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Driving out of Los Angeles is an experience. There are really two routes east - take the main highways south of the San Gabriel mountains or take Newhall Pass, that separates the San Gabriels from the Santa Susana Mountains, and take the route north of the mountains. The former guarantees bumper-to-bumper traffic for 2 hours while the latter adds an 50 miles to the route but empty roads. We take the high-road. @atypicalcontent Sunset over the Prado in Taos, New Mexico. After a week of storms where over 40” fell, the sky cleared and gave us a show. We made our way to the mountain and checked in with ski patrol for the required backcountry passes. The mountain has a couple of high speed chairs and a nice gondola that takes 15 minutes to the top. Tom was leading the way and made the call to take some of the lower chairs, this netted us first tracks on most of the aspects we hit. The morning went by in a flash of powder. Deep and steep pitches, tight trees, and endless possibilities everywhere. There is so much sidecountry that earning our turns was unnecessary. Lap after lap we found first or second tracks on most everything. Kiroro was great. Kiroro is one of the special places in a special place. It is a backcountry focused area with lift access, tons of snow, a consistent fall line, and endless features to ride. With time being precious, our Aussie host, Liam, hooked us up with a 22 year old "volunteer" from the States to take us around the mountain. Tomahawk Tom had been riding Kiroro everyday for the past two months and knew the ins and outs. @ridealldamnday A story about a Yuki Ona is being written. @hopihillsfarm My morning started unlike any other. Snorting, scratching, clapping, and weezing kept on popping into my sleep and I could not understand why. Oh, that's right, I'm sleeping in a barn... someone hit the snooze button on the goats. Read on in the Blog! @atypicalcontent

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(Back to Part I)

Photo Gallery – A trip to the Lencois Maranhenses

A Trip to the Lencois Maranhenses

Geographical Oddities & the Lencois

In my early 20’s I stumbled upon a cheesy guide of the world’s natural wonders that listed them by their predominant color. The green Faroe Islands, the red sands of Namibia, the mirrored salt lake of Uyuni all were blazed into my imagination. Somewhere within that book a story of a white sea of sand with incredible aqua lagoons glimmered off the page and instantly became a must see in my life. As life has it, we figured out how to get from Jericoacoara to Atins and the chance to finally visit the Lencois Maranhenses.

Sunset on The Lencois Maranhenese

How to get to the Lencois Maranhenses

Brazil has always had an aura of dangerous and untamed wilderness and it was fitting that this magical place of imagination was in one of the remote corners of that nation.

There are a couple of ways to get to the Lencois from where we were staying in Jericoacoara . The most common are either through Barreirinhas or Atins. The former is a 30,000 person enclave in one of the poorest areas of Brazil. The latter, Atins, is an end-of-the-world place withfrom Jericoacoara to Atins on the road less travelled equal parts drifters and locals, con men, expats looking for a fresh start, dreamers and thrill seekers and no direct road access – it also has a large estuary with consistent trade winds and a bustling kitesurfing scene. Obviously we chose Atins.

To get to this spit of land from Jericoacoara would require a 2001 Toyota Hilux, a 15′ aluminum skiff with a 35hp out board, and a Chinese made 4×4 ATV. The journey would take about 8 hours and required beating the rising tides – a condition that would make our journey substantially more interesting. In order to coordinate this journey we were pointed by some folks in Jeri in the direction of a Sicialian expat that had settled in Atins after being the “first” to Kiteboard there in the mid 2000’s- Marco.

Its never easy to get There

After going back and forth over a couple of days of sporadic email using our sportuguese, some English, and ultimately broken Italian, we were assured that each of the transportation conveyances was arranged and all that it required was the PayPal of €100 to Marco’s account. Sure, why not. We paid and all was set for the trip.

Finally the day arrived and we were picked up on time by our Hilux driver, Joao – a 20 year old jack of all trades with a surprising amount of opinions regarding diesel fuel filling stations in that area of the world. The truck was okay- it ran and seemed to be safe. So we put our bags in he back and jumped on.

Sand Everywhere

This area of Brazil has some of the most consistent trade winds in the Atlantic. 1000’s of Megawatts of windmills have been installed over 100’s of kilometers by an unending number of Sino-Portuguese partnerships. Our voyage took us through interminable sand dunes,

Driving from Jericoacoara to Atins

on The Road to Atins

abandoned villages, and complete desolation. It reminded me of the setting for McCarthys The Road; nothing seemed alive and what was, you don’t want to engage with.

About half way into this journey, the mangroves started giving way to millions of jagged black stumps by the sea-shore. We had been seeing, for weeks now how the dunes move everyday, but this was the first time we had seen the effect those translations have.

from Jericoacoara to Atins on the road less travelled

What the Lencois left behind

We learned that as the dunes move they cover everything in their path effectively choking everything underneath. What we were diving on were the remnants of 100′ of thousand of mangrove forests that took thousands of years to grow and now were no longer as the Lencois had claimed that land.from Jericoacoara to Atins on the road less travelled

The high tide mark -4 o’clock – rolled in as we turned west in this desolate place. We boarded the skiff which miraculously appeared from nowhere as we approached the river bank. The ride was nothing extraordinary for the locals, just a large river flowing north with life teaming from it. A Guará bird, in its red camouflage, visible from 1000m away. The skiff skipping along on the incoming tide, and the sunsetting in the west. Everyone knows that the journey is what matters and this one is memorable. 

Port to Atins

The Preguica River Delta, the port to Atins from the East

The port on the Preguica River delta

And when we arrived on the delta a shirtless man picked us up on his ATV and took us to Marco’s place- the only piece of land in Atins with grass.

Sunset in Atins

from Jericoacoara to Atins on the road less travelled

Atins

On to Part III

AC / Lencois Maranhenses / A Trip to the Lencois Part II

5 comments on “On Downwinding from Fortaleza to São Luis – Part II

  1. Bill Whitman says:

    cool stuff. change for a real ?

    1. KP says:

      Ha! Orbigado!

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