Sad to leave Praia do Pipa. The waves were small but always perfect. Dolphins playing in the waves with the surfers and eating the best Acai treat in Brazil next to our pousada. Praia do Pipa was one of the best surf spot I found in Brazil.
Another Brazilian long weekend was coming so we needed to leave. The prices of Pousada was going to double and the little town of Pipa was going to turn into a zoo....
Next spot on the map to see was Canoa Quebrada, another beach spot just south of Fortaleza 375 km of riding.
We cruised up the coast then by pass the city of Natal. City riding isn't so fun with a surfboard on the bike. The journey to Canoa was too long so we stopped along the coast to Sao Miguel do Gostoso, a perfect kitesurfer spot Hoping to find a cheap pousada for the night as we normally do in small towns, we circled back and forth over a hundreds of speed bumps to find something cheap. It's long weekend everyone told us, cheap was impossible, $50 to $75 for the night was completely out of question, the beach was our last option... Sore ass from the speed bumps, we stopped to have a cold drink and think about our options.
One pousada we didn't stop to see the price. With a name like " Pousada Sand Dollar " we know it wasn't going to be cheap.
" Let's check it out anyways..." we went by every other pousadas in town. With no more then a hand full available but extremely pricy. A very friendly lady named Bebel welcomed us. We asked her if she had any rooms available, but told us she was full for the weekend. Disappointed and tired, we didn't know what to do. " Could we sleep in your hammocks " we asked. Bebel could tell from our looks that we were desperate and tired. " Sure ...you guys can sleep there " - how much??? - "20 reals is that ok??" - "Yes, we'll take it!" - we were so relieved, unpacked the bike and chatted with Bebel for a couple hours about out trip. - We even had WI - FI internet in our hammock!
So exhausted, we fell asleep quite quickly.
The next morning Bebel asked me to snap a few photos of her pousada in exchange for our hammock bed. Not a bad deal!!! Thinking " Sand Dollar " was going to be an expensive place, it turned out to be free!
Bebel was from Belem, a city next to the Amazon river in the north were the temperatures are over 35 degrees all year long. Tired of the heat she packed her VW bus with her dogs and cats and rode down the coast until she fell in love with Sao Miguel do Gostoso, a cozy little town between Fortaleza and Natal. She found " Sand Dollar " and decided to call it home.
For anyone wanting to Kite surf or wind surf, Sao Miguel do Gostoso is a great spot, not really on the tourist map, it has a relaxed atmosphere.
If anyone coming this way ... come and see Bebel at the *Sand Dollar*, her beach front pousada is your perfect spot.
Thanks Bebel for your enormous generosity!
Pousada Sand Dollar.
Bebel and little Victor.
Our bed for the night.
Breakfast fruit salad.
Cruising along the BR 304 north of Natal
Regina happy to sit on a comfy chair resting her sore butt. Along the highway we can can buy cheap coconut water and pine apples.
With an early start, we figure we could get to Canoa Quebrada fairly early. But riding on Brazilian highways, time goes by and daylight disappears fast. A 300 km stretch can seem forever. We arrived in Canoa just after dark. Dune buggys zipping around the streets, loud boom box Brazilian beats blasting everywhere and crowed streets greeted us once again. Trying to find a bed again tested our patience. Some of the streets in Canoa are nothing but sand, so it was tricky to ride around. After asking around over a dozen pousadas, once again all were full or extremely pricy due to this long weekend.
Tired of looking around we went for pizza and beer. Not knowing what to do, it was now 9 pm, we really needed to find something, the loud streets were getting on our nerves, the supposed to be *GREAT* town of Canoa Quebrada, it wasn't what we had in mind. It's a beach town just south of Fortaleza, once was a perfect beach getaway now it serves as a party place for the weekend rich Brazilians. On long weekends, they double or even triple the prices of everything.
We continued our search hoping to find a cheap bed. We saw a sign for * Hotel Suiza * Regina being from Switzerland thought we could try our luck and deal a good price. After all, with a little common sense, it was monday, the long weekend was ending tomorrow, you think they would cut us a deal!
" Tomorrow will be much cheaper! " the man told us." Ya - thanks for your advice!!! we need a room tonight! not tomorrow... He wasn't even from switzerland!!! Our luck didn't work. "OH you Canadian!! I have a friend from Canada " - Great, maybe he can help with a room. Just around the corner. So he ride to this house, a nice looking place... maybe we scored! A lady comes out - " come in!! come in!! " I ride the bike in nearly crashing in the deep sand. She invites us in, shows us a nice room. " Cuanto? " we ask. Well, $130reals ($70) is that OK with you!!
Regina and I looked at each other could help but laugh. " Also comes with breakfast! and you can use the pool at the pousada Suiza " mmmmm.... "No thanks, it's way too much for us"
Well, I make you a special price, - $100 reals - Sorry but it's too much for us. " You will never find cheaper here, also being long weekend! " (ending tomorrow!!!)
We tried the hammock trick.... " could we sleep in your hammocks? " "Yes, Yes, sure! - special price, $50 reals!!" Now Regina and I just couldn't help laughing. We just couldn't believe that they just look at us with big $$$ sign across our foreheads. " Obrigado" we walked out, the lady just slammed the door behind us. What a joke... we continued searching.
While riding up and down the streets, now dead tired, a kid on a scooter zips beside us... Pousada, pousada?? Yes we need a pousada. He tells us he as something for $60 reals, very nice, cheap with breakfast. "Great lets go" so we follow him down the ally way, by now everyone in town know us from riding up and down so many times. Pulls in front of a big sliding door. Regina goes to check it out while I wait with the bike. She comes out with a tired face. " it's a shit hole, but we have no choice" Lets just take it.
The lady was nice, trying to be very helpful. The room was dirty as hell, she's there cleaning the bathroom. I looked at the place. $60 reals for this!!! you got to be kidding me. We bargain the price down to $40 reals. Now this seems better. After unpacking the bike I really wanted a shower. " No fuck'n water!!!!!" We were pissed. I went to see our nice lady. " Oh, 1/2 hour water come back!" you can shower here outside" Too tired to even argue with the lady, I put on my shorts and took the cold outdoor shower. Our nice lady now showed up with a Fan, " quebrado " she tells us that it smelled like smoke when I tried to plug it in. Yes, we were in *Canoa Quebrada* meaning broken canoe, No shower, No fan. And not even bed sheets!
We lied down in bed. Wanting this long weekend to be over. There was no more perfect hostels like praia do Pipa, no more yummi Acai to eat, no more waves to surf.
After a bad night sleep without any fresh air, afraid of getting bed bugs, - thank god we didn't have! - we just wanted to get back on the road.
The next morning we still had to take our outdoor shower. The water never came. Our nice lady told us she could give us the nice room upstairs with AC and TV!!! mmm... NO THANKS!
I gave her $30 reals told her it wasn't worth more then that! No Fan, No water... we don't pay more. "OK" she said, "good price for you."
She gave us 4 mangoes for breakfast. At least those were tasty! She insisted again trying to give us the nice room upstairs...
We hopped back on the bike and left the broken canoe behind, X it off the map and were happy to get back on the highway towards the City of Fortaleza.
Dune Buggy world.
One of the worst shit holes to date.
The great outdoor shower at our 5 star pousada.