Each day we only have a window of five hours in which to kite along the beaches. Any later than this and the tide is too high to give us the space we need to progress. This has seen us get up at 5.30am most mornings to set up the kites and buggies and leave just as the tide goes down.
On some stretches the combination of wet sand and the wind being behind us means that the buggies are often too fast for the kites, and it is easy to loose power and run over your lines. For these sections we strap the buggies together in tandem. The front person kites and the back person uses a large stick to brake and maintain tension in the lines. It´s not very sophisticated, but it works!
Being in tandem also means it is quicker to set up the kite, solving problems and communicating is easier too. The only problem is that the front person must channel the power to move the buggies and two people (280kg) through their legs. Due to the inertia, starting and stopping is like driving a tanker.This was made more apparent as I face planted the side of a dune for the fifth time, after being lifted out of my buggy after trying to get moving. As I came to an abrupt stop ten metres away (on my face) I was glad I was wearing a full face helmet! Out of Buggy Experiences (aka OBEs in the kiting world) are all too easy to have when the winds are high and you are towing two buggies, especially in thick sand.
Despite this we still made good progress to Enxe Quimado. The tide had made it impossible to go beyond this fishing village. With tyres in the sea on one side and palm trees and barbed wire fences threatening to catch the kite on the other (Charlie has got quite good at scaling trees to rescue the kite when they do) we had no choice but to stop.
For many of these north eastern coastal towns the beach is the only road, so the tide dictates when people can travel. Even at low tide, it is a little nerve racking coming up to a headland with no brakes and navigating a course under the cliffs, hoping that the tide is low enough to pass all the way through. Despite some tight spots we have been lucky so far and have only had to turn back a handful of times. The Outlaw buggies, Buggy Bags and Ozone kites have been awsome so far and have shown no signs of stress under hard use.
At Enxe Quimado, there were no Pousadas but a group of local children got their English teacher (who was delighted having never met an English speaking person) to translate for us and show us to a house where we could put up our hammocks for the night.
We still haven´t seen a single tourist despite the beaches being some of the most beautiful as we have ever seen – the people are increibly friendly and always eager to help.
After another day of hard kite buggying we are now at Caiçera planning the next stage of the route. There are two massive river delta systems we need to pass – anyone know of any fisherman in Galinhos?!