We arrived at the beach and were neither over nor underwhelmed; the requisite beachside restaurants, lots of butt-crack swallowing bikinis, a very steady breeze, and on the water, on the beach, and in various sizes, conditions, and colors, Jangadas. Jangadas are a kind of sailboat unique to the northeast, curiously limited to a fairly specific stretch of coastline, with the largest concentration in and around Fortaleza. They are pretty ingenious; constructed without any nails, they have been used for hundreds of years, mostly for fishing. I asked at one point if today they are mostly used for tourism, and was pleased to hear that while many are indeed tourist-pleasure barges, a lot are still used for fishing (definitely saw this in action and watched some fishermen weigh their catch) and many folks own them just for fun.
|Jangada under construction|
|A jangada inspection|
1.) his boat is not for sale
2.) it took him 2 months to build
3.) there used to be some mini jangada or jangadinhas in Canoa Quebrada, but they are too much work to build and don't sell for enough to make it worthwhile
4.) there might be some still in Majorlandia, 4km down the beach
Another dude walked up and said that there might be one for sale, and said he would be back in 25 minutes with more information. He came back and whistled at me, so I walked up the dune and then we just walked over to his house, right on the beach. No such luck, he said, nobody had any to sale. I gathered that there are no stores that sell them, just dudes who make them for fun. He said that if I came back at 7 that evening, we could drive over to his friend's house (Little Hick the Fisherman). That wouldn't work, as we were leaving at 4 on our van with the incredibly peppy Patricia the Professional Tour Guide.
So. We resolved to get to Majorlandia on our own. After arriving at the bus stop, a car pulled up and offered us and the other two guys waiting a ride as far as Quixaba, another town. We weren't going to take the offer, but since the other two guys did, we embarked. I asked the guys in the car if such a thing as the location of mini jangadas would be within the limits of their ken. All enthusiastically replied that yes, they could be found in Quixaba and what's more, young Felipe would be happy to take us to the appropriate house.
|Do YOU have any jangadas for sale?|
|Not quite right...|
Arriving there, this time without a callow youth to guide us in our quest, I boldly entered a noisy and smelly fishmonger area and inquired as to where I might buy a mini jangada. A man who overheard then asked if I wanted to buy his jangada, for fishing. I repeatedly stated that I wanted a small one, "about this big". A younger fellow sprung forth from the crates of fish and posited that George's house is where I wanted to go. How I was to get there was not so obvious. Having gained this nugget, nothing else was happening, so I left and went to ask around some more.
Soon thereafter, the same fishy youth flagged us down and told us he could take us there, that it was 'just right over there', which in Brazil, I have learned, can mean anything from 20 metres to several leagues. Up, left, left, right, down, A, B, B, A, our route seemed to resemble cheat codes from the Nintendo games of my youth. The fish boy kept telling me "Boy, you are just going to go CRAZY when you see these babes, they are super beautiful! You're really going to buy one, right? You're going to LOVE them!!"
We did arrive, finally. The youth went ahead to parlay on our behalf with the family of Sr. George, who proved to be about 17, and the oldest son of several children. They produced several jangadinhas of varying sizes, and with each one, my heart quickened its pace.
|Not all of George's jangadas|
|Getting it all put together|