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Monday 25 Jan 2010
Jericoacoara, Brazil

Kitesurfing Prea

Before arriving in Jeri, I did a search for kite schools and only found 1 mentioned on the web "Rancho do Kite", so I booked a few sessions with them. On arriving in Jeri though, I found many more schools here, some of them considerably cheaper, but they don't have websites so hence I didn't know about them (something to bear in mind when coming here).

My kite, board and my...
My kite, board and my...

Rancho do Kite, though, are very good and I had a particularly excellent teacher, Alysandra, who explained everything carefully and patiently (even when I was getting impatient with myself!). They had radio helmets too which meant that the instructor was able to communicate with me while I was out on the water, and a team of local indigenous kids who were training to be instructors, but who also helped prepare the equipment so there was no time wasted pumping up kites etc. The school is based at a nearby beach called "Prea" and is located in a lovely, but pricey and exceedingly posh, ranch resort with bungalows. Very much a honey-mooners spot I would say, but we were able to use the facilities and avail of the excellent food in the bar while reclining on the hammock chairs. Acai Vitaminas became my staple diet!

Practicing kite standing...
Practicing kite standing...

As predicted, the landboarding skills paid off and I found I was flying ahead on day one with regards to kite control. I even managed to stand on the board for 10 seconds by the end of the day! Alysandra said that she remembers only 5 others had managed to do that on their first day. Yay!

Day 2 was a little harder as it was all about board control on the water. This is where I started having to learn everything from the ground up as not only do you have to deal with "sinking", you have to move quickly and get on the board fast otherwise a wave will hit you and take the board flying (very frustrating). By the end of the day I was so frustrated with the waves that I thought I was just destined to stick with landboarding, but then I later heard about other schools in Jeri that teach on one of the many blue lagoons that encircle Jeri. No waves there!! So I'm currently considering taking one more lesson on the lagoon so I can nail the water technique without having to contend with waves (I'll learn that part later!)

Yeah so.. all in all.. kite surfing has promising prospects for me! My knee is a bit at me though, which makes getting on the board a little tricky.

I've been hanging out with an Austrian bloke by the name of Flourian who was also at the kite school and mucho beer and Argentinian BBQ beef has been had of late!

Also met an Argentinian bloke who's in the pousada I'm staying and he likes to show his disdain for the English (which is why he loves the Irish). Evidently the Falklands war still enrages a lot of Argentinians: "The Queen can win a war, but our heart? Never!"

Evidently Alysandra has many admirers as when I mentioned I was trained by her to a group of local kite instructors I met later at dinner they offered me a special 50%-off deal to get a lesson at the Lagoa (lagoon).

Might just have to take them up on that offer... only thing is .. money is running out and no ATM... oooer...

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South America Twenty Ten

Travel blog by peterforan



After previously dipping my toes in Latin America via trips to Cuba and Central America, it's time to go for the big splash! 3 1/2 months to take in as much as I can, armed with little more than my camera, laptop and a few dodgy Spanish phrases.

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