Brasil 2022-23 Diary/Photo Journal

Week 002 of August 07 - August 13, 2022

We left Cumbuco and headed northwestward to Jericocoara (Jeh-ree-kwa-kwa-ra), a protected village which only allows vehicles servicing the city and owned by the residents within its borders.  We drove part of the way along the shoreline, crossing several 'rivers' and small lagoons and grateful our rental truck had 4x4 capability.  As this area of Brasil is within about 3 S of the equator, the temperatures are usually a pleasant 70-85 degrees, depending on the rainy (summer) or dry (winter) season. 

Quick stop to view Lagoinha
with Grazi and Cassio

Quite the drive along the shore

Typical fishing huts and boats

Mobile coconut market

Rather tight streets - forced a woman to dash into a doorway

Some of the fun of the drive was having to cross some inlets via a "ferry", which was a one-car raft with a small trolling motor attached.  Fortunately, the ferry operators were not concerned about the truck and with a few adjustments in their well-worn loading planks, the truck slipped onboard without getting dunked.  We were putted across to the other side and slid right off the ferry onto the shore.  Not long after, we made our lunch stop in Praia da Baleia, a little village seemingly only accessible by the beach 'road'.  Choosing the restaurant was very easy as they had us with a one-word sign that said "Caranguejo" (crab). 

Ferry crossing

The motor may not look like
much, but it putted us across

Caranguejo for lunch did not disappoint

Cassio enjoying the drive

Wonder what the story was about the sunken boat

We had to cut our drive along the shore a bit short as the tide did not allow us to lollygag too much more and inland we turned. 
Alas, our 'land' tour was a combination of "let's go that way", "that looks like a thru track", "there's nothing on the gps" and "the main road is somewhere over there" and gave us some moments of doubt, surprise, frustration and laughter.  Eventually, we made it to an unusual landmark, rvore da Preguiša (Tree Sloth), wherein the tree has grown sideways because of the strong directional winds.

We arrived at Parque Nacional de Jericoacoara (Jeri for short and much easier pronunciation), parked our truck in a lot and took a brief shuttle into the village.  The main village is all about the tourists with multiple hotels, pousadas, restaurants, shops, etc.  Just outside of the village is where the locals live and is quite the contrast to the tourist side.

rvore da Preguiša (Tree Sloth)
Cassio, Grazi and Gerson put the
size of the tree in perspective

Cassio and Grazi enjoying our shuttle ride

Views from and of our hotel - Hotel Villa Terra Viva

And all the tourists and locals enjoy ice cream
(yes, that is a donkey waiting in line)

We enjoyed some nice meals and as we were feeling good and a negative covid test, we got to also enjoy the vibe of the village.

Nice night for a stroll

Dinner was very good - seafood
risotto and gorgonzola gnocchi

View from our room was not too bad

Breakfast with crepes is always good

Early morning walk - low tide and tide
pools, colorful rocks and a local enjoying
the sunshine

Gerson, Cassio and I took a wonderful long walk along the beach, over the boulders, through the rock formations and across the water's edge and took a few moments to play tourist and capture our time with a very photogenic arch.  I was fascinated by the colors in the rocks and realized quite a bit of the quartz and granite has become countertops throughout the world. 

Even the colorful sea lichen compete with the rocks

Cassio investigating a cave

Magnificent colors

Small cave and the etched stone reveals more color

Sunset in the stone

Of course, we could not resist a bit of fresh, cold coconut water being sold by rather entrepreneurial men that carry the iced coconuts down to the beach to sell to the thirsty tourists.  Perfect treat during and after a hot walk.

Enjoying our fresh, cold coconut water
The photogenic Furada Stone

Thankful Gerson did not drop me

(What you don't see was the long queue of people
waiting to take their pictures.  Everyone was so polite).

The winds started to pick up and the tide was creeping back in so the walk back to the hotel was rather quick.  I still managed to find some interesting rock formations and a turtle shell.  We returned to the hotel to have a dip in the pool and hang out on the upper deck and we were soon joined by a few locals.  We spotted several iguanas in the plumeria trees as they munched their way along and over to our deck, which was just a brief layover to their higher treetop destination.  The Green Iguana, also known as the American Iguana, is an herbivore and the colors range from bright green of the juveniles to a dulled yellow for the adults. 

Again, the colorful rock formations

Turtle shell

Hieroglyphic stone

Green Iguana juvenile - quite stunning
Gerson and his new friend

Adult Green Iguana just hanging out

We only stayed in Jeri for a couple of nights and we traveled a bit more west to the Tatajuba. 

Gerson and Cassio off to watch the sunset

And the sunset did not disappoint

Young woman with her fresh net catch of the day

Colorful fishing boats

Locals enjoying the shade

On the way to Tatajuba, we just had to stop off and take a quick boat jaunt into the Coreau River to see the seahorses!  Fortunately, the guides are familiar with where the shy creatures hang out (literally) and we were able to see a few of them.  The guides were very careful in how they coax the seahorses into a large jar and only allow them to be viewed for a few minutes before returning the seahorses to their habitat.  Judging by the way the seahorses just casually exited the jar in the water and cruised over to a nearby root to hang onto, they did not seem to be bothered by the brief disturbance. 

Off on our seahorse adventure
Coreau River
Gerson and Grazi admiring the seahorses
Seahorse just hanging out

Fresh coconut time

The coconut water is refreshing
and the coconut meat, delicious

And, just another short jaunt, we enjoyed lunch on and in Lagoa da Tatajuba.  These lagoons, or lagoas, are formed when the heavy rains fill up the low areas and mangroves and thus, become large swimming holes.  Many of these lagoas have become kiteboarding meccas and Lagoa da Tatajuba has become quite the place to just hang out in the water and enjoy a fantastic seafood meal. 

Lagoa da Tatajuba

Gerson definitely enjoyed hanging out

Grazi and Cassio as well

Cassio and Gerson are like two peas in a pod (sorry Grazi, I did not see you there)

Quite the special stopover for lunch and especially for the pick-your-fish meal.  Something about eating your lunch while you are sitting in the lagoa just made everything taste better.

Gerson and Cassio negotiating the fishy deal

Gerson said "this one!"

Gerson made friends with our nut distributor

Anticipating lunch

No Gerson, it's not all for you

A plateful of delicious

Before and After - we destroyed the fish
and literally picked the bones clean

Out of Lagoa da Tatajuba, we traveled through some small villages that dot the landscape and we arrived in Tatajuba to our pousada, Kitejuba Eco Bungalows.  Accessible only from the beach, we got into our rooms shortly before the tide would once again claim the high ground. 

Typical little beach village

Lots of ocean inlets to cross

Love the repurpose of the water bottles for the 'street' lights

Kitejuba Eco Bungalows

Our place was the right upper room - what a view!

Tatajuba has existed for a long time; however, kiteboarding has introduced the area to the world.  With its consistent and constant afternoon winds and the high tide lagoons that form, the area is perfect for beginning and experienced kiteboarders. And, the fact that the beach is wide open and beautiful did not hurt one bit.

View from our room

What a difference 30 minutes makes

Just a local passing through

Cassio and Grazi off to watch the sunset

Cassio and Grazi show how to take a selfie

Brilliant sunset

Inasmuch as this part of the adventure was to be all about kiteboarding, we enjoyed taking a little time to poke around a bit. 

These little guys were everywhere

Look closely at the 3rd photo and you can see that
one crab is fighting and intruder from his hole-home.

Surf and turf was on the menu

Tatajuba beach

Gerson taking advantage of the warm lagoon

And then, it was time for kiteboarding lessons.  Gerson and Cassio braved the battering winds and the fickle kites for hours and their hard work paid off.  Both were riding and completed their day without any major injury.  We call that a 'win' at our age.

While I was watching and photographing Gerson and Cassio, I noticed a collection of strange looking fish cruising up the shoreline.  I had to do a little research to find out what kind of fish they were because the looked like they had 'four eyes' and other than some sort of nuclear accident, I could not explain why they looked so odd.  Come to find out, they are called Tralhoto or "Anableps" and they do indeed have four separate eyes.  The evolution of the fish has made them able to see above the water and below the water at the same time, keeping an eye out for predators or for intrusive photographers (as the fish would not let me get close no matter how stealthy I thought I was being).

The Tralhoto or Anableps fish

Notice the four eyes on the last photo
(taken from the internet)

Gerson and Cassio becoming kiteboarders

What is so special about Tatajuba, is the high tide 'lagoons' that form, making a smoother and easier place to learn how to kiteboard.  Also, with the pool being relatively shallow (knee to waist deep), and not having any real current, it is a little less challenging to retrieve the board and balance while placing your feet in the bindings. 

Focus and concentration pays off
for Gerson and Cassio

Friends lend support to one another
Cassio on the move

One of the instructors flying high

The many kite beaches of the State of Cearß

We truly relished staying in Kitejuba Eco Bungalows.  The view was stunning and the food in the restaurant was delicious.  Our hammocks got a lot of use!


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