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Vicki’s Travel Diary

Monday, 21 Jan 2008

Location: Fortaleza and Jerricoacoara, Brazil

MapWEEK 1: SAO PAULO - FORTALEZA - JERRICOACOARA

Hola!

After 2 nights in Sao Paulo, Ben and I flew to Fortaleza and happened to sit next to an American woman on the flight who gave us numerous travel tips for Brazil, Argentina and Chile. Very handy! She has actually been the only completely fluent english-speaking person we have come across since arriving in South America. It seems the north eastern beaches of Brazil are less travelled by Gringos (the locals´ nickname for us foreigners) than the southern areas.

Fortaleza is actually quite a big coastal city and we spent the first couple of days here getting the ´lay of the land´ and sorting out our travels over the next couple of weeks.

We found a guy on Beira Mar (the main esplanade in Fortaleza) that had a brochure showing pictures of beautiful beaches, and through broken English and Portuguese, we organised a 4x4 truck and driver to take us to Jerricoacoara for 3 days. So in our first trusting move since arriving, we left one backpack with the hostel we were staying at and asked that they look after it for us until we get back to Fortaleza in 3 days time... and they did.

Then we set off for a day of on-road, off-road, on-beach driving to get to Jerricoacoara. Luckily our driver spoke a little English, so he stopped and showed us many coastal villages along the way. The scenery was beautiful (refer to our photos!) and the driving a little scary... we had to drive the last 30km in the dark along the beach with headlights that were less than adequate. Luckily we swerved in time to miss a passing motorbike rider and a huge turtle. But we arrived safely and were not disappointed.

Jerricoacoara is stunning. It´s small and only accessible by beach tracks, so you need a 4WD to get there. It´s surrounded by huge sand dunes and is full of lovely little hotels, restaurants and bars right on the beach. The food has been much better than expected so far! Our diet seems to consist almost solely of fruit, ham, cheese and bread for breakfast (every hostel offers the same spread each morning) and then for lunch and dinner we eat fish, beans, rice and salad followed by of course Caprihinias!

We were a bit sad to leave Jerricoacoara this morning after only 2 nights there, but there will surely be many more places just as lovely ahead of us. We are catching a bus to Canoa Quebrada tomorrow morning, which is east of Fortaleza by a few hours and another beautiful coastal village. Dune buggy action is in store for us there!

Until next time....
Vicki