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Travelling to remote and not so remote places

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July 2016

Just like that, 5 weeks were over…


Five weeks sounds like a really long time. I had so many plans; read lots of books, learn capoeira, brush up on my yoga but all of a sudden, it was time to pack up and go! The five weeks had gone by so fast! Kiteboarding took up a lot of our days but we still had time to have a couple of caipirinhas on the beach, watch impossibly skillful (and visually delightful) guys play beach volleyball and – well – just hang.

Beach volleyball
No risk of being bored when this is on display

The beach in Jeri is gorgeous; naturally protected it’s not quite as windy and the water is warm and shallow. Great for the kids to play on the beach – or in the water. Max got friendly with Xavi and Sabrina at the surf school and got to pick up any board he wanted at any time, which he did whenever he wasn’t kiting (the energy!)

Although Jeri has become a bit of a holiday destination, especially from nearby Fortaleza, its off-the-chart location has not yet landed on the American or any European package tour radar (and thank God for that!). Only the most keen kite- and windsurfers, mostly French of course, seem to make the journey. One of them being our good American, now Revelstokian, friend Chris, a man-of-many-watersport-talents who said this is a must-go place. Thanks to him we also got a good deal on our pousada, although in Jeri you can still live fairly cheaply.

So what happened after the kite surfers had returned, the sun loungers had been cleared away and the surf shops carried their boards away? Did the Jeris watch quietly as the sun set over the dunes and then retreated to the all-inclusive hotel? NOOO!!! This is BRAZIL we’re talking about!! The cocktail carts were pushed (with impressive stamina) up the Sunset Dune so that the revellers could quell their thirst for Caipirinhas, Caipifruttas or Caipiroschkas while watching the sun set.

The bars and restaurants came alive and the bands tuned their instruments for the late-night Samba, Reggae or Forro sessions. I have to confess; there were times when I wished that the kids were not around! Maybe next time. For a next time there will be! I’ll be back!

Jeri nightlife
Enjoying Jeri by night while the kids were tucked away in the posada
Reggae night
Reggae night at a prime property venue overlooking the sea. All inclusive hotel? No, just the place were locals gathered for some late-night music, a drink and a chicken skewer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jeri by horseback: now a Breadbasket Production


I really don’t know where this horse-craze comes from. To me, horses are big, scary and poop all the time. To Molly they are gorgeous animals and she loves them.

Coming on this trip, we asked the kids what they wanted to do or try. Max wanted to heli-ski steep chutes, surf big waves and try kiting. All Molly wanted to do was ride a horse. Daniel said to me “I’ll make sure we’ll find a way for her to ride. Leave it with me.” And Daddy came through on his promise. Molly got to ride 3-4 days a week in Jeri and the result speaks for itself. I’m so proud of her. And a little bit jealous. If I had had this as my first riding experience at the age of six, maybe I would have become a horse-girl myself.

 

Jeri by horseback


Daniel’s dream was to ride the kite, Molly’s to ride a horse… Remembering how awful riding schools were in Sweden in the mid 70s, we thought it was worth a try to find a way for her to learn in Jeri. With the help of Sabrina, the lovely German girl running Xavi’s surf school with her local boyfriend, we found Antonio – a horseman through-and-through.

Watchful eyes on Molly
Antonio watching out that Molly can handle the horse by herself

Over the five weeks, Antonio and Molly took a liking to each other. Antonio managed, without speaking a word of any language apart from Portuguese, to teach Molly how to ride. And I mean ride not just sit on a horse while it takes a leisurely stroll!

Of course Molly wants to continue riding when we come home. Now there’s a challenge; how do you beat galloping along the beach with a guy who let’s you do all that by yourself?! Can’t see that the experience will be the same at a riding school in Munich. It certainly was anything but at Lillhagen, Höllviken, in 1975…

Molly waving from Brownish
Goodbye for now

 

I believe I can kite…!


After hours and hours of lessons (11 days and counting) I finally felt that “yes, I can do this!”. I can’t believe how many mouths of water I have swallowed and how many nose rinses I have suffered to reach this point (days 2-3 were REALLY sh…t), not to speak of the  colon cleansing when trying to break (girls, do NOT wear bikini bottoms) – but here I am, kiting like a champ! Hmmm…. maybe more like a chimp but let’s not spoil the fun…

The car packed with kite instructors
Our transport filled with the young, hot kite wizards from KiteIScool

The “KiteIScool” kite school is really to be recommended! Paolo, a guy in his 30′ (I guess), and from Fortaleza, is running a great show with excellent instructors, new gear and a winning headset. André, my hunky 25-year old instructor (and no, this is unfortunately NOT the reason I “needed” so many instructor days), showed great patience and positive spirit. Just what I needed to kick myself forward and not give up. (That and the Dahlman stubbornness…)

 

Max, of course, quickly became the instructors’ favourite and now carves, turns and kites with hair-raising speed. Naturally, I am extremely proud of my son, who has mastered this difficult sport so quickly and easily. But I must confess – and those who know me will not be surprised – that my ego is slightly dented. On the positive side – how many mothers-of-two learn a new, challenging sport at the age of 48?! Mum-power! Yeah!!

Max the kiter
How do I feel about Max being faster, better and – let’s face it – cooler? Envious!

Jericoacoara -An Intro to Brazilian Beach Life


I still remember a conversation I had with our neighbour, Oscar, about kite surfing in Brazil. He mentioned a small place just North of Fortaleza and I made a little mental note of that. Months later, in Revelstoke, we’ve met Chris – a fantastic skier and, as it turned out, kite addict. Over quite a few discussions with a beer or two he made it clear to us, that if we wanted to kite surf, we would have to go to Jericoacoara. I think I will be eternally grateful to Chris for having sent us here.

Jeri Beach at Sunset Time
Jeri beach with the sunset dune on the background: there’s always a big gathering up there

Jericoacoara is surrounded by a national park, which is basically sand – either flat or in form of dunes. Jeri itself is like an oasis at the shore – Continue reading “Jericoacoara -An Intro to Brazilian Beach Life”

Varadero – Caribbean Dream?!


Our trip to Cuba has been fantastic: the life and atmosphere in Havana, sheer beauty in Vinales, recent history in Playa Larga (and yet another CIA meddling failing is just too much fun), time warp in Trinidad and, eventually, the Caribbean dream in Varadero.

Varadero Caribbean Dream
The beach at Varadero is probably one of the best beaches in the world: fine, white sand – turquoise, clear water.

When we’ve planned our Cuba trip we weren’t sure about how things would work out. We’ve heard too many stories of travellers reporting food ranging from inedible to incredibly boring, cumbersome travelling, lots of hassling – Continue reading “Varadero – Caribbean Dream?!”

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