mercoledì, ottobre 27, 2010

Rio de Janeiro & Jericoacoara

So... I'm finally back from Brazil, where I spent the past two weeks between Rio de Janeiro (this was a compromise for my wife) and Jericoacoara. A mid-season holiday with warm temperature and nice people.

First of all let me tell you something about Rio de Janeiro, the very well known Brasilian pearl. We stayed at Leblon (next to Ipanema) in a B&B, only 300mt far from the beach. Nothing I would really recommended to anyone, especially because 1) the place was very noisy (there was a crowded local restaurant with open-air table just under our windows) and 2) there was no air conditioning meaning we couldn't close the window at all - thus even more noise coming in. Beside of this, breakfast was reeealy good, people was nice, the place was next to the night life pubs and bars, easy reachable... We visit the city in three days, usual tourist tour (Ipanema, Pan de Azucar, Corcovado) plus an impacting visit to the Rocinha Favela, something I would recommend for your next visit. An unusual Rio view that will change your opinions about Favelas (if you ever played CoD Modern Warfare 2 you know what I mean...)

The flight from Rio to Fortaleza (3h, which for a Brasilian is like going from Barcelona to Bilbao) and the 4h transfer to Jericoacoara were disrupting. We arrived late at night (2am), tired, thirsty and hungry. The Ibiscus Pousada, where we spent our 10 days stay, was a total surprise. Managed by a nice Italian guy and a Brasilian woman,  it's a good and a better choice than other fancy and more expensive solutions. It is only 300mt far away from the beach, in a quite part of Jeri, so you can sleep well after you long wind/kitesurfing day without being disturbed by music and noisy people. The breakfast is astonishing and you will have problem eating all the fruit/bread/juices they will bring you. Too much food, indeed.

Ok, let's talk a little bit about the interesting stuff now ;). I sailed 7 out of 10 possible days. The reason is, 1) after you get out with a 4.5 and a 92lt board (which means, for me, >30kn), would you really care of a day with "only" 20 knots out there? 2) incredibly we had to face with 2 day of  NO WIND at all, really uncommon during this season of the year. Waves - which waves? Almost flat water conditions with some half meter waves in the no wind zone. Damn't!

Sailing conditions where almost ok, so I sailed with 4.5, 4.7, 5.4, 5.6 and even 6.4sqm sails. We rented the gear at the Club Ventos, which has mostly JP boards and some Starboard 2010 Kode/Flare. Be aware! Especially medium/big JP boards are very heavy (probably because they have been repaired many times, I don't discard they got some water inside too) so forget about early planning, especially when the wind is not blowing as strong as expected - better choice are Starboards, but they are limited in number - so be quick when the surf center opens and grab the right one!

Club Ventos is a good choice if your couple doesn't surf and wants to spend his/her holiday as a lizard taking a  huge sun-bath. Each day the club organize some event - live music, movie shows etc. - and the club offers you free sunbeds. Bartender will help with refreshments (not for free of course). Be aware, you are at the tropic, please remember you sunscreen creams!