A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: colincampbell

Happy New Year's from 30,000 feet

sunny 30 °C

It's the last day of 2012 and as I watch the sun come up over the palm trees for the last day of our trip to Brasil, I have to look back and think that it was another great year for us. We were blessed with continued good health and incredible opportunities to travel a lot of miles to have some amazing experiences catching up with old friends and meeting new. Our goal for 2012 was to find a new place to call home and unfortunately we came up a little bit short so far, so our travels will have to continue. Let me tell you about our last few days.

Ilha do Guajiru was fun, but got a little bit small. The idiosyncrasies that were initially novel became a bit annoying after 3 weeks so we made some last minute plans to make sure we ended our trip on a high note. Our last day there was an amazing session on the water and we managed to ride into the evening as even though the sun had set, the nearly full moon lit up the whole bay. The photo doesn't do it justice at all, it was magic.

On the morning of the 28th, we hijacked a taxi, kidnapped our new friend Ike from Montreal and set out on one last road trip adventure. The centre for amazing kiters and excellent beach parties in the area is a village called Cumbuco and it was in the general direction of the airport, so it just made sense that we stopped for a few nights. We booked a guest house online and the taxi got us there in a little under three hours. We are at the tail end of the windy season here but we weren't upset when the conditions were less than ideal, it gave us a day to clean up and pack our gear. Then we went in search of food and drink!

Cumbuco is a funny little town that is a mix of international kiters and brazilian tourists, but everyone is ready to party for New Years Eve. Our first night in town, (famous DJ) Bob Sinclair was throwing an all night bash right next to our pousada. We were late to buy tickets, but from our third floor balcony we had our own little VIP section for the show. We have sniffed out some great restaurants, had an amazing buggy ride through the sand dunes and caught up with a friend from last years trip, Nanette. She was kiting in Mui Ne, Vietnam when we were there and she is still following the wind around the world, great to see her!

This will be the last update for a few days; we get on a plane at 5pm today, will be in the air for midnight and we arrive at JFK at 6am tomorrow morning. We aren't worried about that as we have brunch plans to toast the new year in New York with great friends. Stay tuned as our search for a new home continues on January 9th when we will arrive on Ambergris Caye in Belize.






Posted by colincampbell 03:16 Archived in Brazil Comments (3)

Feliz Natal!

sunny 30 °C

First of all, Merry Christmas and Feliz Natal to all of our friends and family wherever you are, we wish you the best for the season and hope everyone is happy and healthy.

If you followed our blog and our adventures last year as we went around the world then you are probably pretty disappointed with our efforts this time around. Unlike last years trip that included many exciting new locations, we are pretty much at the end of the world on a little strip of sand and not moving around much. We definitely aren't complaining as the kitesurfing is excellent and we are having a blast with that, but it is true that you can get too much of a good thing.

The neighbourhood here includes 5 small guesthouses that cater to kiters and 6 restaurants (only 3 of which know how to cook.) Our evenings usually have us heading to the guest house run by a nice old italian couple, we stop by in the afternoon to place an order and tell them how many people we are bringing. It is like coming over to their house for dinner, we arrive at 7 for drinks and they putter around with some appetizers before serving dinner at 7:30. The feasts they create are always different and delicious.

Another spot we enjoy is the shack at the end of the street that only serves whole fish, shrimp or lobster. It's run by a funny little local guy that always welcomes us with a big smile and drags us straight into the kitchen to show us what is freshest so we can choose. It also alleviates the language barrier which we are working our way around as time goes by. The other day we had 12 lobsters with rice and salad as well as non stop caipirinhas and our bill was ridiculously small. The only tough thing about this spot is figuring out his hours, he is definitely open weekends for lunch as that is when his friends come by, but week day lunches are hit or miss and dinner is a long shot as most days the kitchen is too drunk to last that long.

For Christmas we are definitely feasting non-stop. Last night our guesthouse managed to find a turkey and mixed a little bit of home with some Brazilian dishes to make a brilliant meal. The cachaca was flowing after dinner making for a lot of laughs and good times with new friends. Today the tide was low in the morning so instead of kiting we went for a buggy ride to explore the area here and meet a local family that happened to be preparing their Christmas bird. I think it was a chicken...or a duck...or a goose...all three were running around the backyard so your guess is as good as mine.

This afternoon we will be out on the water and then tonight we will feast again. Our Dutch friend Neils and his Brazilian wife are doing a big bbq on the beach. Neils owns the other restaurant in town that we eat at regularly so we know it will be good!

Hope everyone is having as good a day as we are, enjoy your holidays!






Posted by colincampbell 07:21 Archived in Brazil Comments (2)


sunny 30 °C

It was time for a break this week from Ilha do Guajiru so we jumped on a bus with some friends and headed 80kms north on an adventure to visit the town of Jerricoacoara (pronounced: Jeri-kwa-kwa-ra.) We were accompanied by our new friends Marion, Ike and David, David is the owner of the guest house we are staying at in Ilha do Guajiru and offered to be our guide for a few days.

Jerricoacoara is an isolated little town set up years ago by hippies and windsurfers because of it's tough access in the sand dunes and it's epic windsurfing conditions. Now it is a bustling little area with plenty of great restaurants and little hotels but is still isolated and tough to get to with great windsurfing. For kitesurfing it is a good place to either take a rest or ride downwind from the nearby town of Prea, we planned to do the latter.

To get there we packed up our gear and went to a town near Ilha do Guajiru called Itarema and caught the local bus. The bus was a beautiful new coach with A/C but unfortunately we booked late so didn't get a seat and stood in the aisle for the nearly two hour ride. At times a seat opened up and Nat could take a break from standing, but for the most part, it was a work out. We got off at the town of Jijoca which was the closest point to our final destination. If you have a minute to look up this area on google earth you will see how huge the sand dunes are and will understand why the coach couldn't get any closer. We transferred to a pick up truck to get the rest of the way, which was only partially successful and he got stuck in the powdery sand on a few occasions. By the time we were on the beach having lunch, it had taken almost 4 hours door to door to travel the 80kms, but we had a nice hotel on the beach and there was definitely more activity here. For sunset we climbed the giant sand dune and watched some other people kite while we drank a caipirinha and relaxed. That night we explored town, eating street food and grabbing cocktails from a few different bars, it was really nice to have the variety after how we have spent the last couple weeks.

The next morning we hired a dune buggy and driver to take us around and find some kite spots to try, we all piled in and headed out. The tide here limits a bit of what we can do so we headed to some fresh water lagoons before riding some bigger waves in the ocean in the afternoon. It was a great day and the whole group made it back in one piece so we counted it as a big win. That night we explored some more restaurants and bars to celebrate our survival. By Friday morning we were all ready to get back to the peace and quiet of Ilha do Guajiru so we packed up and checked out of the hotel. Before we did, Marion had checked her bank account online to discover the bank had made errors on her accounts during unsuccessful ATM visits she had made. This got worse when checked our account and saw similar mistakes. Thankfully David and Marion's portuguese was good enough to make a bit of progress with the bank and 20 minutes more on the phone with HSBC and I think we are on the way to getting it corrected. We had been warned numerous times to constantly be checking online to watch our accounts and want to pass on the warnings for any friends coming this way!!

As we arrived at the bus station David bumped into a truck driver he knew that was willing to make the trip for a reasonable rate back home so we jumped at the chance. Home in time to catch the rising tide and the setting sun for a great last session of the day. Excellent road trip thanks to our new friends.






Posted by colincampbell 11:21 Archived in Brazil Comments (2)

Kiting Day and Night!

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Just a few more pictures of our spot in Ilha do Guariju. That is not us kiting at night by the headlights of one compact car, but everyone survived to tell the tales and drink another caipirinha.






Posted by colincampbell 05:06 Archived in Brazil Comments (1)

Forecast: Sunny and Windy!

sunny 30 °C

It's been a week since we left New York and the time is flying by. I'm pretty sure that a month is going to disappear in a hurry so we are making the most of every day we have here. The conditions couldn't be more perfect for kiting as the water is flat and shallow and the wind never stops. Natalie's lessons are progressing well, the last picture is her first long ride across the lagoon.

We are meeting a bunch of entertaining characters and trying all of the restaurants (all four) in our area. The food varies from fried mystery meat covered in cheese to fresh local fish and lobster, needless to say, we preferred the latter. The chef at the fish restaurant doesn't print a menu, but instead brings every diner into the kitchen to select their meal and settle on a price. Later they will add up the drinks and round out the numbers to arrive at what seems like a totally random and ridiculously low number. Saturday night for five lobsters and at least six drinks plus rice and salad was a little less than twenty five dollars, what a deal!

This week we are heading out for a little adventure. We still don't know the exact details, but we are heading up the coast 75kms to the town of Jericoacoara. It is downwind so we are going to ride a bunch of it by kite with some other people here at the place we are staying. We'll have a truck driving down the beach with us so when we need a break we can hop a ride. We'll let you know how it goes!

Conditions are right for a morning session, will post some more pictures.






Posted by colincampbell 04:56 Archived in Brazil Comments (0)

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