BRAZIL: Fortaleza - Cumbuco - October 20 - November 03, 2005

by
Kinsley ThomasWong , Jamie ThomasWong, Kevin Winfield - http://XtremeBigAir.com


Archive of Kinsley ThomasWong and Team XtremeBigAir's World Famous Xpeditions!


October 22, 2005

We arrived to Cumbuco at 4.30 a.m. this morning.  The staff of Golfinho hotel was super nice and waited to pick us up at Fortaleza airport since we had a small problem with our luggage: my 10M kite got shredded by the airport carrier.  Today, Jamie and I kited in front of Golfinho hotel which has smaller waves and is choppy, with slightly side on shore wind.  Kevin (the handsome guy in the first photo) did an upwinder with local instructor Kris of (Kiteschool Cumbuco) to the Icarai lagoon which took about 40 minutes or so. It is approximately 3 miles up wind of the Golfino Hotel. Also the coast turns slightly and the wind is more onshore and the waves are bigger which leaves  lots of room on the inside with lots of kickers and waves to jump and ride. Sweet area, nice waves on one side, butter smooth on the other and a little bar/ restaurant  about 200 yards Upwind (east) of the Icarai Lagoon.

We started kiting around 10 a.m. and I was the last one in around 7 p.m.  I am drinking Caiprina and writing this as Kevin, Robert, Cyril, and Jamie are talking kite stories...

  


Sunday - October 23, 2005
This morning we loaded up into Cyril's little rental car: 4 kiteboards and 4 kites and off we go.  With Kevin's recommendation from his upwinder yesterday, we headed upwind aprroximately 10 km upwind from Golfinho hotel.  Here the waves were a bit bigger and nice little Icarai lagoon that could hold 5 kiters.  Kevin was on 13M killing the waves, Cyril and Jamie were on 10M, and I was powered up on 9M.  We had a nice lunch there and then went North to look for Caiupe Lagoon.  We got lost half way and it was getting late so we kited for another hour before the sunset at some random beach (in front of Summerville) in the middle of nowhere. There is no shortage of wind or beaches in this area. 
We then went to dinner at Jardim Cumbuco, a great restaurant with a German and Brazilian chef.  Jardim Cumbuco is in the back of a private residence with great food, service, and ambiance, about a 2 minute drive from the Golfinho hotel.  Very Highly Recommended.




October 24, 2005 - Jamie's Birthday
Today we were just kicking back at the hotel and kited in front of Golfinho.  Both Jamie and I were powered up on 8M during the day until sunset then I switched over to 10M, Kevin was on his 13M all day.  Here are a few shots of Kevin kiting just before the gorgeous sunset and Ricardo from Portugal.

We celebrated Jamie's Birthday at the hotel here.




October 25, 2005 - Kiting at Port Pecem with Kris of http://www.kiteboardcumbuco.com.br, Robert, Jean Paul, and Jane.

Robert invited us to join him and Kris to kite at Port Pecem.  We highly recommend you to book your daily kiteboarding trip with Kris of http://www.kiteboardcumbuco.com.br as he is the expert for this area.  Port Pecem is a few miles north of Caiupe Lagoon.  What  a great spot with extremely nice right hand point break waves with slightly offshore wind.  You could easily do 4 bottom turns on each wave.  This is so far the best waves riding the spot that we have been on this trip.  Pictured here is Kris, Robert, Jean Paul and Jane.  Wind was measured 24 to 27 kts.  Kevin was lit on 9M, both Jamie and I were quite powered up on our 8M.



October 26, 2005
Today, we tried to go upwind from Golfinho to Icarai Lagoon.

At 10 a.m., we were kiting on 8M but then the wind slowly dropped off to 10M after three hours.  Jamie did her first back spin and landed so she was quite stoked.  Kevin spent all day at the Icarai lagoon working on his toeside bottom turns.   I managed not to destroy any more kites.

We had dinner at the Golfinho hotel again.  Our favorite dish: the whitefish Portugese style.  Our friend Portugese friend Carlos shared with us how to cook the fish Portugese style: Sautee the onion, garlic, tomato, olive oil, bay leave, white wine until the tomato and onion soften then dumped the sauce over the fish and potate cubes and throw them in the oven.

October 27, 2005
We went to the Icarai lagoon and kited with Grego and Julian from Spain ( Empuria Kite Team: Julian Jepsen and Grego Barneda).  It was a good 10M wind then mellowed out to 12 - 14M wind.  Jamie landed some more backspins so she was quite stoked. 

Team Advance Portugal: Joao Carlos, Filipe Fonseca, Ricardo Taveira, Pedro Rato and Pedro Renda
Ovar Kite Team:  Sergio and Gil


October 28, 2005
We spent our time kiting in front of Golfinho hotel today.  Just got a prototype BEST 10M Nemesis so I was quite stoked to kite on it.  Today the wind was light all day.  A 12M kite would do better for me today.


October 29, 2005
Kris of http://www.kiteboardcumbuco.com.br/ helped us to rent a 4x4 car.  We rented a 4x4 suzuki for $130 Rais a day.  This morning we packed up and left the hotel early for Pecem.   We found light wind and small waves at Pecem so we kept driving.  Along the way we passed Taiba town and eventually arrived at Paracuru.  The kiting spot at Paracuru is quite nice with nice reef break on the outside and small waves (flat at low tide) on the inside.  We had a nice lunch there and then kited there for a few hours.  It was a good 10M wind day.  Jamie landed some nice port tack jumps with grabs!  Kevin was tearing up the small chops on the inside. 


In the evening we went to BEST kiteboarding party, one of the biggest, in Cumbuco at the Blue Wind Kitesurfing School.   There were plenty of free drinks, BEST's Girl Bikini contest, live band and auction.  Kevin got a new 2006 BEST HELLFISH 17M for a killer price!  Here you see that Jamie is extremely happy surrounded by the school of HELLFISH, her favorite kites!  We got a new 2006 Yarga Pro 11M so tomorrow, we will give it a good test at Taiba lagoon.


October 30, 2005
We drove up to Taiba Lagoon and kited there.  This lagoon is nice and there were about 20 kiters kiting there today.  Here we met up with Alex, Ian, Peter, and Clinton from BEST Kiteboarding.  The wind was quite light pretty much all day.
We were busy testing all type of kites: 2006 Yarga Pro 17M and 13M, Nemesis Pro, HELLFISH and BEST BOW kites.


October 31, 2005
Our friend Kevin has to leave today so we were quite sad.  The wind came up strong in the morning.  We started kiting around 8:30 a.m. on our 10M in front of Golfinho hotel.  The wind dropped slowly around noon to 12 - 16M kite condition.  We wandered through the town of Cumbuco in the afternoon while waiting for the wind to come up again in the afternoon.  There was a very strong beach break.

November 1, 2005

The wind came up early again today,  we were in the water on 10M kites around 9.30 am.  Jamie was going off doing lots of nice port tack raileys on her 10M.  I was doing kungfu kiting on the Yarga Pro 11M.  The wind backed off near noon, but picked back up again around 3 pm.  I went out again on the 10M until dark well after the sun set and was the last out of the water with the wind still blowing.   The beach break was very strong today as well, with head high waves for Kinsley to ride.  Being our last night in Cumbuco, we ended the day off with Porteguese style fish from the Golfinho hotel, our favorite meal of the trip.


November 2, 2005
7 a.m. I was already in the water kiting on the 10M.  The wind was quite strong, I could have been fine on the 8M.  I came in and Jamie went out at 8:30 a.m. on the 10M.  She was getting some of her biggest airs.  We left Golfinho at 11 a.m. to Fortaleza.




More pictures and info of Fortaleza on the web here:

 http://www.kitefortaleza.com.br/
 http://www.kiteboardcumbuco.com.br/

 http://www.ozonetravel.com/Cumbuco-kiteboarding-holidays.html
 http://www.hotelgolfinho.com.br/


Skill Level: Beginner to Advanced
Surface Conditions: Wind Chop and Waves. ( Choppy with shore breaks right in front of Golfinho hotel, smooth in lagoon, nice waves in other area)
Wind Conditions: Good for 8, 10, 12 or 14m² kites. (if you are 70Kg or less then bring 8 - 14M kites, more than 70Kg bringh 10 to 16M kites)
Season: August to December
Water Temp: 20 to 25 degrees (Celsius) (Water is very nice.  We kited 7 a.m. in the morning just in our shorts)
Air Temp: 28 - 35 C. (Very pleasant, not too hot  or humid in Cumbuco!)
Nearest Town: Fortaleza is 40 minutes by car.

Summary:
It is always windy in Cumbuco: what an ideal spot for kiteboarding! We love the service and hospitality of the staff at Hotel Golfinho.  We had the best waves at Pecem.  The best months are August until December, these months you can kite every day with 10, 12 or 14m² kites and someday on 8M. January and February are the months with lesser wind. February to April is the rain season and the constant wind starts normally in June, so do not forget to bring a 16 or an 18m² kite if you come between January and June. Behind Cumbuco are some really big sand dunes. The Dunes creates warm thermal air daily. The wind increases as you go north. There are many other kitesurfing spots outside of Cumbuco: Icarai, Taiba, Cauipi, Pecem, and Paracuru.

Other sources of information about this area can be found at:
http://www.kite-surf.com/phpBB2RC2/viewtopic.php?t=1390
http://www.kitefortaleza.com.br
http://www.kiteboardcumbuco.com.br

http://www.hotelgolfinho.com.br/
http://www.kite-brazil.com
KiteForum.com
http://www.ozonetravel.com/Cumbuco-kiteboarding-holidays.html

Transportation:
In Cumbuco, transport must be taken care of by yourself because there is no local transport here (also no taxis here), you should rent a car, like a VW Golf with air-conditioning, or a buggy. Do not forget to get an International drivers license!!!!! Closest City is Fortaleza 25 miles away from Cumbuco. 

Arrival

At the airport, cabs are on the spot and they are the best way to reach Cumbuco. However, if you are staying at Golfinho hotel, the hotel will pick you up for 70 Reais.  Other kiters we met on the trip rented their car at the airport of Fortaleza and drove themselves to Golfinho hotel.

In the rarest case the taxi-drivers speak a foreign language. The prices vary strongly and can be negotiated. They also depend on the size of the cab, but shouldn't exceed 80 Reais (approx. 21 Euro or 27 US$). It's the best to negotiate and fix the price in advance!

Take into account that there are hardly cabs with roof rack!

Car rental
It's the best to rent a car directly at the airport. This is usually fundamentally cheaper than to book a car ahead of time. There are also differences in price between the individual car rentals.

Arrival airport
Fortaleza, Ceara - Brazil

Visa
You will need to obtain Visa to enter Brazil.  Took us a week plus $100USD per person to obtain the visa.

Summer time
October - February (one hour summer time difference)

National language
Portuguese - Brazilian

English is understood only in larger hotels and airline companies. You cannot expect English conversation on the street, in restaurants or shops.

Currency
1 Real (Reais = majority) is 100 Centavos. We exchange our money at the Cambio and also at the front desk of GOLFINHO hotel

There are ATM machines at the Fortaleza's airport and Caucaia (approx. 10 km from Cumbuco). Otherwise it's hard to find ATM machines which accept foreign cards and the do not always work.

Credit cards are accepted only in good hotels, shops and restaurants.

Vaccinations
For the entry in Cumbuco - Brazil there are no vaccinations required. Generally, there are no special vaccinations necessary. If you are planning to visit the jungle or marsh areas, you will have to think about getting a yellow fever vaccination as well as a malaria prophylaxis. Inoculation against diphtheria, tetanus, hepatitis A and B is also be recommended by some doctors.

Doctor
There are  hospitals in Fortaleza. In most hospitals, you may pay 50 Reais so you don't have to wait. Most likely you will be attended only by presentation of cash (or a credit card). Obtain an invoice in any case to get the costs refunded by your insurance at home.

Medications
Of course you should always have medicine and a first aid kit with you. However you will find a pharmacy with a good choice of medicine in every bigger place, which mostly are cheaper than in Europe.

Climate
The air temperature in Cumbuco is very nice.  It is warm, not humid with nice breeze.  Year round: during the day, the air temperature is between 28C and 35C and at night over 20 degrees centigrade. Important: high sun protection factor!

The water temperature is around the 26° year round.  Water temp here is so far one of the warmest place we have ever kited in.  At 7 a.m. in the morning, we can kite with just our shorts!

Within the months of June until January: no rain. The wind strength is daily between 15 and 30 knots and can be even stronger up in the north. There are only very few days with wind under 15 knots.

Rainy season within the months from February until May. It normally rains daily for a couple of hours, mainly in the  morning.  This can increase the humidity.  The wind is between 10-30 knots but not as consistent as June through January. 

Tip
The usual tip of 10 % is often already included in the price of the invoice and specified. If you give a tip consider that the day's wages of many workers is only 2.50 to 3 Euros (2.50 to 4.00 US$).

Internet
You will find internet access in internet cafe in Fortaleza, in tourist villages, in hotels and in a few Pousadas.
At Golfinho hotel, you can use internet for 7 rais per hour.