Brazil has been a revelation. For a destination that is often portrayed as “a bit muggie”, we started our journey with some trepidation. The stress of exiting our London lives was washed away in the warm water and formidable wind of the coast of three Brazilian states: Ceará, Maranhão and Piauí, all part of the Northeast Region.
Starting our trip in Brazil was an accident, brought on through an encounter with sabbatical planning experts, Lateral Life. Steve mentioned that it is just the right time of year to go, as the key attraction; the Lençóis Maranhenses sand dunes fill with fresh water in June-July, creating perfectly Instagrammable paddling pools.
If anyone needs a max-strength antidote to the stresses of modern life AND you are outdoorsy/sporty type, then we could not recommend a 2 week trip along this coast more. The people we met were extraordinarily friendly, and went out of their way to help out, and the hammock to person density is literally the highest in the world. Even government buildings have hammocks, and you steer your boat from one, and rig one up in the back of your truck, put 6 of them out in front of your house … you get the picture. In our hop along the coast we did not meet ANY other Brits. That is remarkable. The tourists are Brazilians, Portuguese, Argentinian, German and as Charlotte noted, French. For a Brit this adds to the sense you are off the beaten track, and a journey along this coast is one seeped in adventure.
I had a strange experience as we departed from Brazil. My last kiting lesson was with a guy from Argentina called Juan. He’s is the person that most looks like my sadly departed brother that I have met since Christian’s accident in 2006. Juan did not normally teach kids, but Bella had such good control of the kite that he agreed, and they had a great lesson. He also taught me, and with much joy I finished my Brazilian kiting journey with two good cross wind runs. He pressed the point that kite surfing is an “extreme sport” and that you should be careful about who you learn with and how busy the space is (tangling your kite with another can have the effect of putting your foot full on the gas). He really stressed the care you need to take when teaching children. Almost all of his lesson was about safety, and I listened intently as given everything about Juan it seemed like a lesson I should listen to.
So it is bye bye to Brazil. You have charmed us with your warmth, spirit and beauty and we very much hope to return to you one day.