As us you may have looked for some information to join the windsurf paradise called Jericoacoara from the Brazilian desert Lençóis Maranhenses, more precisely from Barreirinhas! Well, don’t think that you will find more information once there! If you are rich and you can spend R$250 per person to do 250km, stop reading this and go to a travel agency so that they can book a buggy for you.
So first thing is to ask at your Pousada to get you to the place where 4wd leave for Paulino Neves (in front of Banco do Brasil in the main street). Be sure you are there at about 8am, as even if they tell you that they leave at 9am, if they are full before, they will just leave (they left at 8.30am for us). It costs R$20 and it’s useless to negotiate, trust me!
We arrived at Paulino Neves at 11am and we had a walk up to the river until 12pm where we caught a minibus that drove us until Tutoia for R$5 in one hour.
In Tutoia, we bought our tickets for the bus leaving at 1pm to Parnaiba (R$15). But as we were just sitting there the bus left without telling neither the girl nor us. She tried to call the driver on his mobile but he didn’t answer. So we had no choice but to wait until 3.30pm for the next bus. The girl told us that anyway there was a direct bus to Jericoacoara leaving at 7pm from Parnaiba and we would be able to catch him. We gave her our backpacks and walked up to the beach, which wasn’t really attractive, but at least we had a walk.
Once in Parnaiba we discovered that there was no direct bus to Jericoacoara and we could only reach Camocim this same day. Some agency tried to sell us some 4wd for R$100 per person, which was more than the double of the bus price. So we decided to take the bus to Camocim for R$19 which in fact left at 6.30pm (and not 7pm as 3 different people had told us) and arrived around 9pm in Camocim. Some taxi offered us to drive us to Jericoacoara for R$200, which was R$50 per person. But we had to wait in Jijoca a 4wd for one hour and we would have arrived at 1am in Jericoacoara. So we decided to sleep in Camocim and take the bus next morning.
We found a pousada just opposite the bus station and negotiated a room for 3 at R$50. Next morning we took the bus to Jijoca for R$8 and arrived at around 8.20am. There we negotiated a 4wd at R$7 per person, bus is R$5) and we were in Jericoacoara 40 min later. So maybe it is a bit complicated and long, but it is feasible and it only costs R$74 instead of R$250 in buggy. This is the cheapest solution and as I told you, if you want you can pay R$35 more to arrive on the same day at Jericoacoara (taxi from Camocim). I was quite happy to be with my new French friends, as it was a long and complicated way and I felt much more comfortable not to be alone.
Really we don’t know if we had not missed our bus if we could have joined Jericoacoara on the same day, and I personally doubt it, as many people told us that it lasts one day and a half to do the journey. I’m not too sure that timetables are regular, so maybe tomorrow you won’t be able to follow my indications. At least you know from what cities you must get through. Be ready to hear from kitesurf paradise on my next post!