home… No way no toyboys for the old ladies! Anyhow, it was fun and interesting to experience the true Brazilian forro: “your pulse, your heartbeat, your breathing, the rhythm of your life, the expression in time and movement, happiness, joy, sadness and envy.” Brazil is not merely a romantic place, but a sensual one. Both guys and girls are extremely direct if they like someone. They will tell it, show it, dance it, feel it -at any time of the day. We Norwegians kind of seem stiff, non-humorous, apathic and cold in comparison.

Let’s learn (#11) from our sensual friends in the Latin Quarters of the world, and shake it up a little. So let’s all go for a bossa-forro-nova-salsa-steaming-hot friday night guys!








The final act

Last night we went to Circus Fantastico in Itarema, the nearest village of Ilha do Guajiru (where we’re at now). Introduced by the classical deep MC-voice, through the haze of popcorn and dust, flames and colored lights; an obese female midget danced sexydance, a midget kid flipped around doing little M.Jackson-ish dancemoves and a male midget danced with an older man. There were also trapese artists, a clown, a young boy dressed as a tranvestite and a dachs doing trix. It was all pretty odd… Jens (the hitchhiker), Jamie (a Bob Marley-look-alike from Colombia), Scott (from USA), Maggie and I, were seated frontrow. And besides us, the audience were all the kids in the village and liquor-drinking adults, shifting between laughing-out-loud and being in awe. After the show the circus-artists themselves were selling popcorn and beer in the stalls outside the tent. So the whole bunch of us were outside when Maggie says she was feeling dizzy.

A fraction of a second later, she disappears in the arms of Bob Marley and myself. She’s out, fainting. We get her in a chair and she awakes a moment later surrounded by; (besides us), the obese sexydancing midget, the male- and the kid-midget, the trapese artists, the transvestite, the clown and the dachs, all staring at her.

She was surely the star of the final act. Surreal!!! But no worries mates… Maggie was only dehydrated and some water-downing later, she was all good.

Right now: Waiting for high-tide in Ilha do Guajiru, Scott and Maggie are kiterepairing and the white rabbit is suntanning.




The land of wind, caipi, roadtrips…

… And so much more.
The world’s fifth largest country (population 201 million), with an array of natural and cultural wonders, rainforrest, buzzing cities, sanddunes, islands surrounded by reefs and rich aquatic life, big surf, windy kitesurf, thundering waterfalls, dazzling and deserted beaches. Enchanting carnevalrythmic nightlife, lazy daylife, amazing wildlife and a culturally diversed; rich/ poor, favela/ middleclass, indigenous/ big-city, Catholic/ Evangelistic, capoeirapracticing/ footballplaying/ sambadancing -Brazilian life.

With so much going for them, it is not so strange that the Brazilians say “Deus e Brasileiro” (God is Brazilian)…

And allthough the poverty, social ills and violence looms, the country is booming. With less unemployment, record numbers of new jobs, rising economy, and former president Lula’s antipoverty programs that are helping a large number of the worst-offs. I would love to understand everything about this positive, energetic place, but it will take a lifetime to travel all around “the great land of the future”. I guess I don’t have that much time…

But, as a start, and for the next few weeks, Maggie and I are gonna roadtrip through the 800km+ stretch of the beautiful Ceara-coastline. Starting the engines and taking off now, we’ll keep you posted on our pitstop-stories. So long, and broooom!



Me and Ms.Ocean

In the hammock again, in the sunrise… Listening to my goodstuff-playlist naturally remixed with the sound of waves. When facing the sublime immensity of the ocean it gets me thinking of the tiny unimportant space I occupy on this planet. And how little I know of the rest of the spaces, and how little these spaces knows of me. And why do I carry this particular space and not another? Or why now, and not then?

Being so little here compare to the grand sea kinda makes me feel the need for believing in a greater force that also minime can be a part of. An infinite pool of energy for all of us to float in. So that we’re not just single creatures who eat shxx and die after 80/90-some years…

For some reason this urge to believe in something, hardly ever crosses my mind in the city. As if I somehow feel more “on-top-of-it” in the trivialities at home. Maybe it’s because we can understand better the manmade world, as oppose to the unsolved mysteries of nature. But here with the ocean as inspiration #10 I am feeling a combo of humiliation and awe…

So, Ms Ocean/ Mr.Nature/ Mrs.GF (Greater Force) you are one cool dude, black woman, Asian kid or whatever you are. I hope I can be part of you when I grow up.

Btw, this is the only picture I have of me (after one month travelling). And this is Henriette’s photo. I have to take more pics of people. I see that…20111121-151638.jpg


Flying high!

I have gotten a passion for a sport that I began flirting with only a few years ago. But I’m wondering what it is about kitesurfing that makes me wanna chase the wind and be directed by tide for much of this trip. Well, trying to put words on to it… I am fascinated by the fact that the sport depends fully on the elements. After rain, light wind follows. During times of full moon and high tide, nice flat-water conditions rise in the tidal-lagoons. And strips of coastal reefs, creates (shallow) pools at low-tide… You need wind, and preferably not off-shore, not too strong nor light, and not too gusty -wind. Pluss water, not choppy or too wavy -water. And a spacious non-rocky spot for launching. In one way all of this fuzz could be regarded as cons rather than pros. But I think it’s sweet (most of the time) that the elements dictate, and you patiently stick around. And when conditions are good, like often here in Ceara, North-East Brazil, you can jump in it and interact with the playground of nature. It is a pretty amazing feeling moving fast, fast, fast forward on the ocean-surface solely moved by Mr. Windguru. I am definately still a beginner in this sport, and that’s maybe why I like it so much (allthough I’m really frustrated at times). I feel that childish joy by trying something new. By falling, falling again, being bruised, hating and retrying. And then master it -allthough with babysteps. It also feels meaningful to be travelling for something sporty and healthy for body and mind, that I can combine with culture. Rather than just culture. Sporty destinations also tends to attract good crowds. Drunk, pale tourists won’t necessarily stick around… So still soul- and wind-searching, with hardly no drunken non-sporty tourist around. My bruise is ducktaped and I’m trying again. Today’s lesson: Jumping!
Btw; at sunrise before morningwalk and breakfast I started and finished the easily-read book Jonathan The Seagull. A tale of a seagull who learnt how to fly high and take his own route, hence being turned off by his flock.Thanks Hanne for the sweet and enriching book! I wanna continue to push myself (#9) and stick with this sport and other tasks that sometimes seems frustrating and unreachable. I don’t have to be good at whatever-it-is, but there is something really rewarding with staying with it and then finally progress.