The day had come to leave our idyllic town of Jeri, and head off for the jungle (cue guns and roses). We asked the receptionist at Villa Chic if she could book us a taxi a couple days before the big day. The trip would take us roughly 4 hours to get to the Fortazela, before departing for Belem, the river mouth city!
We decided we still wanted to do a bit of a hike to the famous “pedra furada”, or, simply, a rock, with a hole in the middle (apparently in summer you can see the sun setting between). As always the journey was more interesting then the actual site. We decided to take the scenic route along the beach, taking us much longer than anticipated. However, we were the first to arrive! Panting, another couple arrived shortly after us, and asked how on earth we had gotten there without traversing along the rocky outcrop above. Guess we missed the turn off somewhere?
Our 4×4 was scheduled between 11 and noon. Well, that never happened, as noon glided past without a glimpse of a 4×4. Mild panic started to set in. Our flight was set to leave at 8, but the sooner we could arrive at the airport, the better! Didn’t want a repeat episode of Lisbon to Sao Paulo. As 12:30 started to creep in, I decided it was best to ask the receptionist what was going on. After much Portuguese gibberish, and the odd scratching of the tabby cats tummy, finally we had made contact with one of the drivers, ‘5 mins!’ she exclaimed. Half believing her, we returned to our books. As soon as our bottoms had touched our chairs, a 4×4 had pulled up. Vamos! Thank God! (it was now 2PM.) Remember, time isn’t absolute in these parts.
We hopped in, and discovered we would be sharing the ride with two frenchmen. One a port officer, living and working in Corsica. The other, a middle aged model. His story was that he used to play squash professionally, but as old age tends to get in the way of such a spritely sport, the only logical option was for him to become a model. *shrugs*. He had done work in various parts of the world, from the slums in India, to the Sahara desert. And, apparently, had knocked up a few woman along the way. He had had three children from three different women, all located in three different parts of the globe (one in Norway, one in Brazil, and one in the USA) and another child was on the way. Apparently this guy couldn’t keep his baguette to himself.
He and his partner love Jericoacoara. They decided to purchase some property and to one day make the move permanent. ‘The town has changed a lot’, he explained, ‘property prices have increased tenfold in three years’ and ‘you never had a club like culture here, it’s becoming like Ibiza’. Sad to hear it, as we had thought Jeri was still a secret destination for most, and writing this now, we think that in one or two year from now, it’ll no doubt be another busy holiday destination. All because of the kitesurfing culture. Crazy to think one sport can change places so quickly.
We soon arrived at Fortaleza airport, and checked ourselves in. Yes, we had to wait around for a bit, but it was better than rushing about like headless chickens. Besides, I was totally absorbed by my book.