Monthly Archives: December 2011

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!