Woken up at 7am to get off my overnight bus from Natal from Fortaleza I was pretty foggy and kind of screwed up by taking the 9am bus to Jijoca instead of just waiting for the 10:30am that would have taken me all the way to Jericoacoara. So it goes. There were 2 other travelers on my bus and we lucked into catching a dune buggy for a wild 45 minute ride into town. Jericoacoara is a beautiful little fishing village surrounded by sand dunes, the ocean and crystal clear lakes. Its not high season but this is definitely tourist central. While the beaches remind me of some of the quieter beaches in Thailand, the dunes remind me of Merzouga, Morocco. A strange, yet wonderful combination.
Bob and Dee were hanging out in their hammocks when I arrived. I got settled in and we went down to the beach to watch the sunset and a capoeira show that´s held each day on the beach by a group a capoeira school. We watched them practice and warm up and then huddled around in the growing circle of people to watch them perform to the rhythm of a berimbau , a drum and the audience clapping and singing. 2 combatants would huddle on either side of the musicians and wait for their turn to enter the ring. When it was time they each cartwheel their way into the ring and perform a series of kicks and movements against each other always just missing the other and moving so subtly that it really does look like a graceful dance. Kids performed as well showing off all their practiced skills. We sat down afterward to buy a few caipirinhas and chicken brochettes from locals who set up drink and food stands each night at the end of the main road on the beach. Everything was cheap and delicious. This is the good life.
The next day was even better. Breakfast at a little cafe, and lots of reading both at the beach and in our hammocks. We tried to so a little swimming but the water is so shallow here you can still touch the bottom 200 meters out. We decided to try out a little restaurant that our hostel manager recommended. It was to die for! But they give you sooooo much food. Since Salvador, most restaurants list entrees at a price and size for 2 people. You can always ask for a half order but you´re always shocked because the half order is more than enough to feed 2 people. We had lots of fish and shrimp in a creamy molho sauces which was enough in itself but hey always bring out salad, rice, feijao and faroafa to accompany it. We rolled home to bed. I was extra quiet to avoid any more advances of our over-friendly hostel manager.
Up early the next day for our buggy trip. We had thought it was just the 3 of us but they ended up packing 10 of us into 2 buggys. Very economical. It looked like it was threatening to rain but the decision was made to head out anyway. We drove across the beach and over the dunes, 2 of which were roller coaster type plunges, to a small freshwater lake called Lago Azul. We swam and floated for a while and then relaxed under the umbrellas. We were about to leave when we were sent back in under the shelter to avoid a fast moving rainstorm heading our way. It passed relatively quickly and we were on our way to Lago Parasio, a bigger, more beautiful version of Lago Azul. We were the only ones there making for a very peaceful afternoon away from it all. I jumped in for a little swim and ended up making it all the way to the other side of the lake. No small feat. Coming back was much harder and there was a point in the middle of the lake when I was sure that I wasn´t getting anywhere. But as you can probably tell, I made it back, tired but exhilarated.
We made it back to town in the late afternoon. I grabbed a quick dinner and Dee, Bob and I all met up a few hours later to hang out by the beach. A few caipirinhas quickly turned to many. We decided on a change of scenery and ended up singing along to an old U2 concert DVD while playing a game of pool that took an entire hour. Before I knew it, it was my birthday! Happy Birthday to me. Happy Birthday to me. We celebrated with freshly made pina coladas and went looking for the next party. We stopped at the hostel to drop off our bags and our plans quickly fizzled. Dee badly hurt her toe on the door entry and Bob spent the next while playing nurse. Reminded us how smart we all were getting all our inoculations before we left. My actual birthday was pretty low key after that. It rained all day and we lost power for a good few hours. We made breakfast and tried to wait out the rain in our hammocks but it never really let up except for about an hour in the early evening. On our way out the door to my birthday dinner, Dee and Bob handed me my present, 2 bottles of Argentinian wine to go with dinner. It was sooooo perfect. We always spend so much time reminiscing about our carefree days in Buenos Aires drinking wine for less than $2 a bottle. It´s much more expensive here so it was a real treat. Unfortunately the restaurant we´d picked was closed but the place we ended up going was great and had almost the same menu choice. Lots and lots of shrimp and fish and even some lobster. It is my birthday after all. Afterward we somehow managed to waddle down to the beach for ice cream seeing that the chocolate place we´d had in mind was also closed. A lovely night but we said our parting good byes and headed to bed. They´re all leaving early for Manaus via Fortaleza and I´ve got a 4am pickup truck to catch.