Hitchhiking: Jericoacoara to Fortaleza
*This hitch has officially moved into the spot of best hitch ever! Coming in slightly ahead of the time my lovely friend Hannah and I convinced our ride from Calafate to El Chalten, Argentina to go on a 5 hr hike with us and then drive us home to surprise our CS hosts with the ‘mission impossible’ completed;)
***This is an old post, recently being published… so it’s what I was thinking like a month or so ago. My life has changed significantly again.
Goal: Retrace our steps to get back to Fortaleza, leaving Jericoacoara in the dust!
Distance: approximately 294km
Intended Route: Walk to the village entrance and catch a ride into Jijoca, walk to the road from there and see what happens.
Despite everyone’s insistence that we wouldn’t get a ride back into town from the ultra-touristic beach park, Phyllis and I were in someone’s truck about five minutes after starting to hitch. If you don’t have the patience to wait, there’s plenty of paid transport, but the lowest offer we got was seven reais each. We’ve become very, very stingy because you never know when you’re going to need those reais to buy yourself an ice cream.
When we got to Jijoca again, we actually ran into the guy who had given us a ride from São Luis and he offered us a ride to Fortaleza. We declined thankfully as he was leaving ‘in a little bit’ — I don’t think he realized how quickly Phyllis and I can get rides here; the north/northeast of Brazil is actually in competition now as one of the best spots I’ve hitched in the world.
We got a ride much quicker than the last time we’d been hitching out, though it wasn’t a very long ride. Then we actually got dropped at one of the worst spots we’ve been, a place where the road split in two directions — both going to Fortaleza. How could we go wrong? Well, first someone says the right is the best way, then someone says the left is the best so you change position. Just when you’re walking more people tell you that it’s the way you just came from so you hitch a ride back there and someone tell you it’s the other way again! Gah! So annoying!
That all disappeared when we got our first ride from non-Brazilians. Two Israeli guys who had just been in Jericoacoara picked us up and, by some divine intervention, the driver was a professional windsurfer. If you didn’t know, everyone is this part of Brazil is nuts about windsurfing, everyone does it, and Phyllis and I have been dying to try but have lacked the funds it seems like you need.
About 20 minutes into the ride they decided to invite us to join them in Ilha de Guajiru, just outside of Itarema. Why? They were there working and their clients were about 10 very rich, very boring Israeli tech industry workers and they were obviously bored out of their minds. Phyllis and I joked for them to ‘sell us’ on the idea; hitchhiking with no strict plans has become more of a pitch process. When he offered to take us along on the kite and said there were plenty of places to put up hammocks we couldn’t turn it down.
Kitesurfing is amazing y’all! If you have the chance to learn definitely do it, what a crazy adrenaline rush… speeding through the water and then flying. Yes, flying. We happened to be picked up by one of the few people who could have us on his back while surfing and still catch some air. Hopefully he send me the GoPro video I recorded soon… until then, it should be part of this video.
Yet again, a perfect example of why I can’t bring myself to stop doing this activity everyone says is soooo dangerous. I am sad to admit I will have to be more careful now that Phyllis has left me.
We slept on the bed outside the pousada and then decided to take off in the morning, even if they offered us a lift back to Fortaleza at night. No problems getting back, but I did forget my toiletries case which had the brand new bottle of contact solution and my only pair of lenses. C’est la vie.
I think I’m going to get a job in Jeri and trade English lessons for kite surfing instructions.