It was while we were researching this adventure that we noticed ‘Mad Way South’, an expedition even crazier than our own.
In 2009 Mad Way South broke the record for the first wind powered expedition across the Sahara, and the longest distance travelled by kite buggy. Craig Hansen, kite buggy expert in New Zealand and one of the four participants in the sahara expedition, was the best person to talk to. After receiving our email in May 2011 outlining the idea and asking his advice as to whether it was possible, Craig was kind enough to reply. The conversation went a bit like this:
‘Will you be using vehicle support?’
‘Do you know if anyone has kite buggied the Brazilian coastline before?
‘No, I don’t think so.’
‘Have you ever even kite buggied before?
‘Do you speak Portugese?’
“I think you’re nuts, but I don’t see why you can’t do it…”
Dozens of emails later and Craig had told us about many of the lessons he had learned in the Sahara, and arranged to send two expedition ready Outlaw buggies to the UK from New Zealand. Without Craig’s generous advice and sponsorship, this trip would never be able to go ahead.
Craig also put us in touch with Karen Critchley, a women’s buggy freestyle champion. We travelled down to Wallop, a big land kiting festival in Dorset, UK, to meet Karen who was competing there and talk to other kiters. Everyone was very friendly and seemed happy to talk to us two crazy novices with their idea to kite buggy 1000k in just two months time, and Karen commented that she thought it would be great for the sport.
Once we’d seen the various options available at Wallop, we knew the best kites for us would be depower foils from Ozone. Craig put us in touch with Matt Taggart at Ozone who was immediately enthusiastic about the idea.
Ed Texier from Oceansource, a travel agency specialising in kite and windsurf destinations in remote spots around the world, also got involved. We had previously met Ed when we used Oceansource to go on a windsurfing trip in El Tur, on the Sinai peninsular in Egypt, a few weeks after the Egyptian uprising in earlier this year. While he thought we were mad to be doing this sort of expedition with no prior experience or vehicle support, we were grateful that he still pledged his support! Ed put us in touch with Fabio from Club Ventos, a windsurfing club in Jericoacoara, who kindly offered us windsurf hire once we reached Jeri, provided we still had any energy left!