01.01.2007 - 05.01.2007 31 °C
It's been a while since I was able to update the blog properly (see the last entry, The End of the World.) But after 5 days, Icaraí felt too far away from the rest of the world, and I had to leave... But I can assure you, Icaraí is hard to leave. Literally.
Sand dunes in the ocean paradise called Icaraí. At the end of the world, turn left. Bring enough water.
Icaraí, like I described in the last blog entry, is so small that there is no internet café (and the shop does not have shaving foam.) There is meant to be a bus, but during my 5 days in Icaraí I haven't seen it once.
I arrived in Icaraí on New Year's Day in a pretty spectacular way, on the back of a motorcycle. A mototaxi was the only way to get from the "bus station" of Amontada, a fly-blown desert town way away from the ocean, to Icaraí. The trip over the red dust road took nearly an hour, and (I was looking over the mototaxista's shoulder) we were doing 60 - 80km/h most of the time, so it must have been at least 60km.
For the next four days, I just swam and sunbathed.
Then I decided to give myself a little challenge. I could find out the timetable for the ghost bus, but that would be easy. Why not take the hard way out and walk the beach to the next town, Baleia? I enquired with two locals, and, yes, they said, it was indeed possible to walk there, but it was 36km.
One of the sights on the way. Getting one of these jangadas would have been easier.
So I bought loads of water (2 1/2 liters) and set out at 8am. I walked until 12 noon and made myself take a three hour break because the sun was getting too hot. So I went swimming. I started walking again at 15.00 and surprisingly enough arrived in Baleia at 17.30, which means it only took 6 1/2 hours (remember I was doing this with a 17kg backpack on my back, in the tropics, and barefoot.) I suppose this is why my friends never want to come on holidays with me, because it always turns into an army expedition...
Rain on the way
If you looked at a map of Brazil (but you would need a pretty precise, large-scale one) you would notice that I have actually turned back, and that I am going eastwards, not westwards. I was planning to travel on to São Luis in the state of Maranhão and to return from there to São Paulo, but rain was on the way. A lot of rain. Maranhão has two seasons: a dry one and a wet one. And the dry one just ended. The wet one lasts from January until June. Icaraí is not that far from Maranhão, and indeed every day I could see the clouds moving in from the ocean, getting bigger, darker, and more foreboding. So I decided that, when I get back to Galway in two weeks time, there will be enough rain. For now, I am going to take advantage of Northeast Brazil's sunshine a little more...