Why pick Jericoacoara as the destination?

Finding out about Jericoacoara was the spark that made us decide to do an adventure in Brazil.

Sunset dune at Jericoacoara

Sunset dune at Jericoacoara

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.

Charlie taking some of Club Ventos´ windsurfing gear out for a spin

Charlie taking some of Club Ventos´ windsurfing gear out for a ride

Chop hop in the surf outside Club Ventos

Cheeky Chop hop in the surf outside Club Ventos

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!

Our balcony in Serrote Breezes Apartments

Our balcony in Serrote Breezes Apartments, complete with kite buggies!

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!

The open plan kitchen in Serrote Breezes

Whizzing up some Açai in the open plan kitchen in Serrote Breezes

Sunset over Serrote Breezes with a great view to the dunes beyond Jericoacoara

Sunset over Serrote Breezes with the view to the dunes beyond Jericoacoara

‘I think you’re nuts, but I don’t see why you can’t do it…’

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?’

‘No.’

‘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?

‘Um, no.’

‘Do you speak Portugese?’

‘Afraid not…’

“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!

Why kite buggy 1000km in Brazil?

Good question! At first we simply wanted to do some travelling, but what began as a simple bit of backpacking has developed into a much more exciting challenge.

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