Galinhos (3 Spots)


Geeignet für: Windsurfer, Kitesurfer

Revier: Flachwasser, Welle

Windrichtung: beste keine Angabe, fahrbar keine Angabe


We started our trip at 7 am from our Kite school at Golfinho hotel in Cumbuco Fortaleza on a Toyota hilux 4 wheels drive, the participants: Brian, the owner of Suntrax kite shop in Capetown, Olivier, the owner of Bresil Aventures, me and my wife. The idea was to explore the conditions of the east coast of Ceará, specially from Canoa Quebrada to the next state, Rio Grande do Norte and further along until Galinhos some 180 kms before the capital Natal.

The first 160 kms we made by road until past Canoa and we reached the beach in Majorlandia, following the big bay, passing through the beaches called Quixaba, Lagoa do Mato, Fontainha, Retiro and until Ponta Grossa, being this the best kite point due to the shape of the bay and receiving the wind a bit side shore, killing the chop and leaving some 3-4 hundred mts until the beach left side and of flat water and some perfect waves, all the beaches mentioned before were receiving the wind on or side on, so, not so special.

From there we went on crossing the villages and beaches of Redonda and Peroba, always driving through the beach, avoiding rocks and following the shape of the coast, in this part, surrounded by cliffs on the right side and plenty of fishing boats on the left, as the tide was low you could see the boats lying on one of its sides until the beach would get the incoming tide, all very pictoresque but not the best place for kiting.

Next beaches were Barreiras and Barrinhas, this was another story, actually the tide was quite far, one or more kms away and the wind was perfect side shore, so in medium or high tide, you´ll have 1 km of flat water ahead of you and only waist to shoulder deep, and no obstacles, actually I wanted to stay and wait for the tide supposing that we wouldn´t find better water conditions ahead… but I was wrong!
All this time, wind was 16-18 kts and it was already noon. Some kms ahead we had to quit the beach because the mangroves swamps and a salt farm. We crossed Icapui and back to the beach, named Quiteria and next beach called Tremembe beach and there we stopped on a top class pousada, very chill and with a superb french style cuisine, rather surprising considering the seclusion of the area. Conditions there were 16 kts and slightly side on but still quite flat.

After that we drove always through the beach passing Melancias, Peixe Gordo, Manibu, Tibau beach until Areias Alvas where we were surprised by the first group of kiters of our trip. They told us that we had just crossed the limit of the state and now we were in Rio Grande, they informed us that they lived in Mossoró and the kiters community were of at least 30 locals, the only thing they missed were waves but wind they had a lot, best months being July and August, average 25 kts, lasting until Dec and starting again around May, rest of the year was rain season and not as predictable.

They also told us the best keep secret laid some kms ahead of us but they were not kiting now because on low tide the riding area was not too big. Some kms further we spotted two more kites on the air, there was the dreamed spot, actually was amazing, almost at the river mouth of Mossoro river, in spite of the low tide, the pools left by the tide were of perhaps 100 mts broad by some 400 mts long (or more) but it seemed that with medium or high tide, the ride is of 2 kms broad and 5 kms long.

The most perfect flat water spot I´ve ever seen, it left a sad feeling in me when I thought back in Cauipe and its Lilliput dimensions. Consider that all this beach ride was of many kms and the beaches were amazingly broad, until the point that you weren´t able to see the water sometimes one kms far or even more.

We left the beach and followed the side of the river until Grossos, where we took a motor balsa that crossed us after a 15 minutes ride to the other bank of the river, in the city of Areia Branca, after crossing more salt farms we took the beach again, crossing Areia Branca and Redonda beaches to get to Sao Cristovao beach, actually the best of all, offering at its upwind tip the same conditions that we found in Ponta Grossa or Iguape or Pecem or Embuaca, all up west in Ceara, that is, slightly off shore wind and perfect flat water together with perfect breaking waves. After going down a big sand dune we got to Punta do Mel, also a beautiful bay where we found the second top class pousada of our trip, something really unexpected unless for the beauty of the area and overview of the beach and the priviledged situation of the pousada. We went on crossing some more beaches (already we had driven some 150 kms always on the beach) until a point in where due to the delta of river Açu we had to drive through dirt tracks, crossing dunes and some villages and after through oil fields until we reached, already in darkness the ferry harbour that will take us to the final step of our trip, Galinhos peninsula. We made the crossing on a motor balsa only for passengers so we took with us the kite stuff and we parked the car where we had to pick it up next day as it would have been impossible to drive at night due to the many cross tracks and the impossibility to find our way through the dunes.

Our first view of Galinhos was of a fishing village with orderly illuminated sand streets, clean and silent, some people were seated at the front of their homes, some children playing and some couples strolling around, all our kite gear was carried by a burro taxi (donkey pulling a small cart) across the village to the other side of the peninsula on a 500 mt ride, there, was the Bresil Aventure pousada, a rustic but elegant fourteen rooms one floor construction barely 5 mts from the shore on a 2 kms sand bay. Just the sound of the small surf breaking on the beach and the stars shining above. A dinner, a friendly chat, some coffees and everybody to bed.

Next morning we woke up at 7h, always hearing the sound of the surf and no other noise, we took a walk on the beach until a small light house some 2 kms away that gives way to the next beautiful beach and following we surrounded the peninsula tip always walking on sand, the only action on sight was the gentle drifting of some occasional canoas on their way to fish with its white sails against the bright blue sky on the morning wind.

At the tip of the peninsula you can sail with any wind direction and there´s about 1 and half km to the village of Guamare on the continent and in low tide you can walk on the sand bank for almost 500 mts. At this moment it was blowing ESE and the best place to ride would be the coast oriented to the lagoon, we went back for breakfast, packed all our stuff on a burro taxi and headed for the embarcadero (balsa boats terminal), on both sides it was sand but we chose the eastern part for coinciding with the main chanel which would make the wind cleaner of obstacles. In any case, the mangroves are hardly 1 to 2 mts high and they were some 7 hundred mts away. At this moment tide was low and we had plenty space for launching but in high tide you have to choose well as there´s not much free space with sand, also it´s important not to walk barefoot too far as there were shells that could possibly cut your feet. Once in the water wind was ESE 16-20 kts, we rode about 2 and half hours and the wind started to turn S, as some dark clouds were forming far on the horizont.

We packed all and we sent all back to the pousada with our burro taxi driver while we took the balsa back to where we had left our car last night. We decided to do so, otherwise the car had to stay there 3 nights and for precaution we drove it to Galinhos lead by a local guy, that wasn´t definitely an easy task, we drove through salt farms, after through a entrance of a shrimps farm where we crossed a fence with guards and then through sand and mud tracks with scores of track crosses and numerous deviations and after, through white sand dunes for some 5 more kms which we crossed at far more speed than I would like to, in what was the more exciting moment of all our trip driving, needless to say that at 80 kms hour, literally flying over the dunes, a mistake on the driving or on the chosen course can send you on some 14 mts fly to a wall of white sand. A part of that trip can be done through the beach as it was shown by 3 buggies arriving to Galinhos next day but the way through the beach is far more tricky due to the rocks on some parts and the sand traps (some dry, some wet sand) in many parts of the beach way.

Occasionally we saw some fisherman with small jangadas, probably dwellers of a small fishing village (1 tenth than Galinhos size) on the inside east tip of the lagoon called Galhos. The rest of the day there were clouds alternating with clear skies and sometimes a occasional shower. We stayed on the pousada (a huge shrimps meal bathed with white wine and some chupitos of cachaça) and for the rest of the day we just played on the beach with Olivier´s latest toy, a sail cart to ride in the beach on low tide. And so we spent the afternoon, racing the cart and playing on the small but perfect waves at low tide.

Next day started cloudless and some good 14-16 kts ESE that around 10h were already 16-20 kts, on our morning walk we went again around the peninsula tip filling ouselves with the beauty and the serenity of the place. The perfect blue sky, the sun the sea and the pounding surf on the beach, truly one got the impression to be out of timebounds. After breakfast, and as the wind was still blowing ESE we went to the lagoon again, this time, it was more constant than yesterday, so we rigged the fourteens and we kited until it turned E at almost 13h. Notice that generally for this time of the year, it should turn to NE, but the rain season is lasting longer than usual, as in our state Ceará, so winds can stay S, SE or ESE for the whole day.

Once back at the pousada, we discovered that we weren´t the only visitors, sharing the dinning room with us were two couples of Norwegians that, accompanied by professional buggy drivers and an extra support vehicle came from Touros, 70 kms direction Natal, riding through beach and dunes. At 16h and as the wind was E and even being this direction (unusual) a bit side off but quite rideable, we decided to have a last kite session in Praia do Farol, and this one lasted until the arrival of a canoa on his way back from fishing and right there we chose and buy what later would become our dinner, right after that, we prepared ourselves to receive the sunset armed with a caipirinha on the hand.

Truth is that neither these words nor the photos I took can make justice to the sensations we lived this last two days here, actually the whole trip worthed it. Soon Olivier would be back at his office in Lyon, France, to the promotion of his buggy trip adventures and Brian, our guest and ourselves, back to our kite school in Cumbuco Fortaleza, making of it just an unforgettable remembrance.

For what I´ve seen myself and heard from the local fishermen, conditions of wind and sea are excellent. Conditions, by instance, in Cumbuco are, a bit more wind than here (but not too much) and a less degrees angle difference in direction, (Cumbuco receives SE to ESE), while here you can have S, SE, ESE, E and NE. The beaches are all around the whole peninsula, and so, offered to all wind directions.

On the water, whether in the lagoon with S, SE, and ESE, on the beach upwind of the village (quite flat), and perfect flat downwind of it and under the lower tip of the peninsula and further till the end tip (no obstacles on land). And in Praia do Farol if E or NE also quite flat to almost perfect flat with small surf in front of the posada due to the small shaped U bay. The water is much clearer than in Cumbuco and therefore more attractive than in our place, but the most remarkable point is the perception that you are not in 2004, the always present silence, the connection with the nature, the almost total absence of human activity, the chill of the pousada and the whole area deserve a 10 points score.

If you are planning a kite trip to Nordeast Brazil and you want to enjoy flat water, good wind and pure tranquility, the option of coming to Galinhos, in my opinion, leaves behind places as Sao Miguel do Gostoso or Jericoacoara, by instance, and that is because of the constant and increasing flux of tourist to this places that, even being quite beautiful and deserved to be visited, they have lost the primitive air of isolation that one day they enjoyed, that is partly because arriving to Galinhos by land by a private vehicle is almost impossible, you can get lost hundred times on the many track crosses or get buried on mud, water or fat (and wet) sand. If from Natal, the way is with a taxi (180 kms) until the small ferry port of Galinhos, if by bus, the only direct one is starting at Natal odoviaria at 6 a.m only o Sundays and two more, Monday and Friday direction Macau but only till the road cross and wait there for the Macau-Galinhos bus, also only twice a week.


Cris Mateo

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