Over a marathon a day on the corner of South America

It´s just dawned on us that we´re doing more than a marathon a day. This is no problem when we´re using the kites (in fact we´re able to cover far more than this when flying), and we´ve had some fantastic buggying along huge coastal dunes in over 30mph winds. The 4 metre Access kites have been brilliant and provided more than ample power for us and our gear, so we´ve hardly used the larger Frenzys. Our Outlaw buggies have also been amazing – their strong frames and massive low pressure tyres can get over or up almost anything.

However, headlands and rivers between Maracajau and Touros prevented us taking the beaches yesterday so we weren´t able to fly at all. Hauling was the only option…

To keep on track to completing the distance, we walked 30 miles hauling our 30kg buggies and 30kg of gear. The area was remote so an energy bar had to suffice for lunch.

It was quite frustrating not being able to kite as the road was long and straight, and the wind was at our backs. However the occasional lorry, powerline, and barbed wire made it impossible to kite. The frustration got the better of me after about 22 miles of walking and I took the smallest kite out without the lines to use as a makeshift sail. This proved to be a quick mode of transport, until the wind dropped off slightly and I ran over the kite twenty metres later – epic failure! Luckily no damage was done and I sheepishly continued on foot.

Charlie had the bright idea near the end of the day for one of us to sit in the buggies whilst the other hauled. It was my turn first, and it wasn´t as hard as it sounds. However my pulled hamstring from earlier in the day and blister (despite the brilliant New Balance shoes) meant Charlie ended up hauling us the final two miles into the town, walking faster and then jogging to get there before dark and even full on sprinting at one point to avoid the buggies catching him up down a hill – a huge achievement after walking 28 miles on just one energy bar!

Needless to say when we rolled into Touros last night, the town on the corner of Brazil, we were very tired. We´ve started to get used to bemused locals thinking that the buggies have motors and that they`ve broken down, and we had to mime to a dozen helpful mechanics in Touros that we haven`t run out of gasolina! Luckily portuguese for ´kite` is `kite` so that wasn`t too tricky – although our camelback water containers look a little like fuel tanks so it took some convincing.

We`ve been taking onboard and handheld videos the whole time and doing a video diary each night. The internet where we have been able to find it is slow and we need to keep moving so we`ve been unable to upload them as yet. Hopefully we´ll be able to post up some video and photos once we get to Fortaleza!

10 thoughts on “Over a marathon a day on the corner of South America

  1. Guy’s No one said it would be easy so just as well the buggies don’t have much rolling Resistance, glad to hear the 4mtr kite are getting good use as this will ease you into using the large kites towards the end of the journey by which time you will have gained a lot more experience
    take care
    Kev,Sue,Ash

    • Thanks Kev glad to have your support from afar! It`s definitely not easy but it`s worth it. We`re now using the larger Frenzy kites as wind has dropped off a little – 7 and 9m have been put to good use but I had a bit of an incident flying off into the sea with the 11m, so that is currently drying out🙂
      Don`t worry we`ve developed some fairly quick reactions for the safety releases! The winds are set to get bigger as we reach Fortaleza so probably back to the 4m Access Xts then, we`ll see

    • Good to hear from you Louis. We should be in Cumbuco soon – are you staying at the Cumbuco Guesthouse with Manni? Email me at hnthuillier (at) gmail dot com

  2. Great effort, especially on one energy bar! If you have to do that again, pump up the tyres to their maximum pressure, as it should cut the rolling resistance right down (well it works for mountain bikes anyway!)

    Julian

    • Thanks Julian – it`s hard but we´re enojoying the challenge. Yes – for the road walking day we pumped the tyres up to max psi which helped I`m sure, although the rolling resistance is still pretty big!

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