Today is our last day in the closest place to paradise. We flew from Salvador to a coastal city named Fortaleza which would be our gateway to Jeri. We spent a day at the beach, along with some shady characters. Fortaleza is apparently a big center for prostitution, with girls waiting at the arrival gate as the flights arrive into the city. We were happy not to spend more than a day here.
The next day our mini bus arrived bright and early at 8 am sharp. After a rough 5 hour ride we were transferred to the back of a 4x4 that made the minibus feel like a magic carpet ride. There were 8 people in the back of this truck, being thrown around like rag dolls.
Remember in the cartoon Aladdin, when the genie rescues Aladdin and Apoo and takes them to a beautiful oasis of palm trees and lagoons in the middle of the desert? That place must be based on Jericoacoara. I was a little hesitant at first after seeing all the sand dunes. I thought there is no way I'm going to like this place. However, after arriving at our pousada (guesthouse) and going for a walk, I was already planning my return here!
We started out our one week stay by taking a day tour. Unfortunately we forgot the memory card for the camera but the Austrian couple that we shared the dune buggy with promised to send us their pictures when they get back to Austria. We will have something in a couple f weeks. We enjoyed 2 very beautiful beaches, both of which were fresh water lagoons formed by the rain which lasts for months. Apparently we have perfect timing since the rainy season has just ended and high season is about to begin, so we got here at a great time.
It turns out, one of the best qualities of Jeri is the variety of landscapes. This allows for many activities. We saw sand boarding, it's just like snowboarding but down a sand dune and usually straight into water! Andrew tried a couple of runs and had a great time. There's lots of wind surfing due to the nice waves and constant wind. I tried regular surfing and loved it. And I was pretty good! I got up by the 3rd try and I've learned almost everything after a 3 hour lesson over two days.
Andrew was the braver one and tried kite surfing. He took 3 days of lessons for a total of 10 hours and believe me, it was tough work. The instructor who was also the owner of our pousada took us to a special beach where the winds are so strong that I could barely walk without getting blinded by sand. By the end of the lessons Andrew was up and riding the waves. We are both planning on continuing wherever these sports are offered which apparently is in many places.
Jeri has a very laid back and relaxed atmosphere. Unlike other beaches you don't get harassed by people selling knick knacks. The food has been amazing and fresh. Another thing I find super amusing is the number of the wild donkeys that roam the area. I love watching them, they are such entertaining animals. They also have wild roosters that start singing to each other at 5 am, at which point I'm ready to send andrew to turn them into our dinner in order to shut them up.
Jeri has 3 streets traveling north/south and 4 or 5 east/west. They are all sand streets, nothing is paved in the entire area, hence the need for 4wd's wherever you go. There is a split between couples and families, there is something to do for everyone.
At sunset, the entire population gathers at the top of the biggest sand dune by the beach to watch the sunset. Sitting there, enjoying the views with the wind in your hair is an amazingly relaxing experience.
We leave Jeri tomorrow to catch a flight to the city of Belem, which is again a gateway for an island called Ilha de Marajo. We will update you again as soon as we get a chance! In the mean time, drop us a line and let us know how things are with you. We love to hear from you just as much as you like hearing from us!
Love, Andrew and Yasmin