Sun 30/11-2014 Day 705

I love cute clever little boys...Gabriel!

Highlights: Me and my kayak survived one more day on Brazilian roads

Lowlights: Driving the last hour in Fortalza in darkness
Loc: Fortaleza
Acc: Pericles house

I was too tired to load my kayak last night, as after our last dinner out in Sao Luis took also until midnight I fell asleep. Not really enough rest for the previous night, some better and longer one this night. No real dinner though…

Some burnt field, quite often the side stripe of the road was still burning

I had some swimming pool noodles I cut to the width of my kayak, and taped the first and last one big round on the roof, four more sliced length wise in half as the middle base. Would the cheap sticky tape leave ugly marks on the roof? Probably, but I can’t help it now. The kayak went on the roof right side up, and I wrapped four ropes in the figure eight shape around the hull and whole roof through the inside of my car. When I tightened the ropes with my knot system, a large bump on the inside of the roof appeared…it will pop out again when I untie the kayak…

My roof rack creation on my rental car

The bow and stern got two times two separate lines attached to the car, I had to install some makeshift rope loops to find solid attachments on metal pieces and not on plastic. All good tightened, and the kayak was bomb proof attached!  I was very satisfied with my creation :-).

It took me a while to get out of Tutoia and the road leading eventually to Fortaleza, finding the Pousada Jagatá last night was way more easy as Marcos has installed hundreds of signs on every corner – for good reason. This day was not much problem with the roads connecting the villages or smaller towns, just as usual to find the way through the village and the exit was the problem. No real GPS help, a simple compass wouldn’t have done worse. If I’d have known that map “quality” (no map available at all for most times), I’d have checked way points and loaded them on my kayak GPS…For once, I had to use for about 10 km another unpaved road, but with no sand, just rocky and bumpy. Not sure if this was the only one…? It got me eventually there. I was asking frequently in the villages, and got used to the through passages via really the smallest bumpiest narrowest paths you could imagine. Potholes and speed bumps everywhere, also the inverted speed bumps, deep ridges, animals on the way, crazy overtakers, bikes on all sides of the road, motorbikes and donkey carts.

These two donkeys didn't even think of moving out of the lovely shade!

All similar on the last 350 km leading to Fortaleza on some kind of a double lane motorway, pedestrians crossing, bikers on the left side, fat trucks overtaking at speeds way over 100 km/h all possible. I was constantly driving maximum 90 to 100 km/h with my kayak on my roof, enough. And I did miss rarely a speed bump or pothole, all for the sake of my kayak! My attachment held up great, I barely had to tighten the ropes! Good job…

But I couldn’t avoid  arriving in Fortaleza in darkness the last hour, I only noticed the next day how good it was it was to drive on Sunday. Still I barely could see enough, maybe I should have stopped to clean the windows from the off road dust? Too late… the lights or better the NO lights on any kind of rolling object were confusing, no European traffic police would have accepted anything like this here. The frequent police check stations were all unoccupied when I was passing, but the many, many car and motor bike wrecks simply dumped around the stations showed they are busy sometimes to pull the most amazing shaped vehicles out of the public traffic. Motorbikes with three of even four people riding, in flip flops or bare foot, some ladies in skirts riding sidesaddle on the back, all at highest speed buzzing around you, three lanes wide roads without lane marking where vehicles were driving anywhere, you are getting used to it all. My poor kayak was surviving on my roof all the time! I was more scared to hit this one than the rental car. I tried to avoid to drive in front of high trucks with their no overhanging front, they could ram my kayak stern first before they would hit my car.

Just some cows crossing the road

I eventually arrived safely at Pericles’ house, the GPS map in the huge city was fortunately ok-ish and I have been there before.

With Pericles' family at a local restaurant in Fortaleza

Pericles and his family took me to a local restaurant at night, many thanks! I slept in the 7-year old Gabriel’s room, with many mosquitoes and without air condition :-).Not all locals think they need a/c…

My laptop was repaired and I could just take it along. Thanks to Pericles to look into getting this job done!

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Randall Lackey

This day sounds to have been more nerve racking getting your kayak back safely to the travels

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