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Sunday, 16 November 2014

Travelling from Jericoacoara to Lençois Maranhenses, day 1

Into Jericoacoara 

Is driving your own vehicle into Jericoacoara really not allowed? The Lonely Planet Brazil guide says traffic is restricted, but despite having travelled through Jeri yesterday, we still aren't sure about the regulations.

On arrival into Jericoacoara we were instantly stopped by young 'parking attendant' men who told us we had to park there and couldn't drive into town. But, their demeanour wasn't that of people enforcing a regulation. No, it was more like desperate tourist touts trying to get you to park with them, hire a taxi, buggy or horse from them, book a room with them. We didn't trust that what they were telling us was at all true. 

We tried to tell them that we wanted to keep going up the coast and for that we needed the road, which we thought was accessible through town, and for the night we'd like a campsite. But, the young man was so full of 'push' to get us to parking there that he wasn't even listening or trying to help us. H lost his temper, raised his voice, and then we drove of, with the young man threatening that he was calling the police, and his colleagues giving hand signals that we'd be handcuffed. (Really? For driving into a town to find the way north? .... we've seen Brazilian police ignoring much more dangerous activities.)

We parked at the fence before the big dune, the one that you are supposed to climb to watch the sun turn emerald green as it dips below the horizon. We climbed the dune with the hordes of tourists and watched the sun disappear behind a cloud before it reached the horizon. Oh well. 

H, needing the loo, headed back to the motorhome sooner than I did. He was greeted by the police who told him that we didn't have to park with those parking attendant people, but nor could we park overnight in town. We could, however, drive North up the coast by going through the fence opening just near where we were and camp anywhere we wanted to, North of the big dune. I got there not long after (I'd deviated along the beach), and off we went. 

We drove 6kms before we found a good place to stop overnight. It was between fishing boats. Unfortunately, this all meant that we didn't really get to visit Jericoacoara. I would have liked to, but circumstances meant we had left town rather soon. First impressions made it seem just to touristy, so I think we'd feel that it was all too pushy. 

photos: Travelling the dunes to Jericoacoara; Watching the sunset from the sunset dune at Jericoacoara; Our beach camp (next morning,  boats had gone fishing); the dune buggy's are popular for travel along the beach, they have a combi 1.6 engine and have the eV advantage of being light.

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