Drifting Dane

The quest for a happy ending in Brazil

  • October 7, 2021
  • February 25, 2024

Part 7. Jericoacoara, a Northeasterly closure


A windy end in a true sandy heaven

After a short stop in Pipa, Rio Grande do Norte, I decided to take a non-stop long-haul (overnight trip) until I reached the capital Fortaleza in Ceará state with a bus connecting the next day to the sandy dunes of Jericoacoara - de Jicoca. 
I wanted to see what all this kite surfing fuss was about, and if possible, get my thrill from it. This was to be the end station of the North and my maiden voyage of this wast country.

Coming up from the South as far as Rio de Janeiro by bus was indeed
a journey by pure landscape kilometres.
An extensive trip with many adaptations - encounters - emotions split into many experiences.
I had almost spent two and half months since I started.
I now knew where I would be spending the remaining time.


Ceará state is known for its green water. It lies on the northeastern slope and is shared by the coastal plains and the Brazilian highlands while covering approximately 600 kilometres of the sandy coast, which is partly mixed with sandstone.
The state is rich in landscape, but being the poorest one in brazil it mostly depends on tourism to survive.



Jericoacoara is a place that started to grow, within the dunes, from being a small unknown fisherman village with almost no infrastructure to a desirable well-known destination with its own airport that was added in 2017.
The streets are made from the dunes and the strong winds mould them in between every newly added placement, creating a way of navigation. 
It became a national park back in 2002 to restrict tourism and building. The pure difficulty to reach it also helped keep it isolated from visitors for a long time. Places that are challenging to reach, remain unique and Jeri was no different. 


Several hours on bumpy dunes and a stiff backside later, I finally arrived at Jeri and my cosy hostel.


After a day of rest and looking around the inner town area, I visited the well-known rock formation, Pedra Furada, on the far tip of Jericoacoara beach.
You can hire a dune buggy that seats up to four or just walk along the beach for about an hour. Bring water and sunblock and go early in the morning.

Pedra Furada 
Anderps, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

The same night I visited Duna do Pôr do Sol (Sunset Dune) which lies at the beginning of Jeri beach, just a few minutes outside town.
The strong constant winds of Jericoacoara makes it not only a paradise for kitesurfing, among other sports but it also changes, making spots you may have seen before look very different from how you remember them.
The name says it all and the same for the pictures of this neverending dreamy viewpoint.

Duna do Pôr do Sol  (Sunset Dune)


I later met some Brazilians at the hostel and we decide to go out for the night.
We ended up in a local place where the dance Forró is widely practised.
Forró is a rhythm  - a dance that was started in the northeastern region of Brazil and has spread throughout the world.
It involves various dance types, mixed with different types of music genres. The theory is that it originates from the farms as workers would sing while picking crops, mixing the song for each phase and crop they were picking. 
I believed I did my best trying to copy the rhythmic Brazilians and we did have a lot of fun, despite my stiff Scandinavian hips :)

The next day was purely a recovery day. I and some of the Brazilians from last night took a day trip to Lagoa Azul.
A local lagune paradise within easy reach of the town for pure lazy days.

Lagoa Azul water hammocks



Kitesurfing week

It was time to be active. The Ceará coast has a reputation for
high winds throughout the year. 
Not only is it a magnificent landscape with eye-pleasing views
but also a mecca for watersports enthusiasts.
Jericoacoara is one of those places. 

After poking around town asking for recommendations, I found my way to Paul - The Argentinian, by word of mouth. 
I booked myself a beginner course for the week. Something that I would painfully regret in the beginning. This sport requires stamina to learn.
An exhausting 6 hours a day training in the lagoons and low tide while learning to control the powerful kite in high winds as you try to surf the water. 
One wrong move with the stick and the giant kite takes over, pulling your face along the sand and water with ease instead of your board.

Learning to Kitesurf in beautiful Jericoacoara

I would sometimes look at the skilled kitesurfers in the same area with extreme envy as they speedily flew across the waves with excitement and no worries in the world while controlling the kite with only one hand and simultaneously jumping through the air. :)

When I first travelled from Fortaleza to Jericoacoara in 2013, it was still a 4-hour bus ride to the nearest town on somewhat normal roads and later a 2-hour journey on the dunes - beach by 4WD truck to get there.
The effort itself told me that I would still be seeing something that was stranded from publicity. 
I consider myself lucky that I visited before any airport was established.
I believe I experienced the last true pieces of an untold and concealed paradise.


→ The quest for a happy ending in Brazil part 2 →