We flew out of Foz de Iguazu and headed to the North-East coast of Brazil to the paradise beach/dune-side Jericoacoara (or ‘Jeri’ for short). It is a tiny village which has been built right on top of the sand dunes, and you can tell as the streets are still made of sand.
Just as we were starting to get the hang of Spanish there are all new words to learn, especially important the names of fruit so we could make the most of the deliciously fresh fruit juices made from papaya, passion fruit, banana and of course the famous Amazonian fruit, acai. Luckily for us, most Brazilians can understand our broken Spanish and extremely limited Portuguese vocabulary, even if we can’t understand them!!
It is low season, the vibe is laid back and time stops. The local drink of choice is the Caipirinha, which you can buy morning, noon and night from vendors right on the beach. The local footwear of choice, Havaianas of course! While most of our time was spent relaxing on the beach we did manage to fit in a few other activities…
Our 4×4 Jeep tour took us to the surrounding dunes, lakes and other interesting naturally forming landmarks.
We started to get the sense that 4×4 Jeeps decked out with sub-woofas blaring out music ranging from Brazilian samba to Bob Marley is the local version of the call to prayer… We joined in the call to dance and had some salsa/samba/forro classes with the lovely Yvone, who is as local as you are going to get here after having lived in Jeri for 15 years. She invited us to a performance one evening which showcased her dancing with the local capoeira troop. It was a delight.
In our short time here we started to feel right at home. We ate dinner at our favourite local budget dinner place, a delicious meal of rice, beans, spaghetti, salad and grilled fish for the bargain price of R$10 (approx $6 AUD). We found our favourite spot on the beach to relax and watch the world go by. We also got to meet some of the locals, Isabella, a recent graduate with a biology degree who came to Jeri with some friends for new years eve and got stuck. She got a job, made some friends and set up camp. Rodrigo from Brazilia (the capital of Brazil) who 3 years ago quit his safe and secure job with the Brazilian Government to live a quieter, less consumer oriented lifestyle. He works in the local pizza place and earns the minimum wage (R$500 per month, approx $250 AUD) plus a percentage of all of the pizzas he sells, which he says is enough to get by. We spoke about politics, bureaucracy, corruption, the cost of living and his voluntary teaching the local kids English to give them a leg up in life. Both said that the relaxed life they live here is far far away from the hectic and somewhat dangerous life they lead in their respective cities.
At some point we had to move on and continue our travels down the coast as we have a flight out of Recife in a week or so. We headed to Playa de Pipa for a few days and while we felt that the town did not have the same idyllic charm as Jeri, the beach was stunning and visited daily by dolphins. Boaz is enjoying the ice-cream so much, he is slowly turning into one!
Wildlife spotted: Turtle (in Jeri)