Tatajuba feels a bit like the end of the world. It’s a small settlement far out on the coast in the northeast of Brazil – the roads are made of sand, loose pigs and goats wander around searching for something edible and the strong winds blow away whatever isn’t bolted down. A massive sand dune overshadows the town in the background. Locals are used to tourists coming through but are super friendly and you’ll quickly make new friends. My brother works in Tatajuba as a kitesurfing instructor for Kiteworldwide and I came to catch up.
The whole coast north of Fortaleza in Ceará is famous for its strong steady winds and arid landscape. Mainly known for its gem, Jericoacoara (hard to pronounce, most just say “Jeri”) and well known amongst Kite- and Windsurfers. Jeri is located between vast sand dunes and only reachable after a few bumpy hours in a four-wheel drive (the same goes for Tatajuba). The coast from Fortaleza up to the Delta of Parnaíba is a popular destination and worth a visit for all those into wind-driven sports or the ones into a stunning Nature.
Coming from my project for UNAWE in the Netherlands, I took a night bus from Berlin and flew in from Frankfurt. I had to spend a night in Fortaleza where I managed to sneak into an airport transfer to Tatajuba. After almost three days on the road, early next morning I stood in a lagoon in Tatajuba next to my brother with over 25 knots of wind, holding a Kite, without even properly realising where I was. Luckily I had enough time to learn, I stayed in Tatajuba for almost five Weeks.
I mostly hung out at Pousada Portal do Vento, a beautiful guesthouse close to the lagoon where all the kiting happens. Lovely owners Sandra and Marcel agreed on exchanging photography and website advice for a few meals and access to their facilities. I quickly felt part of a new universe entirely unknown to me – the world of Kitesurfing. Professional kitesurfers like Lennart Schulenburg and Hannah Whiteley came through and I did my best on improving my skills in sports photography (more below).
Beyond getting some work done for myself, I spent lots of time in the water getting lessons from my brother. After a few days I was ready to hit the lagoon on my own and wow, it was the most fun I had in a while!
We lived cheaply and healthily, doing our weekly shopping in the market in Camocim, sometimes travelling for a few hours on the back of the local transport, the “coletivo”. Definitely worth it when you can buy eight kilos of avocados for a about three Euros. However, life isn’t that cheap anymore in Brazil I realised and my budget the usual shoestring. It was good to be back though, Brazil is home to some of the friendliest and liveliest people of the planet. Being on the road for well over a year now, the five weeks spent in Tatajuba were possibly the longest I stayed somewhere since I started my journey. I felt like staying longer. A bit over a month is the time you need to get to know locals, know your way around and make friends. The process starts anew every couple of weeks and you learn to appreciate staying longer.
I’ll leave you with some shots from my time in Tatajuba. I’m looking forward to a monthlong project at Piracanga, an eco village and human development center in the Bahia.
Massive thanks to Benny and Diana for all the love and treats, to Sandra, Marcel, Larissa and Nicky for making Portal do Vento a second home, and everyone else for a great time. I hope to be back and wish you an amazing season!