I remember pondering (whilst flying along at a VBOX registered 40mph!) how phenomenal the kites and buggies we have been using are.
You can point the buggies at anything you choose; almost no terrain is impossible. On one day, we kited across four deep rivers. The largest was around 40m wide. We have bounced over sand dunes, pounded across rock hard sand, and broken through hard vegetation. Having the PLK Outlaw buggies has provided us with the confidence that anything terrain is possible.
Not satisfied with the kite surfer versus kite buggy race we would love to have a race with a 4×4 over an off-road course. Having spoken to a local all terrain vehicle driver we think it would be close – especially without luggage and with more skilled pilots than ourselves!
The Ozone kites have also been brilliant. It is amazing that the kites are so easy to control – enabling us to do an expedition of this magnitude with no kiting experience. They have kept us on our toes but still provided stability over difficult terrain and turbulent wind conditions.
So there you go – we picked the correct sponsors! 🙂
Finding out about Jericoacoara was the spark that made us decide to do an adventure in Brazil.
Fantastic wind, good waves and a chilled atmosphere are the hallmarks of Jericoacoara. It´s in a national park, and buildings have to be low rise. Jeri is surrounded by a string of huge dunes, one of the largest of which people walk up each night to watch the sunset and see locals practicing Capoeira, the Brazillian dance / martial art.
But it´s the ideal water conditions that inspired Fabio Nobre to found Club Ventos here in the first place. It´s paradise for anyone into wind / water sports, and Club Ventos has racks and racks of the latest gear, helpful staff, good food and nice atmosphere.
We were lucky enough to be staying in Serrote Breezes, which is a set of eight apartments in lush fruit gardens with swimming pool, rooftop terrace, and hammocks on each balcony, which we appreciated after our journey!
After three weeks of eating from roadside stalls and pousadas it was great to be able to buy and cook our own food in our apartment in Serrote Breezes, and we have been living off Açai smoothies, fruit and fresh fish for our whole time in Jericoacoara!
As we prepared to depart from Baleia, aiming for the fishing village of Icaraizinho 40km away, our host Andreas suggested we take two of his Brazilian friends along for the ride.
Neither of us thought it was that safe. Charlie was very reluctant to take a passenger, citing various reasons including the fact that the terrain was reportedly tricky on the route, that he didn’t want his collection of after sun and moisturisers being squashed by someone sitting on his buggy bag, that we had no extra helmets, and that if he was going to take anyone on the back, it should be his girlfriend.
With these objections duly dismissed by Andreas we found ourselves with a Brazilian lady each sat on the back of our buggies – shrieking in our ears as we crashed through small streams and hurtled up and down dunes. With the strong wind we soon left the kitesurfers and VW dune buggy that had joined us for the downwinder far behind!
Our buggies have rolled over rocks, thick sand, cacti and through rivers and waves. When we reached Andreas Staehelin’s place in Baleia (paradise) we were glad to spend a day cleaning and maintaining the buggies (and ourselves!) ready for the final section of the adventure.
We also spent a day swapping sports with the kite surfers.
Charlie and I spent the morning being dragged around in the atlantic waves under the instruction of kite surfing adventurer Louis Tapper, and in the afternoon trailered our buggies to huge dunes east of Baleia to show the surfers what buggying was about.
It was an epic session and they were still ripping around the dunes under the power of our ozone kites until after sunset.
The wind was still strong, so we kited the 5km back to Andreas house by moonlight, almost crashing into sleeping cows and zipping through streams on the beach.
To complete our charity challenges there may also be leap frogging and nakedness, although hopefully not at the same time. More details here…
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. Continue reading