Jericoacoara: O Sítio
The center of Jericoacoara is almost always full of tourists, but thankfully it’s not so hard to get away from all of them and some of the most beautiful places in the park are rarely visited by most visitors. Such is the place ‘o sítio’ or ‘the site’, as it was introduced to me…
We traversed the village and headed onto the beach, slightly emptier now that Réveillon (New Year’s celebrations) was over. With the sun beating down on us and the wind almost blowing me off my path, we made our way past the Sunset Dune and towards the small lake where all the kite surfers practice. Not far off from the other side of the lake, I could see the palm trees rising up in what looks like a desert oasis. I’d been meaning to walk over here, but never quite hustled up the effort. I slipped my havaianas off to cross at the edge of the lake; the cool water felt refreshing, it’s the price you pay for the sand that gets everywhere.
It was around this time that I decided to take a photo and found that I’d once again left my camera on and the battery was, of course, dead. Fiquei puta, viu. (I was pissed!!) By some miracle the friend I was with had his camera so I could at least put my lenses on it. As far as photos, the camera passed… I was sad about the lesser video capabilities as I’m spending a good amount of time filming and this was an optimal time. Going back was not an option, as we’d already been walking for about 20-30 minutes.
‘O sitio’ is situated across a sort of tiny river, a sort of oasis. When I visited there there was a litter of puppies dozing around in the sand, tons of cats, and some evil goats. On the front porches were little tables and hammocks, to hang out and do nothing but eat and drink and talk with people, like the days before the internet or TV. I imagine this would be similar to setting up your life on a deserted island, just eating coconuts and fish. In the heat of the day, everyone was just snoozing, be they cats or humans.
Some families lived out here in the coconut grove, but there was a group of travelers that were renting as well (imagine only something like 500 reais for an entire house in a palm oasis next to Jericoacoara — that’s less that’s $200 at the current exchange rate). They were making their money easily through the sales artesian paçoca, a kind of sweet made from peanuts, to the tourists on the beach. After roasting the nuts they ground them up using this amazing old crank that was capable of making peanut butter out of them (oh how I miss you delicious PB). Combined with brown sugar, chocolate, and a variety of seeds. Protein packed and yummy. I filmed the process, adding yet another video to the number of projects hanging out on the back burner.
I explored the coconut grove and came upon the sand dunes. From there, I had no choice but to climb of course. A few minutes ascent up the steep slope, sand cascading down with each step, and I reached the top. Here the wind was whipping fast and furiously, sand swirling in the wind… all to familiar in Jericoacoara. Despite the sand, the climb was worth it. Standing on top of the dunes here, I was privy to a whole different view of Jeri that I’d never seen before. Down below the dunes were pools, lined by green where horses fed and just beyond the lines of palm trees, the fronds dancing gracefully in the wind is the ridiculously blue-green ocean.
I’ve been so many cool places that I’ve long given up on the word ‘paradise’ to describe any one place, but I think it’s what most people would label this place.