Back to “my” beach

My crew arriving in Primeira Cruz. Jadiel with Sandra in the blue shirt, Lucas in the red one.


Highlights: I made it safe back to “my beach”
Lowlights: dangerous drive, heat, strong headwind, big surf to expect, knot in my stomach
Pos: -2.3574,-43.2495
Loc: across Travosa
Acc: tent
Dist: 0
back at 3 pm

Yesterday, my crew in Sao Luis drove me to Humberto de Campo – with two cars and 9 people!!! They obviously planned to made an adventure weekend out of the drop. Thanks for joining me! Jadiel drove again like a South American, means I’d better close my eyes and fall asleep not to see the dangers of the road. Big potholes, high speed bumps, animals and kids on the road, crazy motorbikes, overtaking constantly on a double yellow lines, overall racing like crazy. The guys on the back seat were happily drinking beer and chatting all at once, the radio was playing on full power, and I was just missing my earplugs… it was a happy party!

Waiting at the jetty in Humberto de Campo for the boat


We arrived in Humberto de Campo just an hour before darkness, and entered a small motorboat Jadiel had organized to cross over to Primeira Cruz. There was no real space for my kayak, so I opted to get a tow for the boat with me sitting in there. Yuck, water again! Still sweet water, but somehow I didn’t really feel like getting wet! The driver did a good job wit the tow, but we should have used a longer rope to keep me  off the wake.So I was sliding to the side and back to the middle all the time on the bumpy stern wave, but could stay upright in the light empty kayak with not much effort. It was meanwhile dark and somehow weird to get a tow at night on a river in South America, barely being out of the plane, and after an hour or so we arrived ok at Primeira Cruz.

Arriving in Primeira Cruz under the always in a harbor present Madonna statue


Jadiel had booked two rooms at the local posada, one for the four girls, and one for the boys.Three beds, the rest went on the floor or in hammocks. But it had air condition! Last night in civilization for now…the guys kept on drinking beer and partying, while I rather opted for my bed quite early.


Loading the truck


Next morning the four wheel truck which was supposed to drive us to the beach with the kayak loaded kayak on the roof and all ten people into the open back,and off we went on deep sandy dirt roads through a lovely back country. Eventually some nature! Sandy dunes, dry lakes, lots of bush and many cows, pigs, goats and horses everywhere.

A group of water buffaloes soaking in a river puddle


Even a large group of water buffaloes soaking in the lunchtime heat in some puddle.The driver mostly had to go at high speed with soft tyres through the deep sand, but also had to watch low hanging branches not to damage my kayak. One small hill he had to try four times, at the end we had all to jump off to have less weight and to push the rest. Adventure trip!:-)

The trip went through bushy tunnel paths were we had to watch my kayak on the roof...
IMG_0473.JPG well as over open backcountry land.
The still happy party in the truck


We had lunch at the last village of Traverso, some small simple brick houses in a desert sandy area, but all equipped with sat dishes, people holding to their cell phones and with some large music boxes what I saw in some open houses. Again, what are these people living on? Feeding tourists can’t be the only income…

Lunch stop at Travosa, a small desert village just before the dune belt
The guys had to release some more air out of the tyres to tackle a very sandy steep part

The rest of the drive right on the wide beach was actually on better ground, and the driver dropped me just across the village, about 5 km short of my last stopping point.I did think I deserve those gained 5 km for paddling all the way back last time…

Reaching the dunes!


The view on the arrival gave me a big knot in my stomach, as the surf was at it’s highest about an hour before high tide. Although I knew it was horrible at that time, it even seemed more horrible than when I had left this beach five months ago. I put up my tent, with a bunch of somehow more quiet party people around me, watching me constantly looking at the surf and my serious face.Yes, this was UGLY!!! It calmed slightly down when the tide turned, still it will be a BIG effort to get out and in every day. I only can start about an hour after high tide, and paddle maybe until around low tide, then the surf will be too big again if I don’t find a river mouth to land in-not yet…I will make only maybe 15-20 km in this weather window, we’ll see…

When the truck and the guys left me alone I was shitting myself – well, not literally, but my digestion  treated me to something like diarrhea, just as I had when left this beach five months ago. Is it only the knot in the stomach caused by this ugly outlook? I am feeling untrained, and have quite some respect for this surf to get out and in with the heavy kayak. This time I at least took my helmet and PFD with me…
I will have to eat something now, and to relax. High tide will be at 4 am tomorrow, so my launch just at first light will give me a short time window to paddle. But this window will shift along the day at least from the best starting point. Lets see how it goes…

5 comments on “Back to “my” beach


Trust your body. Use all your skills. Relaxe inbetween the intensity. Then relaxe in the intensity:)

Ben Frank

You have the ability. You have the knowledge. You are almost there. Think of this leg as paddling home!

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