Travelling the Length of a Continent: Patagonia to Jericoacoara – Days 229 to 237

Tue 18th – Wed 26th Sep

So when I entered Argentina, a good friend I’d met messaged and said – hey, ur in Argentina, swing by Brazil n come visit me whilst I’m there. A few glasses of Malbec later and despite the cost, I was going. It didn’t dawn on me at the time that I would be travelling almost the length of an entire continent to get there!

Leaving El Chalten on Tuesday to get a flight from El Calafate to Buenos Aires, then less than 12 hours later I’m on 2 more flights to São Paulo and then onto Fortaleza where I stay for the night.

It’s another early start to get the bus from the airport to Jijoca then a 4×4 on to Jericoacoara.

The bus journey is ok apart from it taking over 2 hours to get out of Fortaleza…good old grid systems and rush hour. Finally I’m on the road but as I’m looking forward to getting there, the journey seems to take forever.

The bus normally makes a lunch stop but arriving late we get a 15 min stop…enough time hit me to change into summer clothes and grab a beer.

20 mins later it’s a stop at a garage to change into a 4×4 then into another gas station to pay the national park entrance tax. It’s 5R a night. It’s up to you whether ur honest or not about this…they apparently don’t check on the way out so I say I’m going for 2 only! It’s then a bumpy but stunning ride through the sand dunes into Jeri.

Sit in the back of the jeep, it’s cooler, more fun and u get a better view.

Finally I arrive, check in to Jeri Central Hostel and shower then my friend Bonita us here to meet me. First thing I notice us how bloody hot it is. In the space of 2.5 days I’ve gone from a snowy -2 to a sweltering 32! One is not complaining thou – god I’ve missed the sun.

We stroll around the beach and it’s clear I am indeed in paradise. Jeri has some amazing sunsets and my first did not disappoint.

This little place is tucked away and not that easy to get to, but well worth it. A guy from my hostel who Bonita met back in April – Paulo from São Paulo joins us and we go for drinks at the off licence….this place is great as it has tables and chairs outside like a bar where u can listen to the music from one neighbouring bar and use the toilets of another and pay no more than £1 for beers! 2 other guys from another table join us and we while away a few hours drinking and having a laugh.

Jeri is definitely a party town. Not as crazy as Montañita but def the has the same vibe. From here, Bonita’s fella, another Paulo joins us and we head to a beach party!

Friday morning is pretty chilled. Hungover and tired, I’m on the go slow.

Back at the pool and lathered in factor 30 (I got burned this morning!)

I meet Josh, a friend of Bonita’s who’s in town for the weekend. Everyone comes back from the beach etc around half 3/4 and the hostel pool is buzzing and a great place to drink beer and meet new people. My biggest frustration after 8 months of speaking Spanish is that I cant communicate with Brazilians! Luckily a few I meet speak some Spanish and English so between us all, we get by! This evening, Bonita, Josh and I along with another guy Ronaldo watch another awesome sunset

and back to the Offy Shop again for more beers before returning to Jeri Central for caipirinha night. Ive heard all about this from Bonita. You pay about £4 then it’s all u can drink caipirinha’s for 2-3 hours. They also chuck in a choripan (chorizo sandwich). I’m a good few beers down, the caipirinha’s are flowing quickly and freely (thanks SP Paulo) and we’re pretty much choosing the tunes…cue – Bonita and I up dancing on the tables

and riling everyone else to join us. The hostel is buzzing but sadly it has to come to an end.

Thank you SP Paulo for an awesome night and for ensuring I never had an empty glass!Friday night in Jeri is famous for being Samba night so from here pretty much the whole hostel heads there. Unfortunately, the caipirinhas got the better of me and I don’t remember a thing. Thanks to Josh thou for waking me home!

Saturday is pretty much a write off, I manage breakfast and a late lunch at the beach but that’s about it. 2 days travelling, 2 big nights out and I’m done in. It’s an early night for this gal.

Feeling spritely after a good nights sleep and not going out it’s a day at the beach and of course the bar then it’s back early to get ready for one of the most go to places here – Cafe Jeri at Hurricane for sunset. This is the place to be and is always rammed. Paulo gets us in as he knows everyone working here. It’s such a cool place with a mermaid in the pool,

dancers and jugglers on the roof terrace,

great drinks, fabulous sunset and good music. It’s almost like being in Ibiza.

Monday is more pool, beach and bar with an awesome sunset

Tuesday we visit the Paraíso Lagoon. It’s 40R there and back in the 4x4s outside the hostel.

We arrive at one of the restaurants that surround the lagoon. It’s a much quieter one than Bonita has been to previously but perfect. There’s only about 8 of us here. Beer, sunbed and kindle equals perfection! A dip in the lagoon, lying on the pontoon and chilling in the hammocks over the lagoon is just the ticket.

The day is rounded off nicely by watching the sunset on what we call Ant Hill (when ur at the other side of Jeri, the people up there look like ants).

It’s beautiful, sat on a sand dune watching a glorious sunset but the wind is strong meaning you get completely and utterly sand blasted.

Wednesday and it’s my last day already. Where on earth has this week gone. Having told her friend Mariano who is from welsh Patagonia that I am welsh and had been to his home city, we arrange to meet up. We while away an hour or so chatting to him about all things welsh! Bidding farewell, Bonita and I walk to Jeri’s famous landmark….the Pedra Furada Rock. It’s a lovely walk across the sand and through the sea until we reach this beautiful sight. Normally rammed and you have to queue to get your photos, today there’s only 3 people around.

For my last night we head back to Cafe Jeri

and then on to Reggae night

but knowing I have 26 hours of travel ahead of me tomorrow, I play sensible and don’t drink too much. I’m tucked up in bed by 1am.

Jericoacoara is a gem of a place. Kind of off the beaten track but that is half of its appeal. It was the perfect end to my stint in South America, I only wish I could have stayed longer…my tan was coming along nicely!

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