I have been resting up in Joao Pesosoa for the last 2 days and it feels like coming out of the wilderness back to civilization.
There’s a shopping mall just down the road with all the shops you would expect back home.
My hair was starting to look kind of crazy, adding to the consensus by local kiters that I really am crazy. So, I have taken the opportunity to get a haircut even though I had been warned that getting your haircut by the like of this little fellow could spell trouble:
I didn’t speak Brazilian and my hairdresser didn’t speak English so the only thing for it was Google translate. It seemed to do the trick and got me a reasonable haircut, so I took my internet translation skills to the massage parlor next door and managed to get some of the aches worked out of my body too.
Bessa kite club is where I have been hanging out and it’s impressive. There’s a guy employed there to pump up your kite and rig your lines, then when you are finished he washes and dries your kite then stores it until you call for your next session.
The grass is perfectly manicured, speakers blare out a selection of funky tunes and the fantastic kiting right out front all make for a brilliant setup. It’s a world away from the fishing hut and 50km of walking with all my gear.
The funky music lured me out for a bit of freestyle riding this afternoon although it felt weird being back on a twin-tip after riding my huge directional board for so long.
I’m waiting here in Joea Pessoa for a new cushy deckpad to be fitted for my back foot. Its a crucial change to the board as the my ball of foot and back knee have been taking a hammering in the chop. Hopefully it will be ready as promised tomorrow at 10am.
Although there was no wind forecast for today it blew 17-20 knots making weather forecasting in this area somewhat of lottery. What is certain though, is that the challenges of no wind are shortly to be replaced by too much wind the further north I go.
Winds up around 30 knots are commonplace which for those living in my hometown of Wellington may not seem like much, but I have a 11m kite and big board so progress might be difficult and hard on my body. The plan is to cut my fins down by 3cm as I don’t need big fins to go upwind now.
Something many people have been finding funny here is my self imposed rule of only walking or kiting to get anywhere. They have found a new way to amuse themselves is to offer me rides in their cars to parties and to see things amazing things. Funny for them I’m sure, but I’m not really seeing the humour.
So if you want to help me my top requests are accommodation close to where I land, good food a shower, internet to check google earth and then I’m happy. Pretty simple really.
I’m currently sitting in waiting impatiently for my board to be delivered with a new deck pad. Normally I’m pretty chilled out but I need to make Natal by tomorrow and don’t want to have to do it in one day.
Eventually the pads turned up and it was worth the wait as they worked a treat and looked professionally finished by Hugo Monetenegro from Xtreme Board.
I no longer feel like the ball of my foot is going to get a stress fracture and owe thanks to Theodore and Rafael from Bessa kite club for getting this organised for me.
Yesterday was the first day I made a mistake with the weather and really should have sailed instead of waiting on the board modification. To finish this trip in a reasonable time I need to take all the sailing opportunities that I can now and kite whenever there is wind.
I was joined by a young kiter today called Bruno Mendes who was keen to tag along. He was all hyped up and rushing around at launch time and I had to suggest he take a moment to calm down and take it easy. I have learnt from experience that when you’re in a hurry that you can forget to check crucial set-up parameters and that’s when things go wrong.
I picked up the habit from watching paragliders setup their gear, to follow a routine and double check everything, lines, canopy pack, GPS and inner dry bag etc before I leave. This additional 2 minute check could save me from a 2 hour swim.
It’s nice having someone along after the kiting is finished. I need all my concentration out in the ocean and at times it is distracting having someone else along. I have been thinking a lot about my inability to focus when kiting with others and I think I do have an explanation but that will have to wait for another post.
We ended up reaching a nice spot a little bit later in the day than I wanted, but it was still OK. Now that there is more wind I’m not so keen on pushing the daylight hours unless I really have to.
The forecast is for the wind to pick up to 20-25 knots tomorrow and I’m just not sure just how far my current board and kite combination can be pushed. For now, I’m happy to have some company with Bruno and I feel refreshed after my couple of days rest. Armed with my new haircut, massaged body and the forecast for lots of wind, who knows where I will end up tomorrow.