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I see donkeys everywhere - Jericoacoara and Fortaleza

BRAZIL | Wednesday, 1 August 2012 | Views [1468]

Jericoacoara

Jericoacoara

 

Getting to Jericoacoara seemed like a perfect plan: bus from Pipa to Natal, overnight bus from Natal to Fortaleza, another bus from Fortaleza to Jeri in the morning. It did work out but ended up being a painful 24 hour journey and the night spent in the incredibly cold (I kind of already got used to the fact that here the buses are air conditioned and cold but this one was a record: I slept in jeans, jumper and sleeping bag and was still freezing), completely full and very, very old. Needless to say that I only managed to get about 2 hour sleep and that's really bad for me. By this stage I can pretty much fall asleep anywhere. On arrival to Fortaleza I did get much more luck as managed to buy the very last seat on the bus to Jeri. So with an hour to spare I decided to grab a coffee and also look for a bank as I knew that there were no cash machines available at my next destination.

 

 

And here is where I run into problems - the only working ATM at the bus station was Bradesco which has long refused to cooperate with my bank. So instead of resting a bit before the next leg I spent the hour running around the bus station neighbourhood trying to find a working ATM. I managed to find one and got on my bus with 5 minutes to spare.

 

 

In comparison to the overnight hell this bus was amazing and so within 2 minutes I was asleep and only woke up to let me neighbour onto her seat.

 

The final part of the journey was done on a truck, there are no buses that can go through the dunes. By then I have managed to wake up and meet my neighbour Rebecca. On the truck we met Alicia and the three of us were now destined to hang out in Jeri together.

 

The truck of course broke in the middle of the dune, it happens really often as the sand is very thin and gets absolutely everywhere. Luckily it only took 30 minutes to repair and we safely landed at the beach paradise of Jericoacoara. The fact that Jeri is a bit hard to get to and the incredible setting among the dunes makes it the place feel otherworldly. It's this perfect town literally in the middle of nowhere.

 

I have decided to stay at the same place as Alicia and it turned out that I ended up in a pousada with close links to local capoeria school.

 

The first night in Jeri was very short for me - I was still recovering from the 24 hour bus journey so after dinner and a beer I was ready for sleep.

 

The next day we spent on the beach and at Rebecca's hotel pool. Jeri is amazingly beautiful and whether or not you do wind sports, with crystal clear waters surrounded by white dunes is perfect to relax. It was just what I needed and gave me enough energy to start craving capoeira so I went to a class that evening with the guys from pousada. I was back to regional and it was really nice to refresh my memory. Mestre Sere has welcomed me to his capoeira family and once again I felt right at home as well as gaining new friends.

 

The next day we went on the buggy tour. I had some reservations about how good it was going to be but it ended up being a really fun day cruising the dunes and swimming in lakes, so nice to swim in sweet water again. For some bizarre reason the area around Jeri is filled with wild donkeys who wonder around the dunes and the town. It's a bit like having homeless donkeys rather than homeless dogs roaming through the streets in search of food.

 

I have asked many locals why is there so many but no one had a real explanation. The whole day in the scorching sun has taken a lot out of me so I decided to give capoeria a break and instead go watch the sun set over the dunes and then dinner and some drinks with Alicia. It was also the big forro night in Jeri and so of course we went and danced our night away ending up at 5am at the bakery with all the locals (it's a post forro tradition) to grab some fresh from the oven bread and coffee. Needless to say that the next day was spent recovering on the beach.

 

With the money running out (and no possibility to get any more in town) we had to say goodbye to Jeri. The good news was that after a few fun days together Alicia decided to continue her journey with me and so at the very least I was not saying goodbye to a new friend.

 

On the bus station it turned out that Mestre was heading with us to Fortaleza and going to capoeira event there. It didn't take much to convince me to join him next day for the workshops. The ride through the dunes at night was quite an experience but luckily this time the truck did not break and we only had to stop once when one of the passengers lost their suitcase on the road and had to run back for it...

 

Fortaleza did not seem anything particularly special, another town with a beach but it turned out to be a perfect spot to do some clothes shopping. Its been now 7 months since I went shopping and doing it with another girl guaranteed much more fun. At the evening I joined the Capoeira Brasil event and met a lot of fellow CDO students. The workshops were really good but the roda energy was low and so we left shortly after to grab some drinks on the main square and to try the Fortaleza famous Vinho Chopp (the horrid Brazilian cheap wine mixed with beer). After a day of organising stuff and a short stress of getting into airport on time we embarked on our journey to Manaus.

Tags: beches, capoeria brasil, fortaleza, jeri, jericoacoara, on the road

 

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